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
Print   Subscribe
Senate considers $2B infusion into Indian Country
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Filed Under: Law | Politics

Update. Sen. Thune said the Senate has agreed to his $2 billion amendment and will include it in the bill by a voice vote. He said $750 million will be used for law enforcement and $250 million for health care, including contract health service and facilities. The $1 billion for water projects remains a part of the amendment.

The Senate began debating a global health bill on Monday that could send $2 billion to Indian Country for law enforcement and water projects.

Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) are leading the charge for the money as part of S.2731, a bill that would provide $50 billion for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and related programs worldwide. The two Republicans question why the United States can't share some of the funding with tribes.

"There are two other needs on our Indian reservations that are drastic, they are emergencies," Kyl said on the Senate floor yesterday, referring to law enforcement and water.

"It's an embarrassment that we in the Congress are not able to meet these requirements for our own Native American population and yet we're willing to spend $50 billion on this foreign aid program," added Kyl, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate.

Thune said his amendment addresses a wide range of law enforcement and justice issues. Half of the $1 billion will go to the Department of Justice for construction, rehabilitation and placement of detention facilities.

A report that was commissioned by the Bush administration recommended the construction of 263 detention facilities at a cost of $8.4 billion over 10 years, Kyl noted.

Another 40 percent would go to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to fund law enforcement personnel and tribal courts. The remaining 10 percent of the $1 billion is dedicated to investigations and prosecutions by the FBI and U.S. Attorneys and for other justice efforts.

"Tribal, state, and federal leaders face a host of challenges in Indian Country, and many of them have roots in inadequate funding and infrastructure for law enforcement," Thune said yesterday.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) vowed to be the "first in line" to vote for the amendment. He said tribes are being "shortchanged and deprived" by the federal government.

"When Sen. Kyl and others come forward and ask use to find money to help Native Americans, they can count on many of us on the Democratic side," said Durbin, the second-highest Democrat in the Senate.

Along with the Thune and Kyl amendment, the Senate will consider 10 amendments to the global health bill. A final vote is expected later this week.

The effort comes at the BIA considers just what it takes to improve law enforcement on reservations. One example is coming from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where the agency is spending $1 million over three months to combat high crime rates.

According to press reports from South Dakota, the "surge" has been successful. But Pat Ragsdale, the director of the BIA's Office of Justice Services, has acknowledged that Operation Dakota Peacekeeper could end once the money runs out.

As part of the Interior Department's budget, Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has increased funding for law enforcement in the past two years. But officials acknowledge the BIA only meets about half of the need for police officers on reservations.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is considering draft legislation to address what Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) calls a "crisis" in public safety on reservations. Thune is co-sponsoring the bill.

Relevant Documents:
Operation Dakota Peacekeeper (BIA) | Draft Discussion Bill | Concept Paper | Press Release

Related Stories:
BIA spends $1M on Standing Rock Sioux 'surge' (7/14)
Column: Sen. Thune takes on law enforcement issues (7/10)
Ex-BIA official cites need for law enforcement (6/24)
Federal prosecutor defends efforts at DOJ (6/20)
Senate panel tackles crime issues in Indian Country (6/20)
Editorial: Funding alone won't help Standing Rock (6/16)
Indian Affairs Committee takes up law bill (6/16)
Editorial: Standing Rock Sioux confront crime (6/13)
Editorial: Standing Rock crime deserves attention (6/10)
Sen. Dorgan plans subpoena over BIA jail report (6/5)
BIA tackles crime on Standing Rock Reservation (6/5)
Sen. Dorgan plans bill to address Indian Country crime (11/20)



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Activists take annual swim to Alcatraz Island (10/21)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives ready for conference and election (10/21)
BIA announces consultations for secretarial election regulation (10/21)
Chelsey Luger & Gyasi Ross: From slow suicide to slow healing (10/21)
Bill John Baker: Addressing breast cancer in our communities (10/21)
ICT interview with Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn of BIA (10/21)
Navajo Nation court still mulling decision in presidential case (10/21)
Column: Billy Mills still inspires 50 years after Olympic victory (10/21)
Editorial: Winnebago Tribe's business makes a big contribution (10/21)
Lincoln Indian Center adopts permanent alcohol ban after party (10/21)
Suquamish Tribe shares fish from hatchery at annual giveaway (10/21)
Editorial: Bad move by Northern Arapaho Tribe on joint council (10/21)
Wisconsin court to hear appeal over Oneida Nation waste plant (10/21)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe reaches out to family that lost home to fire (10/21)
Closure of Chukchansi Tribe's casino affects reservation water (10/21)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe considers casino on ancestral Ohio site (10/21)
Town meeting for Lac Vieux Desert Band off-reservation casino (10/21)
North Fork Rancheria won't give up off-reservation casino plan (10/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation was looking for off-reservation casino (10/21)
Poarch Creeks won't confirm or deny talks for gaming compact (10/21)
Tim Giago: Deaths of Native men in Rapid City remain unsolved (10/20)
Charles 'Chuck' Trimble: Let Crazy Horse's spirit rest in peace (10/20)
Mark Trahant: Races come down to turnout in three key states (10/20)
Native Sun News: Billy Mills wows youth at Black Hills Powwow (10/20)
Cedric Sunray: Tribes abandon traditional aspects of inclusion (10/20)
Dustina Gill: Vote for Rick Weiland to protect our sacred waters (10/20)
Ousted Project Runway contestant reaffirms Puyallup heritage (10/20)
White House Tribal Nations Conference takes place December 3 (10/20)
Bryan Brewer: Park helps Oglala Sioux Tribe protect its culture (10/20)
Robert Porter: Don't let tribal issues fall prey to partisan politics (10/20)
Gabe Galanda: Abramoff's playbook still used in Indian Country (10/20)
Jay Daniels: Let BIA make changes to rights-of-way regulation (10/20)
Mike McBride: Sovereign goodwill at a low in tribal tax dispute (10/20)
Top Navajo Nation court holds hearing in presidential dispute (10/20)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to open resort at ancestral site in Ohio (10/20)
Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas selects Lester Randall as new leader (10/20)
Editorial: Address safety concerns about tribal hunts at night (10/20)
Chukchansi Tribe sends layoff notices to most casino workers (10/20)
Rivals raise nearly $16M to block North Fork Rancheria casino (10/20)
Judge won't let BIA proceed with compact for Pojoaque Pueblo (10/20)
Candidates discuss Menominee Nation's off-reservation casino (10/20)
Opinion: Suckers help Chumash Tribe finance casino expansion (10/20)
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.