Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'm heading out to the boat. What else is new?

This update about the ban on online poker is. Good gravy, I don't know what to say. Will this blog have to go dark if this passes in August?


Congress now making MAJOR push to ban Internet Gambling

WASHINGTON -- Negotiations to merge two House bills that would prohibit Internet gambling are progressing, but Congress will leave for a weeklong Fourth of July recess without voting on either one.

Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, said Thursday he hopes he will come to terms with Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., by the end of this week. "There's no formal agreement as yet, but it's pretty close," Leach said. Goodlatte declined to be interviewed, but his spokeswoman, Kathryn Rexrode, confirmed that negotiations continue.

Negotiations appeared to get a jump-start this week when House Republican leaders announced an Internet gambling ban would be one of its top 10 priority bills in an "American Values Agenda."

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House would vote on an Internet gambling ban before the August recess if Leach and Goodlatte reach an agreement. "(An Internet gambling ban is) big, and we're getting close," Boehner said. If the House passes an Internet gambling ban, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., is expected to push for its approval in the Senate.

To expedite Senate approval, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who is chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, has agreed to allow an Internet gambling ban to advance to the Senate floor without a committee hearing, sources said.

Leach's bill would prohibit credit cards, checks and other bank instruments from being used to make Internet gambling payments.

Goodlatte's bill would update a 1961 federal statute known as the U.S. Wire Act so it would outlaw all forms of Internet gambling and apply the ban to new gambling technologies that may be developed.

Both bills passed the House Judiciary Committee on May 25. Leach's bill also passed the House Financial Services Committee on March 15. Leach said he favors a "partial merger" with Goodlatte's bill.

"My own view is that a bill that has the basic approach of the (financial services) committee, coupled with certain definitional updates of the Wire Act makes the most sense," Leach said.

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