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New bill would stop anti-gambling rules
WASHINGTON (4/11/08)—Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced a bill Friday that would call a halt to efforts to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. The legislation, H.R. 5767, would forbid the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board from proposing, prescribing, or implementing any regulation that requires the financial services industry to identify and block internet gambling transactions. Those bodies are jointly charged under UIGEA with putting rules in place. The Fed has noted publicly that it is a challenge is to craft a role for financial institutions without having an adverse effect on the country's payment system. The UIGEA rules have not been finalized. A House Financial Services subcommittee conducted a hearing April 2 which, in part, served to highlight the burden the proposed regulations would place on financial institutions, as well as the problems regulators are facing in drafting implementation rules, a process that has been have been bogged down with complications and controversy. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) witness Harriet May,
Click to view larger image CUNA board member Harriet May, CEO of GECU, El Paso, Texas, greets House Financial Services Committee member, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) before testifying at an April 2 subcommittee hearing on the Internet gambling law passed in 2006. CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan is far left in picture. (Photo provided by Bob Knudsen.)
president/CEO of GECU, El Paso, Tex as, reiterated CUNA's concerns that credit unions could be swamped by the compliance burden associated with UIGEA. She stated that the proposal as issued should not be adopted and sought action from Congress to block the rule. In announcing the introduction of H.R. 5767, Frank and Paul said they believe the ban on Internet gambling infringes upon two freedoms “important to many Americans: the ability to do with their money as they see fit, and the freedom from government interference with the Internet.” “The regulations and underlying bill also force financial institutions to act as law enforcement officers. This is another pernicious trend that has accelerated in the aftermath of the Patriot Act, the deputization of private businesses to perform intrusive enforcement and surveillance functions that the federal government is unwilling to perform on its own,” according to the two House lawmakers. Frank is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Paul is a senior Republican member. Use the resource link below for more information on the Frank-Paul bill.
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