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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kimberly Teehee (202) 225-3611
U.S. REPRESENTATIVES DALE E. KILDEE AND J.D. HAYWORTH, CO-CHAIRS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN CAUCUS, ANNOUNCE THAT
THE HOUSE VOTED TODAY TO STRIKE TWO ANTI-INDIAN PROVISIONS IN THE FY 2003 INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Today, U.S. Representatives Kildee (D-MI) and Hayworth (R-AZ), Co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, led the fight today in a bi-partisan manner to persuade Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to accept two amendments that strike anti-Indian provisions from the FY 2003 Interior Appropriations bill. The House voted to adopt the amendments striking the offensive language. Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV), Democratic Senior Member of the House Resources Committee, offered one amendment with Representatives Kildee and Hayworth cosponsoring the proposal. The Rahall/Kildee/Hayworth amendment strikes language in the funding bill that would have limited the federal government's accountability to American Indians by restricting an historical accounting of Indian trust funds from the period of 1985 to 2000. This language would presume that Indian trust fund records before 1985 were correct. House members voted to approve the amendment by a vote of 281 - 144.
The second amendment sponsored by Representatives J.D. Hayworth and Kildee strikes provisions that would have established a Commission to examine Native American policy. Funding for the Commission would have come from the Bureau of Indian Affairs--Operation of Indian programs which funds welfare assistance payments, housing improvements, roads, education, tribal courts, law enforcement and other programs that improve the quality of life and economic potential of Indian reservations. The Hayworth/Kildee amendment passed the House by a vote of 273 - 151.
Of the victories, Representative Kildee said, "the vote today protected Indian trust funds for which the U.S. government has a moral and legal responsibility to manage. In addition, the House was able to show the Indian tribes today that another federal study would not be imposed upon them that would have taken money away from their real needs like education, housing, roads, law enforcement and tribal courts."
Representative Hayworth said of the votes today, "the bipartisan message to Washington on behalf of Indian Country was strong and clear: put 'trust' back in Native American trust funds by making a full accounting, and honor tribal sovereignty on gaming issues. I couldn't be more pleased on behalf of our tribal nations with the overwhelming votes of support today."
Of the Native American Caucus, Representative Kildee said, "I'm happy that since I founded the bipartisan Caucus five years ago, we've not lost a single pro-Indian vote." The Vice-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Dave Camp (R-MI), also spoke in favor of adoption of the amendments.
Cobell v Norton 7/17/2002 Web Alert - Related document
Cobell v Norton is a class action suit against the federal government regarding mismanagement of IIM [Individual Indian Monies] trust accounts (billions of dollars in oil, gas, coal, timber and other revenue derived from more than 11 million acres of land held in trust for the benefit of 500,000 current individual Indian trust beneficiaries)
This Site first became aware of this IMPORTANT lawsuit (for everyone) when an email with the following article arrived the first of March, 2001.
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Cobell v Norton Updates Page
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