Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Congressional Black Caucus; Rep. Dianne Watson lead opposition to Cherokee Funding

Hopefully, we can count on the CBC to help the disenrolled in California to regain their rights.


CBC warns Reid on Cherokee funds
By Kevin Bogardus
Posted: 04/03/08 05:13 PM [ET]

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have promised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that they will try to block a Native American housing assistance bill if the measure does not include language that prevents the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma from receiving any of the benefits.

The House included such a prohibition in its Indian housing assistance bill passed in September. But the Senate version does not include similar language


Since the flare-up over the Freedmen last year, the Cherokees have increasing come under pressure from CBC members. Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would prohibit the distribution of federal funds to the tribe until it reverses its decision on the Freedmen. Watt has been tapped to lead a taskforce on the issue for the caucus.

In turn, the Cherokees have bulked up their lobbying presence here in Washington. The tribe has hired the Podesta Group (aren't they Hillary supporters?)and McBee Strategic Consulting to help sooth relations on Capitol Hill.
Congress has remained attentive to the issue, however. Before the Easter recess, Watson, Watt, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) met with Carl Artman of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to discuss the Cherokees.

Staff aides are working on a final draft of a letter to Artman that will be signed by the four lawmakers shortly, according to a House aide.

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