Home > News > More Headlines > On Indian issues Senate gets a sense of itself
Printer friendly version
On Indian issues, Senate gets a sense of itself
THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003

After a lengthy Vote-a-Rama that forced the cancellation of an anticipated Indian gaming hearing, the Senate on Wednesday passed a $2.2 trillion budget for the next fiscal year.

The 56 to 44 vote was largely along party lines, with only six Democrats supporting the resolution. It came a day after Republicans failed to stop Democrats from cutting President Bush's $726 billion tax breaks in half.

That wasn't the only partisan rally. On Tuesday, all Republicans voted against a measure that would have doubled funds for the Indian Health Service (IHS). Senate minority leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) wanted to add $2.9 billion to the agency.

"Native Americans and Alaskan Natives have a guarantee under law and treaty that we provide health benefits to them and to their families," Daschle said on the floor on Tuesday. "They are not getting it today."

But 47 Democrats and one independent couldn't get the amendment passed. Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said it was just "too great" to bear. "I understand there are a lot of problems in Indian Health Service," he observed. "We have some of those in my State as well. It doesn't solve it by saying we should have an 86 percent increase in growth in this function."

In came a replacement that offered a "sense" of the Senate about the "importance of Native American health." To wit: Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), members of the Senate Senate Indian Affairs Committee, offered to raise the IHS budget to $3.208 million.

"In addition, it includes a sense of the Senate that Congress recognizes the need for prevention and research for a major disease in the Native American community, which is diabetes," Campbell said.

The amendment passed by a voice vote.

The Senate knocked some more sense into itself with some language regarding tribal colleges. Apparently, the Budget Committee concluded, the Bush administration isn't committed to post-secondary education.

"While Congress has been increasing the annual appropriations for tribal colleges in recent years, the President's fiscal year 2004 budget recommends a $4,000,000 decrease in institutional operating funds," the budget resolution states. "The combination of annual increases in enrollments, reduced federal funding, and the addition of two new tribal colleges would result in a devastating decrease in funding of $540 per student below the fiscal year 2003 estimate."

In total, there were 171 amendments to S.Con.Res.23. Most of the votes took place yesterday and the day before. The busy schedule kept the Indian Affairs Committee from calling a couple of witnesses to testify about regulation of the $12 billion Indian gaming industry. A new hearing is planned.

Then there is the issue of the House, which lacked sense on Native American health and Tribal Colleges and Universities and didn't touch President Bush's tax cut. Lawmakers will have to resolve the funding and tax differences soon.

Relevant Documents:
Budget Resolution: S.Con.Res.23

Related Stories:
GOP rejects IHS funding measure (3/26)
Senate panel cancels Indian gaming hearing (3/26)
Budget measure would double IHS funds (3/25)

Copyright © Indianz.Com

Stay Connected

On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud

More Headlines

Senate committee to host roundtable on Tribal Law and Order Act (2/8)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee postpones field hearing into EPA (2/8)
Harold Monteau: Democrats stack the deck for only one candidate (2/8)
Apology offered to girls who were forced to change Navajo hairstyle (2/5)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders campaign starts Indian policy group (2/5)
Charles Trimble: Taking responsibility for upkeep of our cemeteries (2/5)
Mary Annette Pember: Memorial to Indian genocide eyed in Russia (2/5)
Terese Marie Mailhot: I guess I'm just one of those 'crazy' Indians (2/5)
Judge weighs compromise for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (2/5)
Blackfeet Nation welcomes movement on water rights settlement (2/5)
Yakama Nation wins decision on cost of cleaning up contamination (2/5)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe confident of casino bid despite lawsuit (2/5)
Arizona sees 6.9 percent boost in gaming contributions from tribes (2/5)
Cowlitz Tribe close to reaching agreement with city for new casino (2/5)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation questions exclusion from casino process (2/5)
Tribal leaders question management changes at IHS in Great Plains (2/4)
IHS chief medical officer apologizes for comments about newborns (2/4)
Group sues IHS for records about water pollution on Yakama Nation (2/4)
Sen. McCain still bothered by failure to block Arizona tribe's casino (2/4)
Gun Lake Tribe announces retirement of longtime chair DK Sprague (2/4)
House Natural Resources Committee passes Indian bills at markup (2/4)
Samuel Winder: Indian defendants face harsher criminal penalties (2/4)
Charles Kader: Tribal burial grounds in Florida are being desecrated (2/4)
Roger Chelsey: Pamunkey Tribe clears last hurdle for federal status (2/4)
Reno Sparks Indian Colony mourns passing of leader William Coffey (2/4)
Native students convince school to name Indigenous People's Day (2/4)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe supports move to Indigenous People's Day (2/4)
Coquille Tribe donates $100K to help college with health programs (2/4)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes help inmates reintegrate (2/4)
Little River Band hails BIA movement on off-reservation casino bid (2/4)
Lac Vieux Desert Band reopens hotel after disease scare at casino (2/4)
Eastern Cherokee council revives plan for bowling alley at casino (2/4)
Mark Trahant: Self-determination should be on table for campaign (2/3)
Bernie Sanders won Democratic precinct on Meskwaki Reservation (2/3)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes two water bills at meeting (2/3)
House committee approves Lytton Band bill with casino limitation (2/3)
Wounded Warriors Family Support reaches out to tribal veterans (2/3)
James Giago Davies: Only one candidate can help Indian Country (2/3)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation creates opportunity with casino (2/3)
Laura Waterman Wittstock: Horrors at facility for 'insane' Indians (2/3)
Tim Evans: Menominee Nation loses contract support costs case (2/3)
Indian Health Service makes changes ahead of big SCIA hearing (2/3)
Native man from Canada charged over death of eagle in Nevada (2/3)
Choctaw Nation plans work on $219M headquarters next month (2/3)
more headlines...

Advertisement

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.