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Aides Confirm that Kyl, Goodlatte Will Be Back

26 March 2001

Senator Jon Kyl, Republican, Arizona, and Rep. Robert Goodlatte, Republican-Virginia, will make another try this year at getting their Internet Gambling Prohibition Act through Congress. But aides said it may be awhile before their bills are introduced.

The two are the U.S. Congress' most persistent foes of Internet gambling. Kyl has worked on the issue for several years. He succeeded in getting Senate passage in November, 1999. But Goodlatte's effort in the House was defeated last July.

"He does intend to reintroduce it," Andrew Wilder, Kyl's press secretary, told RGT Online today. "But nothing has been decided on when or how it might look different (from the last version), if at all."

Wilder said that Kyl has other issues that are more pressing now, such as repeal of the estate tax. He said there may be a joint effort with Goodlatte to develop common language for their bills. Kyl's office has received numerous inquiries about the Internet gambling bill, Wilder added.

Michelle Semones, press secretary for Goodlatte, said today, "We are definitely planning on reintroducing the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. I'm not sure when, or what it'll look like. We're currently taking a look at our bill from last year, to re-evaluate and see what would change, if anything."

Goodlatte ran into problems last year with "carve-outs" in his bill -- exceptions for industries such as parimutuel horse racing and jai alai and certain forms of Indian gaming. The carve-outs added Congressional support from districts where those industries are centered, but ultimately cost the support of interest groups who believed the bill didn't go far enough or might have legalized new forms of gambling.

As Goodlatte pointed out to CNET News last week, last year he also faced opposition from the Clinton administration. But John Ashcroft, the far-right wing Attorney General for President Bush, was a strong supporter of the Kyl bill when Ashcroft was in the Sentate.

Goodlatte also told CNET that he is working with Rep. Jim Leach, Republican-Iowa. Leach has reintroduced a bill that would try to prevent the use of credit cards and other financial instruments of U.S. banks for "unlawful" Internet gambling.

Semones told RGT Online that a new Goodlatte bill could be filed within the next month or two.

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