Posts Tagged ‘indian health care i’
The Cobell suit settlement finally approved. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act and Tribal Law and Order Act passed. A good year for Native American in the U.S. Congress?
For North Dakota senator Byron Dorgan, who pondered his 30 years in Congress with Associated Press reporter Matthew Daly, it was at least a year that brought closure to many causes he’s championed throughout the years.
Dorgan, a Democrat, announced last January he wouldn’t seek re-election after almost 30 years in Congress. Dorgan, chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said he then “focused like a laser” on unfinished business, including the long-stalled bills on health care and crime.
“I was flat tired of working on these issues that were never resolved,” he said in a recent interview in his Capitol office, which is adorned with Indian headdresses and tribal artwork. “I said, ‘We will get this done.’ We can fix these issues by keeping a few promises.”
Dorgan, 68, denies any attempt to craft a legacy, saying he merely wanted to complete legislation he had worked on for years.
“When children are dying and elders are dying, the time for talk is past,” he said, noting that many Native Americans still “live in third world conditions in much of this country.”
Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest Indian organization in the nation, said Dorgan’s pending retirement spurred action.
Tags: Byron Dorgan, indian affairs, indian health care i, nation congress of american indians, North Dakota, Sen. Byron Dorgan, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Tribal Law and Order Act, u.s. congress