House Democrats are looking to move a controversial Indian casino bill backed by presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren without debate on March 25th, despite local opposition to the casino and the tribe’s questionable finances, sources tell Red State.
Legislation to help the Mashpee Wampanoag obtain a casino has been a key part of Warren’s plan to inoculate herself against attacks that she falsely positioned herself as a Native American to advance her legal, academic and political careers. Her efforts have largely failed. A DNA test showing her to be 1/1,024th Indian has been viewed as a disaster and the casino bill has gone nowhere in Congress.
But now Democrats in the House appear poised to give Warren a big boost.
Sources tell us that leadership will place the House version of Warren’s bill on the suspension calendar for March 25th when Members return from recess. That means the full House will vote on legislation that hasn’t been marked up, debated or voted on by the Natural Resources Committee.
Democrats want to avoid regular order on the bill no doubt because of local opposition to the casino as well as controversy surrounding the tribe’s finances. Earlier this year the Wampanoag stripped its then-Chairman of financial control and then removed him entirely due to concerns about how he was managing the tribe’s finances. In addition, the tribe is $500 million in debt to Genting Malaysia, the consortium financing the tribe’s lobbying effort.
The tribe has a sordid past. It originally obtained federal recognition largely through the efforts of its one-time lobbyist Jack Abramoff who persuaded then-Natural Resources Chairman Richard Pombo to back the tribe. Stunningly, Pombo is now lobbying on behalf of the tribe and Genting.
Republicans in the House should stand up for regular order and block this bill. Members of Congress should not be forced by leadership to vote on legislation that hasn’t even been examined, debated and, where appropriate, amended by a committee of jurisdiction.
Sources tell Red State that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the legislation and opposes it.