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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Hoping Bill Saves Bacon

March 19, 2019

A Cape Cod congressman is trying to fast-track a bill that would enable the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to build a casino in Taunton.

U.S. Representative William Keating (D-Bourne) told The Cape Cod Times that the U.S. House of Representatives could take up the bill as early as Monday, March 25.

If it becomes law, the bill would allow the tribe to put land in Taunton into a federal trust, which would allow the tribe to pursue a $1 billion casino supported by most voters in the city but opposed by neighbors.

The bill seeks to flip a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that interpreted the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 as applying only to Indian tribes recognized by the federal government when the act was approved. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe gained federal recognition only in 2007.

The tribe is in tough financial straits, down to $83,670 in 2018, according to The Cape Cod Times.

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