Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee
Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today that he will pursue other means of passing a pair of bills to help Indian Country after they were pulled from consideration by the House of Representatives in the wake of President Trump’s racist tweet and subsequent Republican opposition to the measures. The House was scheduled to vote on Rep. Bill Keating’s (D-Mass.) H.R. 312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, and Rep. Tom Cole’s (R-Okla.) H.R. 375, which updates the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 to affirm that the federal government can take land into trust for the benefit of tribes that received federal recognition after June 18, 1934.
The House was preparing to consider both bills under suspension of the rules, which requires the approval of two-thirds of members. Following Trump’s tweet – “Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. It is unfair and doesn’t treat Native Americans equally!” – enough Republicans decided to oppose the bill to make passage unlikely.
“We needed significant Republican support to get these bills approved today, and apparently the president tweeting a racial slur was compelling enough to give them cold feet,” Grijalva said today. “It’s my intention to move both of these bills forward soon, and we’re currently evaluating our options for other avenues to passage. I stand with my friends Bill Keating and Tom Cole in supporting Indian Country, and I have no intention of letting the president’s gutter commentary derail the people’s business.”