The federal government has a unique treaty and trust relationship with our 567 sovereign tribal nations. As part of this relationship, the federal government has the responsibility to provide health, education and law enforcement, among other services, for American Indians and Native Alaskans. While significant progress has been made, the federal government still has work to do to fully meet its obligations to Native people.
I serve as Co-Chair Emeritus of the bipartisan Congressional Native American Caucus and as Chair of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. In both roles, I work closely with tribal leaders and Native communities to ensure adequate funding for the Indian Health Service, Indian Education, Indian School Construction, and Native American Housing Block Grants. Federal investments in health, education, economic development programs, and housing are vital to making Native American families and communities stronger.
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Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) delivered the following remarks at the House Rules Committee's hearing on the FY 2017 Interior-Environemnt Appropriations Bill:
Chairman Sessions, Ranking Member Slaughter, and Members of the Rules Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the FY 2017 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Before I get into the specifics of this bill, I would like to be clear that I believe consideration of this bill on the House floor should be under an open rule.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, led House Democrats in opposing the FY2017 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill as it was marked up in the House Appropriations Committee today.
As Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Congresswoman Betty McCollum delivered the following opening statement as the House Appropriations Committee began the markup of the FY2017 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill:
I would like to thank the Chairman and his staff for their open and collaborative approach.
This subcommittee has a challenging portfolio of issues and I commend the Chairman’s efforts to find solutions in another difficult budget year.
On Wednesday, the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee conducted a markup of the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior-Environment appropriations bill. As the lead Democrat on the committee, Congresswoman McCollum delivered this opening statement:
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
I would like to thank the Chairman and his staff for their open and collaborative approach. This subcommittee has a challenging portfolio of issues and I commend the Chairman’s efforts to find solutions in another difficult budget year.
Following today’s release of the fiscal year 2017 Interior-Environment appropriations bill draft — which is intended to fund vital programs that protect our nation’s natural and cultural resources — Interior-Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN) issued the following statement:
Today, Department of the Interior Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Roberts announced that the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has been prioritized for Fiscal Year 2016 funding to replace the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School.
I’m delighted to be here today among those I count as my friends and allies.
President Cladoosby (CLAD-is-bee) and Jackie Pata—you are my valued partners.
You and the dedicated staff at NCAI are a tremendous resource for all Members of Congress in our work with tribal leaders.
McCOLLUM of MINNESOTA: Each November, our nation recognizes the contributions of the First Americans during National Native American Heritage Month. Minnesota is home to eleven proud Ojibwe and Dakota nations, and those nations and their people are a vital part of our state’s heritage and our future.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 511, The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-MN) voted in support of the bill and released the following statement:
“In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act was passed to protect workers from harm and exploitation. This legislation allowed state and local units of government to develop their own separate labor standards. Tribal governments were not included in this bill because in 1935, tribal governments and their people were not included in much in the United States of America.
"Tomorrow, the House Appropriations Committee will mark up the $30.17 billion FY16 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. I am the Ranking Member on the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which provides funding for our National Parks, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency and various arts and humanities programs. The bill before the committee will be impossible for me to support.