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IN NASHVILLE, NEWT SAYS NYET TO FRANCHISE LEGISLATION
Published July 2, 1996
House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) told Nashville residents yesterday that no legislation will pass Congress that prevents the Oilers from moving to Nashville, according to John Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Gingrich "referred specifically" to a bill sponsored by Rep. Martin Hoke (R-OH) that "would force the NFL to give Houston another team should the Oilers move to Nashville by '98 as planned." The NFL has said it would rescind its vote allowing the Oilers to move if Hoke's bill is passed. Gingrich, speaking at a GOP fundraiser, said "you have my commitment that nothing will be done in the U.S. House which will in any way hinder Nashville from getting a team and that [Hoke's bill] will be taken care of." The House Speaker also said he planned to defeat any legislation that would make it more difficult to build a stadium, as officials "are worried about a bill" filed by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) that would outlaw tax-exempt bond financing for stadiums (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/2). SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, MISTER SPEAKER: Hoke said that Gingrich's comments will not stop his legislation. Hoke said Gingrich spoke to him yesterday and "reconfirmed his support for" the bill, adding that Gingrich "also made it crystal clear that he won't allow the NFL to use Nashville as a pawn." Hoke: "I fully expect this bill to be on the floor after the August recess" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/2).