indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Bush administration a no-show at Campbell hearing
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) lashed out at the Bush administration on Wednesday for failing to send a witness to his hearing on a bill to expand the self-governance program.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson was on the witness list but couldn't attend due to his travel schedule, which had taken him overseas. However, the department didn't send anyone to take his place "for reasons beyond my understanding," Campbell said.

"I have to say as a matter of record that I'm not at all pleased with the response we've gotten from the administration when we're taking up Indian issues that I really believe are measured to try to help Indian tribes become more independent," he added.

The remarks were the latest in a string of critiques against several federal agencies. For several months, Campbell has repeatedly noted his disappointment with the administration's stance on bills that have widespread tribal support.

Tribal leaders who testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee agreed. They accused the administration of ignoring Indians and of objecting when tribes try to take greater control of their affairs.

"The government does not put a priority on the health care of Indians," said Don Kashevaraoff, the president of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

HHS officials attributed the no-show to a mix-up in communication. Thompson was not set to return to the country until today, one spokesperson said, although he ended up coming back a day early. In either case, he would not have been scheduled to testify, according to the department.

But Campbell has run into problems with the department more than once this year. When he asked Dr. Charles Grim, the director of the Indian Health Service, to testify on his agency's new budget back in February, HHS officials balked because Thompson had not yet finished his Capitol Hill rounds.

And when the hearing was finally held, Grim couldn't attend due to personal reasons. Campbell wasn't pleased with the absence.

Those feelings festered in recent weeks as HHS and other Bush officials testified against every single bill he has introduced. "An awful lot of agencies in Washington are scared to death of any kind of change that might benefit tribes," he said late last month.

Yesterday, Campbell called S.1696, the Department of Health and Human Services Tribal Self-Governance Amendments Act, the "next logical measured step" to advancing tribal interests. It would enable up to 50 tribes to take over a wide range of programs at HHS, including foster care, Head Start and substance and mental health programs.

Ron Allen, chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe of Washington, said self-governance, which started out as a pilot project a decade ago but is now law, has been an "unequivocal success." "It is effective, it is efficient," he told the committee.

Yet officials at federal agencies don't want to give up "their precious programs" to tribes, he said. This attitude "is really in the way of the future in terms of Indian communities," he said.

Alvin Windy Boy, chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana, said self-governance has been important to his rural reservation because it has led to improved health care services. "We've got to get that flexibility from this administration, from HHS," he said. The tribe currently operates several programs identified in Campbell's bill.

So does the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, said tribal executive Mickey Peercy. The tribe, which has the third largest enrollment in the country, joined the self-governance program because "We're bound to be able to do a better job than the IHS," he testified.

Campbell, who is retiring at the end of this year, has said his proposals face uncertain futures in light of opposition from the administration. "Perhaps them not being here is an indication they support the bill and just don't want to tell us," he said.

Related Stories:
Tribes endorsed for child foster care funds (5/19)
Senate panel to consider health self-governance bill (05/19)
Campbell warns BIA's Anderson of 'Washington' attitude (05/13)
Campbell says agencies afraid of helping tribes (04/30)
Campbell bill to address contract support costs (4/28)
BIA critical of main components of recognition bill (04/22)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: Greedy lawyers and government ruin Cobell settlement (8/27)
Native Sun News: Facility in Montana set to house Indian inmates (8/27)
Gerald Gipp: National strategy needed to reform Indian education (8/27)
9th Circuit won't stop repatriation of Kumeyaay Nation ancestors (8/27)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts youth to work for summer (8/27)
Gabe Galanda: Academia won't tackle tribal disenrollment issue (8/27)
Misty Lynn Ellingburg: 'Four Winds' is a literary magazine for us (8/27)
Declination rates for Indian Country crime steady for third year (8/27)
DOJ awards grants to address violence in Bakken energy region (8/27)
Another pipeline spills saltwater on reservation in North Dakota (8/27)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (8/27)
Once rival factions of Chukchansi Tribe agree to 2015 election (8/27)
Three brothers on the ballot for Passamaquoddy Tribe election (8/27)
Daily Beast: Border Patrol runs free on Tohono O'odham Nation (8/27)
KTOO: Cook Inlet Tribe turns to video game to represent culture (8/27)
Former IHS information security officer convicted for child porn (8/27)
Crow Reservation murder defendant to make court appearance (8/27)
Texas authorities seek information about skull at Goodwill store (8/27)
Cherokee Nation police find man who disappeared 37 years ago (8/27)
9th Circuit sets oral arguments in Big Lagoon Rancheria dispute (8/27)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe cuts gaming payment to state (8/27)
State raises concerns about Chumash Tribe's casino expansion (8/27)
Cowlitz Tribe sees setback in infrastructure plan for casino site (8/27)
Native Sun News: Tribes take on Air Force over expansion plan (8/26)
Charles Trimble: Pine Ridge -- the Hollywood of Indian Country (8/26)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois on both sides for War of 1812 (8/26)
Heather Kendall-Miller: GOP candidate a threat to Native rights (8/26)
Fired Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer indicted for taser incident (8/26)
Sen. Jon Tester to hold session on trafficking in Indian Country (8/26)
Hoopa Valley Tribe takes action due to large number of arsons (8/26)
Non-recognized tribe in Texas hails ruling in eagle feather case (8/26)
Jodi Lee Spotted Bear: Supporting Native language immersion (8/26)
Proposal filed for Wampanoag language public charter school (8/26)
Gila River Indian Community mourns loss of first female leader (8/26)
Jose Barreiro: Indigenous leaders hold historic meeting in Cuba (8/26)
Tribes use reservations to restore rare and endangered species (8/26)
Rival factions unite in takeover attempt within Chukchansi Tribe (8/26)
Darlene Miller seeks to be first female Seneca Nation president (8/26)
7th Circuit bars tribal jurisdiction in Indian payday loan dispute (8/26)
Law school in Colorado sets conference on sovereign immunity (8/26)
Mississippi Choctaw family believes same person behind deaths (8/26)
Cherokee Nation to break ground on casino on Indian allotment (8/26)
Stillaguamish Tribe finally secures reservation status for casino (8/26)
Mashantucket Tribe to open retail concourse at casino on Friday (8/26)
Opinion: Predatory gaming companies exploit tribes and patrons (8/26)
Caesars Entertainment debuts $442M urban casino in Baltimore (8/26)
Tim Giago: Farewell to my childhood friend Eugene Long Soldier (8/25)
Mark Trahant: Tapping the power of social media for Native vote (8/25)
Native Sun News: Laguna Pueblo still affected by uranium mine (8/25)
Oliver Semans: Seeing the light on Native voting rights struggle (8/25)
John Hopkins: Navajo Nation Council delegate makes bad choice (8/25)
James Mills: Non-Indian firm helps tribes create stronger nations (8/25)
Navajo voters to narrow field of 17 candidates for president's job (8/25)
Judge Humetewa hands down sentence in Indian child abuse case (8/25)
Scientists publish lengthy book based on study of Kennewick Man (8/25)
Rival tribe spends big in fight over Tohono O'odham Nation casino (8/25)
Eastern Cherokees resist Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina (8/25)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe seeking investors for Class II facility (8/25)
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.