Poker Bill Stirs Up Bitter Feelings

This story was published more than 11 years ago.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that the relationship between Nevada Senators Harry Reid (Democrat) and Dean Heller (Republican) took a turn for the worse after Heller claimed that Reid's priorities may not be in the right place.

The row began when Heller told the paper that Senator Reid could have moved on the bill three months ago, but stalled it with hopes of improving the chances of Rep. Shelley Berkley in her run for a Senate seat. Berkley is trying to unseat Heller in the November 6th election.

Both Reid and Heller have been publicly fighting for the last few weeks, with Reid trying to get Heller to meet a deadline of bringing the support of at least 15 Republican Senators for the bill. Heller went on to suggest that the U.S. House of Representatives may be a better place for the bill to start off.

Heller is claiming that he is still trying to get Republican support for the bill and claims that he will have the votes for it in the Senate's lame duck session which follows the major elections in November.

A Spokesman for Senator Reid commented on the issue, saying: "Instead of fighting for Nevada and trying to secure his colleague's support, Senator Heller has now chosen to question Senator Reid's intentions and lay blame on everyone but himself."

"That's unfortunate. Since May, Senator Heller has been tasked to secure Republican support, and Senator Reid has been willing to move on a bill as soon as he was told the support was there. To date, Senator Heller has been unable to secure any support. Senator Reid will continue to fight to seek bipartisan support to legalize online poker that is important to Nevada."

Reid also released the contents of a letter between the two politicians in which the Senate Majority Leader wrote: "I did not want this issue to become political in nature but I cannot stand by while you abdicate your responsibility as a U.S. Senator representing Nevada."

"Nevadans deserve someone who will fight for them."