Casino Crony Kickback: Reid, Heller Slip Las Vegas Tourism Handout Into Immigration Bill

Photo Credit: Breitbart

Photo Credit: Breitbart

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) have inserted a provision that amounts to little more than a handout to Las Vegas casinos into the repackaged immigration reform bill, Breitbart News has learned. This provision, a brazen example of crony capitalism, was inserted into the immigration law enforcement section of the bill despite the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with “immigration” or “law enforcement.”

On page 66 of the repackaged bill, the following provision appears:

“CORPORATION FOR TRAVEL PROMOTION.—Sec- 9(d)(2)(B) of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (22 U.S.C. 2131(d)(2)(B)) is amended by striking ‘‘For each of fiscal years 2012 through 2015,’’ and inserting ‘‘For each fiscal year after 2012.”

The Travel Promotion Act (TPA) of 2009 allows the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to spend up to $100 million on promoting travel to specific areas of the country. If the provision Reid and Heller inserted into the proposed immigration reform legislation becomes law, the benefits of the TPA would be extended indefinitely.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Jena McNeill wrote in June 2009, the Travel Promotion Act creates “a government-run public relations campaign funded by a tax on international visitors.” After the law was passed, the PR campaign touting Las Vegas casinos and other tourist destinations in the U.S. using that tax was rolled into a government-run corporation called “Brand USA.” In October 2012, Jim DeMint and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report that “reveals a history of waste, abuse, patronage, and lax oversight” with the Brand USA program and the Department of Commerce that oversees it.

Read more from this story HERE.

  • liberty49

    Ann Coulter is right. Any Republican who votes for this bill MUST be defeated in the next election. Nothing crooked that Reid does surprises me anymore. He has got to be the most crooked Congressman in Washington, even with so much competition!

  • 4USA2

    Hidden Agenda’s in bills seems to be “the norm” any more. Join the side that wants to “save America”, not destroy it! Get a voice, speak out now, before it’s too late. All legislation bills should be read in full, on the Senate and House floors, then RELEASED to the public, before they are passed. Don’t sit idle, friends, start yelling loud and clear, now!

  • fatman45

    Et tu, Senator Heller? I thought you were one of the good guys. You always have been in the past. I will be calling your office tomorrow.