Does the Senate plan to tie anti-gaming legislation to the Defense Appropriations bill?

by Lou on September 16, 2006

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) appears to be reaching out to his political base in advance of a presidential run by attempting to impose strict regulations on the online gambling industry. He’s doing this by tying a measure to the Defense Authorization bill.

Looking to buff up his credentials with conservative Christians like the Family Research Council, who play a critical role in the Republican presidential nominating process, Frist’s effort appears to stand a good chance of succeeding. The Senate plans to complete action on the defense bill next week. By tying his agenda to the Defense Authorization bill, Frist can court his political base while moving the anti-gambling legislation that has thus far stalled in the Senate.

Tying a special interest bill to major legislation that is very likely to pass, such as the Defense Authorization bill, is how most pork-barrel legislation is enacted into law. Knowing the anti-gambling legislation would probably fail if it had to stand on its own two feet, a back door approach seems to offer promise to Frist’s presidential aspirations.
The conservative Family Research Council has been leading the opposition for a ban on online gaming. Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has been a strong congressional advocate for his home state of Nevada’s gambling industry, has not taken a public stand on the House bill.

The American Gaming Association, which represents the U.S. gambling industry, favors a commission to study the issue.

Stay tuned. We’ll bring you the latest developments as they occur.

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