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Barney Frank 'Not Optimistic' About HR 2267 Passage Before Midterm Elections

Frank's Bill Will Likely Run Out Of Time Before Deadline

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Rep. Barney FrankCongress is set to adjourn Oct. 8, but don’t expect the bill known as HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, to be passed before the deadline.

According to The Hill, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) is “not optimstic” about a possible House floor vote due to the current backlog of legislation and time constraints.

Frank’s bill has 70 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and was passed out of the Financial Services Committee by a margin of 41 to 22. Despite having bipartisan support from both the Democrats and the Republicans, the bill will die if not enacted prior to the next Congress.

The main problem seems to lie with a companion bill from Jim McDermott (D-WA) that would further clarify how Internet gambling would be taxed and regulated. Senator Robert Menendez, from New Jersey, has also introduced a companion bill called S 1597, the Internet Poker and Game of Skill Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act of 2009, but so far has not been able to attract any co-sponsors.

The future of Frank’s bill looks grim, but Michael Waxman, chairman of the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative offered a small glimmer of hope.

“The greatest odds for online gambling regulation legislation to be approved this year are for it to get done as part of a larger legislative package, primarily because of the opportunity to dedicate the considerable new revenue generated as an offset for another program or need.”

The Hill also notes that HR 2267 may be part of a short “lame duck” session that will take place before the new Congress takes their places in January. Should that happen, the bill may be piggy backed to a jobs bill that has a better chance of passing. Poker historians will remember that the previous Congress similarly passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 in much the same way.

Frank was recently on The Tonight Show, debating the merits of the bill with Jay Leno, who seemed to be against it.