House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank demanded a halt to the implementation of gambling regulations that he said would cause more problems for the financial services industry.
In letters to the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board, the Massachusetts Democrat urged officials to hold off on issuing rules related to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
"This midnight rulemaking will tie the hands of the new administration, burden the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis, and contradict the stated intent of the Financial Services Committee," Mr. Frank wrote in his letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
The act was designed to impel banks to stop payments to online gambling sites. The Fed and the Treasury Department had delayed implementing it in an effort to define unlawful Internet gambling clearly. In September the Financial Services Committee approved legislation to stop the act's implementation until parameters for the definition were better established.
"At our April hearing, the testimony of your representatives and the industry indicated that it would be particularly difficult to craft workable regulations to effectively enforce the statute without having a substantial adverse effect on the payments system," Rep. Frank wrote.
The rules would take effect Jan. 19.