Aide: Daschle not told about reprogramming
Facebook Twitter Email

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) wasn't informed about the Department of Interior's reprogramming request until last night, an aide said today.

Jake Maas, a spokesperson for Daschle, said the Bush administration did a poor job of informing Indian Country and Congressional leaders. "[Daschle] was disappointed with the way the administration unveiled this proposal," he said.

According to Maas, Daschle agrees with criticism that the proposed reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was just a "bunch of boxes." Tribal leaders this week also complained that plan failed to reflect their input.

Despite Daschle's sentiments, the Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee already authorized the department's request to use $5 million to implement the reorganization. A letter was sent to Secretary Gale Norton on December 18.

But Maas said Daschle was investigating whether the Senate approval could be revoked. "It appears there might be some aspects of this proposal that might require further Congressional approval," he said.

In a press call yesterday, Norton said the department was pleased with the Congressional approval. However, she said the changes won't take place "overnight."

"This is a process that will take some time," she said. "It will take time for us to move into this organization."

Relevant Documents:
House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Letter (December 10, 2002) | Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Letter (December 18, 2002)

Today on Indianz.Com;
DOI kept approval from tribes (12/20)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -
Trust Reform, NCAI -

Related Stories:
Deadline approaches on plans (12/19)
Tribes opposing BIA proposal (12/18)
Erwin storms out of courtroom crying (12/18)
'This is not son of BITAM' (12/17)
Tribes debate future of talks (12/17)
Neal McCaleb's last hurrah (12/17)
Mont. tribes oppose BIA reorganization (12/17)
Navajo Nation slams BIA reorganization (12/16)
DOI changes mind on task force meeting (12/13)
McCaleb plans closed meeting (12/12)
The little BIA that could (12/11)
Trust records office gets new director (12/11)
Congratulate unfit Bush officials (12/9)
Trust records office shuffled again (12/6)
McCaleb announces reorganization (12/5)
New proposal is BITAM plus more (12/5)
McCaleb to announce BIA reorganization (12/4)
Interior's casualties of war (11/25)
McCaleb resigning from BIA (11/22)
17 months at arm's length (11/22)
Tribal organization subpoenaed (11/20)
Much to blame, except lack of plan, for trust fund (11/18)
Trust reform legislation put off in Congress (10/17)
Tribes enter 'new phase' in trust reform battle (10/03)
Navajo delegates want DOI stripped of trust (10/1)
Sparks fly at trust reform meeting (9/27)
Here comes BITAM all over again (9/27)