Bill to block O’odham casino fails in House — Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX — In a stunning setback for the state and other tribes, the U.S. House failed late Monday to pass legislation that would have blocked the Tohono O’odham Nation from operating a casino adjacent to Glendale.

The vote was 263-146 for the measure sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, in whose district the casino would be located. But Franks and supporters pushed to have the measure heard in an expedited fashion, without opportunity for full-blown debate and floor amendments. And legislation can be approved in that fashion only on a two-thirds vote.

Franks spokeswoman Destiny Edwards said the congressman has no plans “at this time” to bring the measure back through the regular debate process, where he would need only a simple majority in the Republican-controlled House.

Democrat Raúl Grijalva, who led the opposition, said it was a victory for the Tohono O’odham Nation over other tribes, whom he called “outside interests who hoped to use Congress to block competition.”

Monday’s vote means the tribe will be able to open its doors on schedule next month.

Read the full article at the Arizona Daily Star.