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Trent F.
Republican AZ 8

About Rep. Trent
  • Keep the Promise Act of 2013

    by Representative Trent Franks

    Posted on 2013-09-17

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    FRANKS of Arizona. I thank the gentleman.

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of a lot of the Members here of the House of Representatives, I want to thank Peggy Sampson for her tremendous work to help us all. This is her birthday, Mr. Speaker, and we wish her a happy birthday. We hope she has 100 more and that at least 90 of them are spent helping us here in this House to do a better job. We appreciate her very much.

    Mr. Speaker, let me also thank Chairman Hastings and leadership for bringing this bill to the floor today, as well as the bipartisan group of cosponsors for their support. I certainly want to thank all of the Members of the Arizona delegation that are in support of this bill.

    Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1410, the Keep the Promise Act, seeks to prevent Las Vegas-style gaming in the Phoenix metropolitan area until the gaming compact that both the tribes agreed to and the Arizona voters approved expires in 2027.

    One Tucson-area tribe is trying to build a major casino on lands that were purchased in the Phoenix metropolitan area at the very same time they were in negotiations with other tribes in the State to craft this gaming compact. These actions are contrary to the public commitments that this particular tribe made between 2000 and 2002 to the 16 other Indian tribes in Arizona, the State itself, and the voters of the State of Arizona; and they publicly supported the passage of Proposition 202, a State referendum to limit casino gambling in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Mr. Speaker, the bipartisan cosponsors of H.R. 1410 are simply trying to keep all the parties to their publicly stated commitment to the people of Arizona not to engage in gaming in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

    Mr. Speaker, during the subcommittee hearing on this bill, witnesses made clear that there is a problem and a serious threat to the negotiated gaming structure in Arizona if this tribe is able to break its promise and develop a Las Vegas-style casino in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

    {time} 1615 H.R. 1410 prevents an onerous precedent that could lead to an out-of- control expansion of off-reservation casinos as well as dangerous changes to the complexion of tribal gaming in other States across America.

    Mr. Speaker, tribes across this Nation, including many of the other Arizona tribes that played an integral role in the 2002 gaming compact, strongly support this legislation due to the impact this situation could have on tribal gaming enterprises nationally. The bill is also supported by the State of Arizona, the city of Glendale, the city of Litchfield Park, the city of Scottsdale, the city of Tempe, the town of Gilbert, and the editorial board of The Arizona Republic, which is the largest newspaper in the State.

    Additionally, Mr. Speaker, even if the casino weren't in violation of Federal law or contrary to the voter-approved gaming compact, claims that the operation would create jobs and benefit the economy of the surrounding area are woefully misinformed at best and shamefully dishonest at worst.

    Tellingly, multiple organizations, including the city of Glendale, asked that the tribe release the data and methodology supporting their economic study, which was conducted roughly 4 years ago, and to this day the tribe continues to steadfastly refuse. In other words, the tribe released a batch of numbers extolling the supposed amazing economic benefits of this new casino and then refused to tell anybody how they came about finding and coming up with those numbers.

    Mr. Speaker, this bill does not impact any tribe's ability to have lands taken into trust, nor does it impact any water or land claims. Consistent with the intent of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and Proposition 202, this bill merely restricts the ability of tribes to game on the very lands on which they agreed they would not game.

    With that, Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask that my colleagues join me and the Members of Arizona's delegation in supporting this bill.

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