Although Sen. Harry Reid supported Rep. Shelley Berkley in Tuesday’s election that saw Sen. Dean Heller narrowly defeat Berkley, Reid is prepared to put party differences aside and work with Heller on the passage of the Reid-Kyl online poker bill.
“Dean Heller and I have been friends for 25 years,” Reid told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I have affection for Dean Heller. I like him a lot. We will be able to work together.”
That is good news for U.S. poker players who would love to see the Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012 passed in the lame-duck session of Congress. Observers agree that the bill requires the efforts of both Nevada Senators in order to stand a chance. Though the tension of campaigning and a much-publicized spat between the two lawmakers in September gives the appearance of a tumultuous relationship, Reid was quick to point out that his differences of opinion with Heller were way overblown.
“As far as big blowups, that was so minor in my life,” Reid said of the squabble that erupted when he felt that Heller showed a “failure of leadership” in not garnering enough GOP support for the measure. Both lawmakers also disagreed on the proper place for the bill’s introduction—the Senate or the House.
Heller also dismissed the dispute as run-of-the-mill “rough and tumble” politics. “He had a job to do, and I had a job to do,” Heller said. “That doesn’t make it any less difficult for us to work together. Now that we put this campaign behind us, I’m sure Senator Reid and myself will have an opportunity to sit down and talk. And we’ll solve the problems Nevada faces, and we’ll do it together.”