Harry Reid Tries to Add Online Poker to Tax Bill

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to use the tax cut package President Barack Obama brokered with Republicans to legalize online poker, POLITICO has learned — a move that could further complicate the deal Obama announced Monday.

Already, the online poker proposal has exposed the Nevada Democrat to charges of flip-flopping on a controversial issue, as well as using his Senate leadership position to repay big casino interests that helped him win reelection in a hard-fought campaign against Republican Sharron Angle last month.

" Reid, who has previously opposed online gambling, declined to comment Monday through a spokesman.

But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), as well as several senior congressional sources and gambling lobbyists, confirmed that Reid and his staff have reached out to other Senate offices to try to build support for adding the online poker legislation — a draft of which POLITICO has obtained — to a measure extending the Bush-era tax cuts.

So, is this a way Harry Reid will try to kill the Bush Era Tax Cut deal with the GOP and President Obama? Or, just a plain ol’ cynical attempt at pork barrel politics with Reid trying to cram in a special interest favor into a big bill?

I don’t know but from what I read the online poker bill is a LOSER for American poker players who now play online (which I do) and benefits really only Harrah’s (Caesar’s Entertainment) and MGM – both large Las Vegas Casino mega-corporations.

Senator John Kyl has already said that this "rider" was not part of the deal with Obama and will try to block it. And, some of the other casinos in Las Vegas and on Indian Tribes are not happy with the bill either.

House Republicans would probably vote against the Bush Era Tax cut Bill in its entirety if this poker provision is added to the bill. With Far-Left Democrats that might spell the end of the entire tax cut deal.

Stay tuned as the vote plays out tomorrow. I don’t think this attempt by Harry Reid will make it into the final bill.

tags: Harry_Reid Poker

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