indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs comes under new leadership

Filed Under: National | Politics
More on: 114th, 115th, democrats, john barrasso, john hoeven, jon tester, republicans, scia, senate, tom udall
     
   

Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) is the new chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Photo: SCIA

Members of Congress got back to work this week and ushered in new leadership for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the committee during the 115th Congress. They pledged to work together to address economic, health, education and other issues in Indian Country.

“I am honored to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and look forward to working with Vice Chairman Udall and members of the committee to pass legislation that helps improve the lives of people across Indian Country," Hoeven said in a press release on Thursday. "In our roles, we will address the issues of job creation, natural resource management, health care, education, public safety and housing in Indian communities. We will also make it a priority to promote economic growth. Jobs and economic growth are the priorities that will help Indian families, communities and businesses succeed.”

"With the Indian Affairs Committee’s proud tradition of bipartisan cooperation in mind, I am very much looking forward to working with Chairman Hoeven and all our committee members to help secure progress for Indian Country," said Udall.


Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) is the new vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Photo: SCIA

"The U.S. Senate has a duty to support tribal communities in their work to build sustainable economies and good schools, provide quality health care, maintain access to clean air and water, and protect the deep Native American connection to culture and tradition," Udall added. "Native Americans have faced, and continue to face, great challenges and injustices – and while we have made progress, it is abundantly clear that we have much work to do to improve government-to-government consultation with tribes and to ensure environmental justice."

Hoeven and Udall have big shoes to fill. Under the leadership of Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the committee convened an impressive number of hearings, meetings and listening sessions, during the 114th Congress, which ended in December. The panel also passed a slew of bills, a number of which were signed into law,

“I look forward to working closely with them both, and with all the committee members, to pass legislation that will empower tribal communities and will strengthen the government-to-government relationship the United States shares with tribes," said Barrasso, the prior chair.

Tester, the prior vice chair, added: “I am confident that during this session of Congress the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will continue its long history of working across the aisle to promote tribal sovereignty and strengthen economic opportunities, health care and education for all Native American and Alaska Native families.”

While the leadership of the committee has changed, the membership is largely staying the same. On the Republican side, Hoeven and Barrasso are being joined by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas). The same eight Republicans served on the panel during the last session of Congress.

On the Democratic side, Udall and Tester are being joined by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota). All six Democrats served on the committee during the 114th Congress.

But in a sign of the slight shift in power in the Senate, Democrats are gaining another seat on the committee, for a total of seven. It will be taken by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a new member of Congress from Nevada.

Republicans still hold the majority on the committee, which typically acts in a bipartisan fashion. There were a couple of instances in the 115th Congress where Democrats were outnumbered and were unable to stop controversial legislation from advancing although those bills never became law.

Overall, Republicans control 52 seats in the Senate while Democrats control 46. Two independents -- including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- align themselves with Democrats, bringing the party's total to 48.

Related Stories:
John Barrasso: Working together for better lives in Indian Country (12/29)
Sen. John Barrasso passing on gavel at Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (12/07)
Democrats pick new vice chair for Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (11/16)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe blasts Trump claim of 'constant contact' (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe calls out Trump 'lies' on Dakota Access (2/24)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge residents worried about water (2/24)
Editorial: Shutting down Whiteclay won't address our addictions (2/24)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Indigenous people still struggle in America (2/24)
Steve Russell: To all the indigenous writers being born out there (2/24)
Connecticut tribes plan to announce site for potential new casino (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe slams Trump for lack of consultation (2/23)
Native Sun News Today: Tribes asked to participate in 'land grab' (2/23)
Mark Trahant: A victory on Indian health from Washington state (2/23)
James Giago Davies: We've become too proud of our ignorance (2/23)
Cronkite News: Plant closure impacts Hopi and Navajo workers (2/23)
Peter d'Errico: Book is yet another in series of genocide deniers (2/23)
Tanya Lee: Republicans run amok as America focuses on Trump (2/23)
Radio show host in Montana calls Indian basketball fans 'unruly' (2/23)
Congressman who was advocate for Indian Country passes on (2/23)
Yakama Nation debuts hotel as part of $90M casino expansion (2/23)
Meskwaki Tribe ordered to pay damages for incident at casino (2/23)
Indian Country joins legal push to block Dakota Access Pipeline (2/22)
Dakota Access offers up March 6 as earliest date for completion (2/22)
Trump administration opposes injunction against Dakota Access (2/22)
Trump team puts hold on pro-tribal Dakota Access legal opinion (2/22)
Arne Vainio: Finding some medicine in the woods and by the fire (2/22)
Wyoming tribes lose major ruling in reservation boundary case (2/22)
Native Sun News Today: #NoDAPL campsites see their final days (2/22)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Dakota Access is everything wrong with US (2/22)
United Keetoowah Band interested in pursuing casino in Georgia (2/22)
Kalispel Tribe announces $20M casino expansion in Washington (2/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs still failing on online security measures (2/21)
Mary Annette Pember: Indigenous people can't ever back down (2/21)
Harold Monteau: Democrats to blame for President Donald Trump (2/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation leaders share concerns about border wall (2/21)
Pacific Northwest tribes finally rebury remains of Kennewick Man (2/21)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe affirms election results after recount (2/21)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe hopes to see return of casino business (2/21)
Bureau of Indian Affairs confirms Wilton Rancheria casino in trust (2/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.