December 7th, 2016 – Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing on Land Buy-Back Program for Tribes

December 7th, 2016 – Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing on Land Buy-Back Program for Tribes

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has scheduled an oversight hearing to examine the Department of the Interior’s Land Buy-Back program for Tribal Nations. A link to the program at the Department can be found here: https://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram, which includes additional information and a copy of the 2016 Status Report.

The hearing will take place on Wednesday, December 7th, at 2:15 p.m. EST in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Witnesses for live testimony are by invitation only, and a list will be posted on the Committee’s website once confirmed. The record will be open for two weeks following the hearing for written comments. A webcast of this hearing will be available on the scheduled hearing date on the Committee website.

For more information about the hearing or the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, please visit: http://www.indian.senate.gov/

Congress in Discussions to Pass Short-Term Continuing Resolution; Fund the Government Until March 2017

Congress in Discussions to Pass Short-Term Continuing Resolution; Fund the Government Until March 2017

Today, House Congressional leaders announced that they will seek to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for FY17. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers noted that any CR would provide funding until March 31, 2017.
A CR maintains the current funding level for federal agencies, with no increases or decreases that may have been included during the appropriations process.

By waiting until early next year, the GOP Congress will have more leverage under the Trump administration to get spending priorities and policy riders into law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is less enthusiastic about the prospect of delaying federal funding decisions, as the Senate will have time consuming judicial and cabinet confirmations to contend with at the beginning of 2017.

Senate Democrats Announce Leadership Positions for the 115th Congress

Senate Democrats Announce Leadership Positions for the 115th Congress

Today, the Senate Democratic Caucus announced leadership and ranking member positions for the 115th Congress. As expected, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will serve as Democratic Minority Leader, the position formerly held by retiring Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).

Senator Schumer added leadership posts for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to ensure that working class Americans have a voice in Senate Democratic leadership.

There are a number of changes to the Ranking Member positions in the various Committees. Of importance to Indian Country is the rise of Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) to serve as Ranking Member for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (taking over for Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) who moves to serve as Ranking for the Veterans Affairs Committee). In addition, Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) will assume the role of Ranking Member for the Appropriations Committee, taking the helm from retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

The full list of Democratic leadership and committee appointments for the 115th Congress are posted below.

115th Congress:

Senate Democratic Leader and Chair of the Conference: Senator Charles Schumer

Democratic Whip: Senator Dick Durbin

Assistant Democratic Leader: Senator Patty Murray

Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee: Senator Debbie Stabenow

Vice Chair of the Conference: Senator Elizabeth Warren

Vice Chair of the Conference: Senator Mark Warner

Chair of Steering Committee: Senator Amy Klobuchar

Chair of Outreach: Senator Bernie Sanders

Vice Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee: Senator Joe Manchin

Senate Democratic Conference Secretary: Senator Tammy Baldwin

The committee ranking members for the 115th Congress:

Agriculture: Senator Debbie Stabenow

Armed Services: Senator Jack Reed

Appropriations: Senator Patrick Leahy

Banking: Senator Sherrod Brown

Budget: Senator Bernie Sanders

Commerce: Senator Bill Nelson

Energy: Senator Maria Cantwell

EPW: Senator Tom Carper

Finance: Senator Ron Wyden

Foreign Relations: Senator Ben Cardin

HELP: Senator Patty Murray

HSGAC: Senator Claire McCaskill

Indian Affairs: Senator Tom Udall

Judiciary: Senator Dianne Feinstein

Rules: Senator Amy Klobuchar

Small Business: Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Veterans Affairs: Senator Jon Tester

Aging: Senator Bob Casey

Ethics: Senator Chris Coons

Intelligence: Senator Mark Warner

JEC: Senator Martin Heinrich