Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

    Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Reality TV works for one simple reason: The antics of the characters are beyond what’s believable in fiction. It’s compelling drama because normal people do not do such things. So part of watching is to find out when the story arc ends, to discover when the situation becomes …

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Trahant Reports The flurry that is the Trump Administration continues to impact Indian Country in ways that are expected — as well as those that surprise. A nasty surprise at that. The latest offering is a presidential signing statement that targets federal programs that serve American Indians, Alaska Natives, as well as those that fund …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act by four votes, 217 to 213. The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate. If this bill becomes law it will do five things: Cut taxes for people who make a lot of money, end health insurance subsidies and …

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Trahant Reports Congress has a spending plan. And it rejects most (but not all) of President Donald J. Trump’s priorities. It also includes more money for most federal Indian programs. But remember: This is a short budget. It’s only enough money to fund government operations through the end of September. House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) …

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Trahant Reports Speaker Paul Ryan said House Republicans are close to a deal that would allow them to pass the American Health Care Act. He says this is because of “improvements” suggested by President Donald J. Trump. Let’s be clear about these so-called improvements: The bill would still wipe out Medicaid as we know it. Medicaid …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Remember this: There is always another election.  And the 2018 congressional elections already promise to be extraordinary. Let’s look at the landscape so far. Last week voters in Kansas surprised Republicans by barely winning a district that’s supposed to be safe. President Donald J. Trump tweeted: “Great win in Kansas last night for …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A couple of years ago a tribal leader showed me an abandoned lumber mill near the village of Tyonek, Alaska. The company promised jobs. And, for a time, for a couple of decades, there were those jobs. But after the resource was consumed, the mill closed, the company disappeared, and …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Former Montana State Sen. Carol Juneau once said that she considered state office because that’s where she could make a difference. (She is a member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Tribe but was living in the Blackfeet Nation). The year was 1998. She was first appointed to the legislature to …

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***Updated*** Good morning. A quick update. So a reader points out that I really ought to include Debora Juarez in this list (and in the broader review of Native women in office). And it’s a spot on suggestion. So I have added Juarez and a couple of county commissioners I know about … but there …

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Governing without a working majority   Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump’s legislative agenda has crashed. The Republican promise to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday failed to win enough votes from conservatives to make it so. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a post-failure news conference: “Obamacare …

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