Hoeven continues support for U.S. tribal members, communities

Efforts on Capitol Hill are ongoing to support America’s Native American Indian Tribes, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) told attendees to the Sept. 3 Tribal Leaders Summit held by the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC).

“We’re working in a bipartisan way to advance the goals of tribes here in North Dakota and across the nation,” said Sen. Hoeven, chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, during the summit held in Bismarck, N.D.

For instance, Sen. Hoeven in January sponsored the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2019, S. 212, with cosponsor U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) to provide industry and economic development opportunities to Indian communities.

The identical bill, H.R. 1937, was introduced in March by two Democrats.

“We are also focused on improving the safety and quality of life in Indian Country,” Sen. Hoeven said. “We are advancing legislation to give greater assistance to Native American victims of crime and empower law enforcement to prevent violence and bring offenders to justice.”

One such bill is the bipartisan Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, S. 211, which Sen. Hoeven sponsored to secure urgent resources vital to Indian victims of crime on tribal reservations. S. 211 has 14 cosponsors, including cosponsor U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), while the identical H.R. 1351 has 15 cosponsors.

“At the same time, we are working to address Indian veteran homelessness through the Tribal HUD-VASH program and continue our efforts to ensure access to quality services under the Bureau of Indian Education and Indian Health Service,” added Sen. Hoeven, referring to the Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2019, S. 257, another bipartisan, bicameral bill he cosponsored. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) was the lead sponsor of that bill.

S. 257, which on June 27 received U.S. Senate approval, would provide rental assistance and related services for homeless or at-risk Indian veterans by designating at least 5 percent of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) resources for tribes and tribal housing authorities.

The same-named H.R. 2999 is under consideration by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.

Rep. Hoeven also praised the work of the UTTC, saying, “Over the past 50 years, this college has helped tribal members prepare for good jobs and take the leap into entrepreneurship, and we appreciate their continued work.”