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
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
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Cobell settlement checks landing in Indian Country mailboxes (9/18)
Sen. Walsh welcomes arrival of last Cobell settlement payout (9/18)
Rep. Daines praises House action on tribal general welfare bill (9/18)
Peter d'Errico: Connecting mascots to racism and termination (9/18)
Opinion: Eliminating NFL team's racist mascot is just the start (9/18)
Student newspaper punished over refusal to print the R-word (9/18)
City won't allow vote on Tohono O'odham Nation casino plan (9/18)
9th Circuit poses tough questions in Big Lagoon casino case (9/18)
North Fork Rancheria banks on voter approval of casino deal (9/18)
KBIC judge dismisses lawsuit challenging plan for new casino (9/18)
Oneida Nation concerned about location of commercial casino (9/18)
Mashantucket Tribe's gaming executive to resign next month (9/18)
Column: Time for Mohegan Tribe to show its hand over casino (9/18)
Native Sun News: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe honors veterans (9/17)
Mark Trahant: Is independence in the future for tribal nations? (9/17)
Audio: SCIA takes up bill to bar Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/17)
House approves bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/17)
House Natural Resources Committee sets markup on tribal bills (9/17)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on bill for Hualapai Tribe (9/17)
9th Circuit takes up Big Lagoon Rancheria gaming land dispute (9/17)
House passes bill to shield Gun Lake Tribe casino from litigation (9/17)
Andre Cramblit: Enjoying life at Dartmouth as a Native student (9/17)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tribes need to lead climate change reform (9/17)
Sarah Deer wins genius grant for work to protect Native women (9/17)
Tex Hall loses bid for another term as chair of North Dakota tribe (9/17)
Group starts dragging of river in search of missing Native women (9/17)
Appeal filed over Navajo language ability of presidential hopeful (9/17)
Trial delayed for leader of Muscogee Nation accused in theft case (9/17)
Editorial: Pass bill to extend federal recognition to Virginia tribes (9/17)
NLRB reaffirms jurisdiction over Little River Band gaming facility (9/17)
Chumash Tribe to use labor unions for all work on casino project (9/17)
Student arrested over theft at Saginaw Chippewa Tribe's casino (9/17)
Native Sun News: Homeless students find support in Rapid City (9/16)
Checks from final payment of Cobell settlement put in the mail (9/16)
DOI offers $9.4M for Cobell buy-backs on Umatilla Reservation (9/16)
House takes up bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/16)
Tribal leaders headed to Capitol Hill to push legislative priorities (9/16)
NMAI hosts symposium on treaties to coincide with new exhibit (9/16)
Witnesses: Hearing on bill to bar Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/16)
Rival tribes spend $13M to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/16)
Mark Charles: Trail of Tears sign points to much deeper problem (9/16)
Donna Ennis: Don't let ethnic imposters take away our identity (9/16)
Serial killer sentenced to life term for murder of Native woman (9/16)
Civil rights complaint filed over repeated denial of honor song (9/16)
Sen. Cantwell to introduce bill to end NFL's tax-exempt status (9/16)
House backs package to transfer federal land to Te-Moak Tribe (9/16)
Fort Belknap Tribe detained state game warden for trespassing (9/16)
Mohegan Tribe to open first Smashburger location in December (9/16)
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.