FROM THE ARCHIVE

House to debate DOI funding bill

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TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2002

The House will debate the Department of Interior's fiscal year 2003 budget bill this afternoon.

Tribes and the plaintiffs in the Indian trust fund class action are opposing a number of provisions in the bill that affect an historical accounting of the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust. The provisions were cleared by the House Appropriations Committee.

Members of the House Resources Committee are planning a challenge today. The panel's ranking member, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), and leaders of the bipartisan Congressional Native American Caucus hope to eliminate the provisions.

The National Congress of American Indians, the nation's largest inter-tribal organization, said the limits on the historical accounting were "harmful." NCAI also opposes the creation of an Indian policy commission, citing previous work on the issue.

The plaintiffs in the Cobell v. Norton lawsuit said the provisions would prevent the government from fulfilling its obligations to Indian Country.

Debate on the floor is expected to start around 2 p.m. C-SPAN (http://www.c-span.org/) will carry coverage.

Relevant Documents:
Rahall Letter (7/15) | Hayworth-Kildee Letter (7/12) | 8th Court Monitor Report (7/11) | House Committee Report (7/9) | Senate Committee Report (6/27)

Relevant Bills:
H.R.5093 | S.2708

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Trust Reform, NCAI - http://www.ncai.org/main/pages/
issues/other_issues/trust_reform.asp

Related Stories:
House trust fund bill opposed (7/15)
Full accounting said not 'cost effective' (7/15)
Griles slammed for ignorance (7/12)
DOI denies involvement in House bill (7/12)
Court monitor releases new report (7/11)
ABC program to focus on Indian trust fund (7/11)
Tribes express doubts on trust reform (7/11)
Norton delivers accounting plan (7/5)
Cobell kicks off Indian Country tour (7/3)
Trust fund monitor defended (7/2)
Historical accounting plan delayed (7/2)
Norton's accounting funds limited (6/28)
Griles can't explain trust standards (6/27)