Nearly 100 people gathered on the downtown square in Tyler Thursday morning to greet U.S. Sen. John Cornyn during one of his last campaign stops before Election Day.
While many attendees came to support the candidate and get their pictures taken with him, others came to protest Cornyn’s opposition of bill H.R. 759, which amends the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act.
According to a summary on the U.S. Congress website, this amendment would “restore the federal trust relationship between the United States and the tribe, to prohibit the Act from being construed to preclude or limit the applicability of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”
In short, the bill would allow electronic bingo at the Livingston and El Paso facilities. Proponents of the bill cite larges losses of revenue and jobs for the tribal areas as their reasons for support. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in July 2019, but has been awaiting a vote by the Senate since then.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Cornyn have both spoken out against the bill and urged senators not to pass it. Cornyn previously sent a letter voicing his concerns to the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
“Under Texas law, most forms of gambling are prohibited, including on Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta tribal lands,” Cornyn wrote in part. “In light of these legal and policy disagreements between the Texas state government and these tribes, I request any committee hearings concerning this legislation be postponed until these parties have reached a resolution or agreement.”
Cornyn is facing against Democratic political newcomer and U.S. Air Force veteran MJ Hegar on Nov. 3.