The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, plans to introduce his next bid to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act this month (April), but he will not be resorting to the subterfuges adopted by UIGEA’s founders in getting the bill through.
In 2006 the UIGEA was pushed through a late night session of the 109th Congress on the eve of an electoral recess and attached to the totally unrelated and must-pass Safe Ports security bill.
The Washington publication The Hill reports that Frank intends to introduce his legislation as a standalone bill and will not seek to add it to must-pass legislation. This could mean that it will be much more difficult for his measure to emerge from Congress.
Frank told The Hill that he would not emulate the Republicans’ tactics in passing the UIGEA, saying it is unclear whether the gambling ban would have become law if it had been forced to stand on its own merits.
He said it would be “inappropriate” to follow the Republican example.
“That is not my intention. It would be a mistake,” Frank told The Hill. “I want to do this with hearings, discussions and votes.”
Frank first introduced the bill last Congress in April 2007. It garnered 48 co-sponsors but was not able to move out of committee and earn a floor vote in the House.
Frank said he would reintroduce the bill soon. “After the break, definitely in April,” the chairman said. Congress returns from the Easter recess during the week of April 20, which would leave the Massachusetts Democrat a little under two weeks to introduce the bill this month.
Frank’s bill would remove the ban on Internet gambling, which Republicans fought hard to institute after heavy lobbying from conservative Christian groups when they controlled Capitol Hill. His legislation would regulate the practice as well as tax it, providing new revenues for the federal government.
According to a Togel study by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, taxing Internet gambling could produce as much as …