U.S. House Speaker says states should regulate Internet gaming
LAS VEGAS (AP) – House Speaker Dennis Hastert told a group of Republican supporters Tuesday that states, not the federal government, should regulate Internet gaming.
”States ought to be able to control Internet gambling,” he said after meeting with employees at Brady Industries, a hotel-casino maintenance supply company that has benefited from recent GOP tax cuts.
The Nevada Legislature earlier this year approved legislation that would allow Internet gambling if legal and technical hurdles are overcome. Federal law prohibits Internet wagering under the Wire Act.
Hastert added, however, that he doesn’t believe Internet gambling can be regulated as successfully as brick-and-morter casinos.
In a question-and-answer session that followed brief prepared remarks, Hastert said the House would work in a conference committee to get three recently passed bills – patients’ bill of rights, education and energy – to President Bush.
”I’d like to have the trifecta,” Hastert said. ”I’m going to talk to Sen. (John) McCain later today.”
When pressed about Yucca Mountain becoming the nation’s sole repository for highly radioactive nuclear waste, Hastert said ”it’s not going to come up this year.”
The speaker added that science will determine whether 77,000 tons of nuclear waste eventually will be stored at the site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
In the past, Hastert has been a supporter of making Yucca Mountain the nation’s sole repository.
”Put simply, it makes common sense for us to have one safe site as opposed to the current situation of 140 storage sites scattered across the country in 40 different states,” he said in statement last year.
As part of a laundry list of recent GOP victories, Hastert singled out a Brady Industries’ employee – single mother Liz Valdivia – who received her tax rebate check for $550 on Monday.
”The check’s not in the mail, it’s in your pocket,” Hastert said.
Hastert was in Las Vegas for a luncheon fund-raiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee before heading to another fund-raiser in Phoenix.
Hastert’s third annual fund-raising trip to the Neon City was expected to raise about $250,000 at a luncheon at the MGM Grand hotel casino.
The Illinois Republican, who with riverboats in his state supports gambling, is making a two-week, 13-state fund-raising trip for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He is accompanied by NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia and Rep. Jerry Weller of Illinois.
Hastert, Weller and Davis visited with the finance committee for state Sen. Jon Porter, R-Henderson, who intends to seek Nevada’s newest congressional candidate.
”This is our first steering committee meeting,” said Porter, who added he will begin full-time campaigning in the spring for the state’s third congressional seat, added as a result of reapportionment after census gains.
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