Law | Politics

Lawmakers want HUD to restore funding to Cherokee Nation





Two members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation are urging the Obama administration to restore housing funds to the Cherokee Nation.

Rep. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) say a provision in H.R.2786, the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2008 protects the tribe. They want the Department of Housing and Urban Development to release $33 million to the tribe.

"By denying funding, HUD is operating contrary to the intent of Congress," Cole told The Tulsa World

At issue is a provision in Public Law No: 110-411 that states:
SEC. 801. LIMITATION ON USE FOR CHEROKEE NATION.

No funds authorized under this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, or appropriated pursuant to an authorization under this Act or such amendments, shall be expended for the benefit of the Cherokee Nation; provided, that this limitation shall not be effective if the Temporary Order and Temporary Injunction issued on May 14, 2007, by the District Court of the Cherokee Nation remains in effect during the pendency of litigation or there is a settlement agreement which effects the end of litigation among the adverse parties.

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruled on August 22 that the Freedmen are not entitled to citizenship. But Boren and Cole claim the word "litigation" refers not just to the tribal court case but to a pending lawsuit in federal court.

Judge Henry Kennedy will hold a hearing in the case on September 20 at 2pm in Courtroom 27A - 6th Floor of the federal court in Washington, D.C. The Freedmen are asking for their voting rights to be restored for the September 24 principal chief election.

Get the Story:
Boren: Cherokees should get HUD funding (The Tulsa World 9/11)
Boren: Law blocks HUD block of $33M for Cherokees [Alternate Link] (The Tulsa World 9/11)
Cherokees expel slaves’ descendants from tribe, cutting medical care, housing, other services (AP 9/9)

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decision:
Cherokee Nation Registrar v. Nash (August 22, 2011)

Related Stories:
HUD won't release funds to Cherokee Nation in Freedmen flap (9/8)
Judge sets hearing on Freedmen motion for Cherokee election (9/6)
Freedmen eye lawsuit in federal court over Cherokee election (8/30)
Freedmen seek appeal for loss of Cherokee Nation citizenship (8/29)
Jay Tavare: Divide and conquer -- disenrollment among tribes (8/25)
Turtle Talk: Tribal courts, treaty rights and treaty rights disputes (8/25)
Cherokee Freedmen lose right to vote in upcoming chief election (8/24)
Decision allows Cherokee Nation to remove Freedmen from rolls (8/23)