Congress Back in Sesh

HR 2267 in gear but waiting for 2268, election and lame ducks

by , Sep 14, 2010 | 7:00 am

(WASHINGTON DC) Both the House and Senate reconvened yesterday on a crisp bright fallish day in the Beltway.  After a summertime recess spent allowing members to return to their home districts, it’s time for Reps and Senators to get back to doing all the things they do in the *public eye* — and that doesn’t mean just appearing on Jay Leno.  

This will be the first opportunity for HR 2267 to take those *many* next steps on the legislative grind  to Obama’s “final table” since it passed through House Financial Services committee over six (!) weeks ago. It is also the last window for anything to happen before the November election; however, this window will close on October 8. That’s about 20 days from now, folks.

So what’s going to be happening, if anything?

On a month’s respite from Vegas, I am living a stone’s throw from “The Strip” of DC, aka Capitol Hill. I’ll have my new iphone4 charged up and at the ready to live-tweet/twitpic any action from the Congressional rail. So many questions … When will HR 2267 be scheduled to go to the House floor?  Will a hearing be set for a companion bill in Senate committee?  What’s going on behind the scenes to determine when and if these things might be scheduled? Certainly the machinations of special-interest politics have been busily churning in the background.  But the usual Google news alerts and poli-poker twitter feeds revealed nothing new.

So I asked John Pappas, executive director of the PPA, where to start and where we stand. He explained that companion bills have to catch up to HR 2267, but that may not happen until after the October recess and November election.

“With the positive momentum coming out of the successful mark up of HR 2267, we are anticipating a markup of the companion tax legislation, HR 2268, in the House Ways and Means Committee before the end of the session,” he explained, “though given the timing the the mid-term elections, that will most likely be in a lame duck session.”

Congress’s session ends in January, where the newly elected get sworn in and take over, bringing a new dynamic to the Hill. But that doesn’t mean no work is going on.

“The PPA is actively working members of the Ways and Means Committee to educate them on the benefits of licensing and regulation of online poker especially as it related to the revenue benefits for states and the Federal government,” Pappas said.

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