Stevens not afraid to use riders to push policy
Monday, November 10, 2003

How many riders is Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) riding on this year? The Anchorage Daily News counts at least three, including a complex one affecting the fisheries industry in the state.

Stevens makes no apologies for his use of language that he inserts with little public debate or formal hearings. He says riders are sometimes necessary because the committees of jurisdiction fail to enact legislation on important issues.

As the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Stevens has power over the 13 federal spending bills. This year, he has two riders in the Commerce, Justice and State bill that affect Native interests, one in the Interior bill and is considering another in the Housing and Urban Development bill.

Tribal leaders are opposing a rider that would deny federal funds to their tribal courts and law enforcement systems. The money would instead go to the state, which the tribes say has long ignored them.

The fisheries rider benefits Aleut Corp., which is an Alaska Native corporation but not a tribe. It grants the corporation exclusive rights to catch and process pollock in the Aleutian Chain, a deal reportedly worth $10 million.

The housing rider would deny federal funds to tribes and redirect them to regional Native associations.

Get the Story:
Stevens' way of lawmaking draws fans, critics (The Anchorage Daily News 11/9)
Controversial rider would parcel out crab catch (The Anchorage Daily News 11/9)

Relevant Links:
Sen. Ted Stevens -

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