Victory! House Democrats pull controversial off-reservation casino bill, H.R. 312, after strong bipartisan opposition. Thanks @realDonaldTrump for supporting my charge against “reservation shopping.” pic.twitter.com/zvl6WhbvFL
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) May 8, 2019
On Wednesday, House Democrats pulled H.R. 312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, from the House Floor. The legislation, sometimes called the “Warren Casino” bill, was supported by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, sometimes called “Pocahontas.”
Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar called the bill’s failure a “victory.”
“Thanks to strong opposition from President Trump and me, Elizabeth Warren’s special interests bill, H.R. 312, was yanked from the House floor today. In short, this bill would have authorized an off-reservation casino 50 miles from the Mashpee Tribe’s historic reservation and provided a $500 bailout to a foreign gaming company,” said Gosar in press release. “While I’m sure this bill will rear its ugly ahead in the near future and Democratic Leadership will likely try to rig the process so they can win, the fact is we won today and this is a major victory.”
According to Gosar, the bill “contradicts a Supreme Court decision and aims to reverse federal court decisions on this matter in order to build a massive 400,000 square foot off-reservation gaming complex for the benefit of Genting, a foreign Malaysian gaming company.”
Gosar notes that H.R. 312 “provides a massive tax shelter for Genting by shielding the land – and the casino on it – from taxation and State regulation.”
Although the bill is opposed by the Wampanoag Tribe of Gray Head (Aquinnah), and Congressmen David N. Cicilline (D-RI) and James R. Langevin (D-RI), Congressman Ruben Gallego attempted to portray opposition as racist.
I’m sure this racist lie has nothing to do with the fact that Matt Schlapp – Trump’s staffer’s husband – is lobbying against the bill. The tribes overwhelmingly support this plan to restore Mashpee rights to their own land. https://t.co/yznVS20vIU
— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) May 8, 2019
Last week the bill passed out of the Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 26-10. At the time, Gosar introduced an amendment and then later lobbied hard against the bill.
All of this opposition was enough to have the bill pulled today from consideration by the House of Representatives under the suspension of the rules procedures one week after it was considered in Committee with no bill report or score from the Congressional Budget Office.
Gosar claims that H.R. 312 at its core is a “special deal sought by Senator Elizabeth Warren to overturn the Trump Administration’s lawful denial of the Mashpee Tribe land to trust for a new off-reservation casino. The Washington Times reported how Elizabeth Warren “previously opposed gambling expansion…but embraced the Mashpee cause in response to Mr. Trump’s jabbing at her as ‘Pocahontas.’” The off-reservation casino is now Warren’s top tribal priority and she “unloaded on the Trump Administration” calling the lawful decision an “injustice.”
The bill would strip the federal government of its jurisdiction over this tribal casino and overturns a well-reasoned decision from a federal judge, according to Gosar.