Online Gaming Bill: Congressional Debate Should Include Pro-Liberty, Pro-Federalism Voices
We at CFIF believe that the issue of online gaming should remain something addressed at the state level, as opposed to a new one-size-fits all nationwide ban over all 50 states. We therefore oppose proposed federal legislation deceptively named the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).
Rather than disrespect the foundational concept of state sovereignty in our federal system, not to mention the principles of free markets and individual consumer choice, it would be better for Congress to simply maintain existing law. After all, what reasonable person today believes that even more federal regulation of something traditionally left to states and individual Americans should be commandeered by federal bureaucrats within a one-size-fits all straightjacket? On the heels of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moving last week to regulate Internet service as a “public utility,” that question is particularly potent regarding something affecting the Internet sector.
Unfortunately, some in Congress don’t even appear interested in allowing a balanced debate of the pending legislation. As detailed by Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner this week, a subcommittee hearing on RAWA is overloaded with witnesses there to support the bill. Efforts to persuade the subcommittee to allow greater ideological balance, or even to permit equal time in a separate conference room, apparently fell of deaf ears.
That obviously suggests fear on the part of proponents of the proposed bill that equal time would undermine their case, and at any rate it certainly doesn’t satisfy fundamental concepts of fairness and open debate. The proposed legislation is bad enough. But for proponents to resort to questionable tactics in advancing it only makes things worse.