indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: A ride-along with a South Dakota county sheriff (4/17)
Lakota Country Times: Sen. Tester pushes for tribal college funds (4/17)
Native Sun News: Walk hits uranium mining sites on reservations (4/17)
Brandon Ecoffey: Vincent Brewer was a family man and a cowboy (4/17)
Delphine Red Shirt: Restoring our sacred peak to its original name (4/17)
Clara Caufield: A faithful servant to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe (4/17)
Steve Russell: Shocking students with the truth about US history (4/17)
Sunnie Clahchischiligi: Get on board with Ho-Chunk Nation player (4/17)
Navajo Nation candidates enter final stretch of bumpy campaign (4/17)
Man from Tulalip Tribes enters not guilty plea to firearms charge (4/17)
Colorado lawmaker continues tradition of bolo ties on Capitol Hill (4/17)
Editorial: End discrimination against Native Americans in Michigan (4/17)
Editorial: Virginia's tribes need federal recognition from Congress (4/17)
Indiana lawmakers not so welcoming to Pokagon Band casino bid (4/17)
Arizona agency threatens to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (4/17)
Kansas seeks injunction to stop Quapaw Tribe gaming expansion (4/17)
Mohegan Tribe's casino enterprise named one of best employers (4/17)
Native Sun News: Senate field hearing focuses on tribes and coal (4/16)
Lakota Country Times: Program brings healthy food to Pine Ridge (4/16)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Death rituals among the Mohawk people (4/16)
James Giago Davies: Just another crazy breed Lakota in the IHS (4/16)
Karin Eagle: UNITY media summit draws people to reservation (4/16)
Walt Lamar: Addicts in Indian Country turning to spiked heroin (4/16)
Congress passes renewal of Indian Country diabetes program (4/16)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee takes up tribal labor measure (4/16)
Sen. Barrasso highlights 100 days of work on Indian legislation (4/16)
Alaska to make changes to Indian Child Welfare Act procedures (4/16)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe council meeting ends in shouting match (4/16)
Manitoba agrees to pay funeral bill for murdered Native woman (4/16)
New York City approves marker where Indian slaves were sold (4/16)
President of Rosebud Sioux Tribe removed after ethics hearing (4/16)
Colorado House approves bill to restrict use of Indian mascots (4/16)
Lumbee Tribe remains in long quest to gain federal recognition (4/16)
Senate votes to confirm Jonodev Chaudhuri as leader of NIGC (4/16)
Letter raises legal issues for new tribal casinos in Connecticut (4/16)
Mohegan Tribe went to South Korea to discuss potential casino (4/16)
Quapaw Tribe faces opposition over possible casino in Arkansas (4/16)
Colville Tribes plan ceremonial debut of $68M casino next month (4/16)
Rincon Band contributes $9.5M to highway projects near casino (4/16)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux district endorses marijuana (4/15)
Native Sun News: Candidates to debate on tribal college campus (4/15)
Native Sun News: Former police chief runs for Rapid City mayor (4/15)
Mark Trahant: Millions of Native Americans wait on health care (4/15)
Dana Lone Elk: Francis Pumpkin Seed always had a bright smile (4/15)
Stephen Pevar: Tribes and families fight back with ICWA lawsuit (4/15)
Paul Moorehead: Tribes need greater control of their own lands (4/15)
Obama to visit city near Sisseton Wahpeton Reservation in May (4/15)
Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes host honoring for Suzan Shown Harjo (4/15)
DOI issues $10.5M in offers on Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (4/15)
Navajo Nation signs buy-back cooperative agreement with DOI (4/15)
Indian arts organization seeks replacement for top executive (4/15)
National Park Service releases eight grants for NAGPRA efforts (4/15)
Bill introduced in Senate to support placing woman on $20 bill (4/15)
Judge Judy chooses reservation school for graduation speech (4/15)
Museum named after famed Pueblo woman artist closes doors (4/15)
Quick justice for assault of woman on Chitimacha Reservation (4/15)
WBUR: Reporter discusses youth suicide in Oglala Sioux Tribe (4/15)
Editorial: Agua Caliente Band can help ease tensions over land (4/15)
BIA hears from public on Pokagon Band gaming plan in Indiana (4/15)
Fond du Lac Band spars with city over services for urban casino (4/15)
Seminole Tribe faces complaints over business deals at casino (4/15)
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.