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UPDATED: Harry Reid backtracks, now claims online poker not on his lame duck agenda

TAGs: Harry Reid, online poker bill

reid-backtracks-poker-agendaWe thought there was something fishy about that quote. In response to Wednesday’s initial report by the Las Vegas Sun (see below), Sen. Harry Reid’s office now says the Majority Leader will indeed keep pushing for his online poker bill to become law during this lame duck session of Congress. Seems the earlier quote was like an old episode of Three’s Company, you know, the one where there’s some kind of misunderstanding. And on we go…
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RIP, PIG (Harry Reid’s online poker bill), we hardly knew ye. After positively exploding into the online gambling world’s consciousness this week, Reid’s legislation has just as quickly been discarded onto the ash heap of history. Allegedly. Following a press conference earlier on Wednesday, Reid told a Las Vegas Sun reporter that he would not be adding his poker bill to the list of objectives he hopes to accomplish before the Senate adjourns on Dec. 17.

Or did he? The only actual quote in the Sun article attributed to Reid reads as follows: “We’re still working on that, we’re not able to.” This reportedly means that the bill’s language still requires too much finessing and thus it’s not likely to get itself into vote-ready shape given the time constraints. But seriously, WTF? Is this realization just hitting Reid now? If it wasn’t ready, why was Reid’s office circulating it?

Some have speculated that merely by appearing to push for legal online poker, Reid has been a ‘good soldier’ on behalf of the deep-pocketed land-based casino giants who backed his latest re-election bid. But it’s hard to believe that the public company bean counters think ‘the old college try’ is a fair market return on their investment.

Others have questioned why, if Reid truly intended to slip his bill onto an unrelated piece of sure-to-pass legislation like the latest tax bill, why did he choose to show his hand so publicly and so far in advance? At least Sen Bill Frist had the good sense to wait until the wee hours of the final day’s session in 2006 – when there literally was no time for debate — to attach his heinous UIGEA onto the safe port legislation. So is Reid perhaps pulling a bait and switch of his own, appearing to acquiesce only to engage in some last second Fristing come Dec. 17?

Or are the Democrats really just that inept?

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