Monday, November 16, 2015

WATCH: Arizona Congressmen Go At It Over Glendale Casino, Before Vote To Stop It Falls Short; McSally, Kirkpatrick Cross Party Lines

Arizona's tribal and partisan battles were front and center in Congress today as the House of Representatives again debated and voted on a measure to try to stop the Tohono O'odham Nation from opening their Glendale casino next month.  The House fell shy of the 2/3 majority needed to pass the bill tonight, with a final 263-146 vote.

Earlier in the day, the House (and loyal C-Span viewers) were treated to 40 minutes of Arizona-focused debate, with bill sponsor Rep. Trent Franks (R-CD8) and co-sponsor Paul Gosar (R-CD4) arguing on behalf of the Gila River and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Nations, and Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) and Ruben Gallego (D-CD7) speaking for the Tohono O'odham.

Near the end of the debate, Alaska Republican Don Young (the Chair of the House subcommittee dealing with Native American affairs), claimed that he brought the bill "on behalf of the mostly unanimous Arizona delegation." The boast was not even close, as Arizona's nine Representatives split 5-4, more closely than the rest of the House.

Democratic co-sponsor Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) was one of only 32 Democrats to vote "aye", and Republican Martha McSally (R-CD2) was one of only eight Republicans to vote "nay".

The casino is currently scheduled for a grand opening on December 20.

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