December 9th, 2010
04:51 PM ET

Reid pushes online poker legislation but finds the deck stacked

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/09/t1.getty_reid.jpg width=300 height=169]Kevin Bohn, Dana Bash and Jessica Yellin

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, may have to fold his efforts to push a measure legalizing online poker in the United States into a tax-cut bill, in light of strenuous opposition from Republicans.

Such a provision would greatly benefit some of Reid's biggest campaign backers - those in the gaming industry, which has been lobbying for the change.

But when Reid was asked Wednesday afternoon whether he was still pushing the poker bill during the congressional lame-duck session, he said, "We are still working on it," according to this office.

Democratic and Republican sources had told CNN Reid was pushing for the provision to be included in the bill to extend the Bush-era tax cuts.

One of those leading the opposition is Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, who vowed to block any attempt to include the poker legalization in the tax bill.

Wednesday afternoon Kyl told CNN the measure was dead, saying, "Senator Reid has agreed with me that it will not happen."

Reid's office refused CNN's request to discuss his push for the legalization.

The support by the four-term Nevada Democrat, who won re-election in November, for the online poker measure is an apparent reversal. When Congress addressed online betting in 2006, Reid opposed its legalization.

Some House Republicans also bristled at news Reid was attempting to shoehorn the Nevada-friendly legislation into the tax deal.


Filed under: Keeping Them Honest • Raw Politics
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Donnie In Kentucky

    I have to say its a shame i cant even watch the news anymore without being as angry as i have ever been to watch the greed and selfishness of these politicians that are in office.its time we as hard working tax paying americans stop allowing them to make excuses for the wealthy meanwhile making it harder for middle class and poor americans. and to say that the wealthy should be given tax breaks because they supply more jobs is completely rediculous maybe if the politicians bothered to work for the rest of us like they do the wealthy they would realize their facts are not truth but propaganda to help them with their personal agenda.

    December 10, 2010 at 2:55 am |
  2. dan michalski

    john, i'll give you the answer ... the rest of the world (Europe specifically) is regulating online gambling, and thus they are generating billions of dollars/Euros in tax revenues. likewise, regulating the industry creates 10s of thousands of non-gambling jobs, currently few of which are available to citizens in the united states.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:46 am |
  3. Ryan

    And there are millions who's hobby (poker) has been criminalized. Too many ways for folks to gamble? What are we, children?

    I don't know what your hobby is. Maybe you golf. How crazy would it be if they make the purchase of golf balls illegal? There are probably too many ways for folks to golf anyway.

    There are more important things, but for millions of people, this is important as well.

    December 10, 2010 at 12:41 am |
  4. Darrin H

    It amazes me the amount of legislators who will come on your show. Only to come up against political retrospect on a very strong nature to some respect where when legislators come off your show they know..If they were wrong they got screwed. Keep the people that know the information coming../we need to know...and we need people like you to make sure we know

    December 10, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  5. Darrin H

    I love the way you don't discriminate against one point of view or the other. It's fair play from one side to the other...but it's amazing to see how one side will try to cover their ass.. on so many different situations. Even when so blatantly put before them. It's like tey've taken classes on this stuff

    December 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  6. John Moore - PA

    How can anybody waste time in DC on yet more gambling? There are much more important things to do and probably too many ways for folk to gamble already.

    December 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |