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Senate Committee on Indian Affairs considers new round of bills






The Lone Pine In-lieu Fishing Site in Oregon is one of 31 sites along the Columbia River where tribal members endure substandard living conditions despite ceding millions of acres to the United States. Photo: Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is holding its second business meeting of the 115th Congress.

The panel already advanced nine bills at its first meeting in February. Five more are on the agenda this Wednesday:
S.304, the Tribal Veterans Health Care Enhancement Act. The bill amends the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to allow the Indian Health Service to cover the cost of a copayment of an Indian or Alaska Native Veteran receiving medical care or services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
S.343, the Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes Act (RESPECT Act). The bill repeals certain outdated federal laws that have been called "hateful" and "paternalistic."
S.381, a bill to remove the state of Iowa from criminal matters involving citizens of the Meskwaki Tribe on their settlement lands.
S.607, the Native American Business Incubators Program Act. The bill establishes a business incubators program within the Department of the Interior to promote economic development in Indian Country.
S.669, the Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty Fishing Access Sites Improvement Act. The bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to assess sanitation and safety conditions at treaty fishing facilities along the Columbia River.

None of the bills received a hearing this year but similar versions were considered during the last session of Congress. Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), the new chairman of the committee, has placed a priority on advancing legislation with bipartisan support.

The business meeting takes place at 2:30pm Eastern on Wednesday in Room 628 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building. It will be immediately followed by a hearing on Native youth and diabetes.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice:
Business Meeting to Consider S. 304, S. 343, S. 381, S. 607, & S. 669 (March 29, 2017)

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