Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.,
tried to attach an Internet gambling ban to a defense
bill last week but was rebuffed by two powerful senators,
congressional sources said Monday.
the setback, advocates said GOP leaders will keep trying
to add an online wagering prohibition to must-pass legislation
until Congress adjourns this year.
approached Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate
Armed Services Committee, and asked him to add an Internet
gambling ban to a defense authorization bill, according
to congressional staffers who requested anonymity.
after checking with Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking
Democrat on the committee, Warner rejected the idea because
an online wagering ban would not be relevant to defense
source close to Frist confirmed the majority leader made
the proposal to Warner, but declined to elaborate.
hearing of Frist's proposal, Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.,
sent Warner a letter urging him to reject any amendment
that would ban online betting.
must not use this important (defense) bill as a convenient
vehicle for political pet issues such as a ban on Internet
gaming," Berkley said.
opposed an Internet gambling ban that passed the House
317-93 in July.
the Department of Justice has said Internet gambling is
illegal, the $12 billion industry continues to grow, with
more than 2,300 Web sites.
who has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate
in 2008, criticized online wagering during an August visit
in Iowa, Frist joined Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, one of the
two main sponsors of the ban that passed the House, in
conducting an informal field hearing critical of Internet
Sept. 5, the day Congress returned from its August recess,
Frist made a speech on the Senate floor and listed an
Internet gambling ban as one of his priorities as Congress
rushes toward adjournment. Frist's second term expires
this year, and he is not running for re-election.