Barney Frank Launches Preemptive Strike on UIGEA Rules

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As the day to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) rules quickly approaches, Representative Barney Frank has shifted his attention back towards the highly controversial debate. Last month, Frank's reps revealed that as a result of more urgent issues had moved to the forefront of Frank's agenda, he needed to temporarily back off pushing his alternative legislation. Now, he is back on track in this cause.

This week, Frank, along with 18 other representatives, sent a formal request to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The purpose of the letter, which comes shortly after another was sent by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) in conjunction with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association to same recipients.

The PPA's letter was sent to urge Geithner to use the Administrative Procedure Act to delay the implementation of the UIGEA rules by one year to December 1st, 2010. The purpose of this delay was to give UIGEA's opponents time or legal maneuvering without the specter of the deadline being just 6 weeks away.

In Frank's letter, he begins by detailing how the UIGEA rules were officially approved on January 19th, 2009, one day before current U.S. President Barack Obama took office. Specifically, he states:

"We realize this is not a task you requested. We also believe this is an unreasonable burden on regulators and the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis, and it contradicts the stated intent of the Financial Services Committee."

The list of supporters in the note were all members of the Financial Services Committee and is a bi-partisan group:

Frank, Peter King (R-NY), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Ron Paul (R-TX), Melvin Watt (D-NC), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Michael Capuano (D-MA), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Paul Hodes (D-NH), Ron Klein (D-FL), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Bill Foster (D-IL), André Carson (D-IN), Walt Minnick (D-ID), Steve Driehaus (D-OH), Jim Himes (D-CT), and Dan Maffei (D-NY).

It is expected that as the December deadline approaches, Frank will become even more aggressive in this pursuit.


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