Opinion

ICT interview with Rep. Daines on election and Indian issues






Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana) at the Crow Native Days Parade on the Crow Reservation in Montana. June 27, 2014. Photo from Flickr

Indian Country Today interviews Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana) about his campaign for U.S. Senate and his stance on Indian issues:
Democrats tend to do better at getting Indian votes, but Republicans have done some strong things for tribes, like advancing self-determination, supporting bipartisan pro-tribal legislation, and the two members of Congress who are Native American right now are Republicans. Why is the outreach from Republicans not happening as well as you would like?

I can’t speak on behalf of other Republicans, but I want to be an example and a model for them on the Hill to show them the importance of actions speaking louder than words. My actions are spending time with the tribes, but then, importantly, coming back to Washington and getting things done on behalf of tribes.

Both you and Sen. Walsh have told me now how important it is for actions to speak louder than words when you work on behalf of tribes. Both of you are implying that you will take more action for tribes than the other candidate. How can you promise that you will really do more than Sen. Walsh?

Well, I think it comes down to actually getting bills moved through committee. I spent 28 years in business, and I look at results. We need to get results for these tribes. We’re starting to make some progress with the Crow Tribe, working on their natural resource issues. They want to continue to develop their natural resources. Philosophically, I believe in standing up for the rights of the states and standing up for the rights of the sovereign tribes. I see those as parallel philosophies. I fight on behalf of the state of Montana every day, but I also fight on behalf of the sovereignty of Indian country and tribal nations.

Get the Story:
Rep. Daines Talks Cobell and the Need for GOP to Connect With Tribes (Indian Country Today 7/14)

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Rep. Daines introduces bill for tribal control of Cobell buy-back (07/03)