Reid’s Office Says Lame Duck Online Poker Bill Dead

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After a week that saw a flurry of noise surrounding the Reid/Kyl bill and then a round of blame exchange among the bill’s supporters, the official word from Harry Reid’s office: Reid/Kyl is dead for the 2012 lame duck session:

Tetreault’s article is now up at the LVRJ.  Quote from Reid chief of staff David Krone:

“Our goal is to definitely try again next year but Senator Reid’s feeling is that after a while there comes a time when you’ve lost momentum, you’ve lost the consensus that you’ve built,” Krone said. “There will be a window next year but I don’t see it going long.”

It’s hard to consider anything as absolutely off the table until the lame duck session actually draws to a close, a point echoed by Ian Imrich:

Reid made a similar declaration about the cybersecurity bill in November, only to have his Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell subsequently indicate he expected the Senate to return to the bill before the lame duck ended.

The timing of the announcement – on a Friday afternoon during a major story – may suggest Reid was looking to bury the news, or it could be simple coincidence.

Why would Reid’s office make this announcement as opposed to just letting the clock run out on the lame duck?  There are a number of possibilities, including:

  • Regardless of the bill’s actual status, Reid/Kyl was becoming a public distraction and pulling Reid and his office off the fiscal cliff message. Reid declared the bill dead to reduce/end the distraction.
  • Reid/Kyl became a pawn in internal negotiations over larger issues and was publicly sacrificed.
  • Reid was bluffing when he said he had votes, and Kyl called that bluff last week, forcing Reid to scuttle the bill publicly to save face.

Photo: Robert Lawton / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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