Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Indian Health, Bureau of Indian Affairs see a budget increase Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today The federal government’s newly enacted budget is a massive “omnibus” act that spends $1.3 trillion and makes some members of Congress pleased and others angry. It’s a document that reflects a broken budget system. And, at the same time, …

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Mark Trahant Cross-posted on Indian Country Today. UPDATE: The House of Representatives passed the $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill. Thursday.  The vote was 256-167. Next up: The Senate will vote on the measure. Congressional leaders have agreed to a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund the government for the remainder of this …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Budgets are statements: This is what “we” care about.  It’s money that reveals priorities. The “we” could be, and ought to be, the country. Or the “we” could be a presidential administration that’s not really equipped to govern. So there will be lots of stories this year, like last year, …

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Correction: The chart I originally published was misleading. The CBO score for the tax bill (and most of the other measures) looks at the cost over ten years. Appropriations are made in a single year. So that made the tax bill appear more costly in visual form. I am working on a new version now, …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Turns out we’ve been worried about the wrong, Andrew. The Republican tax plan, President Donald J. Trump’s signature legislation, would make Andrew Mellon proud. Andrew Mellon was a wealthy industrialist who served in government as the Secretary of Treasury. Here’s what Trump’s own Treasury Department says about Mellon: “As the Nation …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Congress has yet to reenact the Children’s Health Insurance Program and states will soon run out of funds to prop up the program. That will mean that thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native children will lose their health insurance. And, the result is the Indian Health Service will have …

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Updated. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Here we go again. The Congress is hell bent on wrecking the Affordable Care Act. This time the mechanism is the so-called tax reform bill that will be voted in the U.S. Senate. The logic is rich (and, yes, “rich” is absolutely the right word and sentiment) because this …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Two serious debates in Washington right now: Climate change and taxes. These are connected. And the decisions made over the next few days and weeks will impact you and your children’s future. The federal government is required by law to publish a climate assessment. The report is out and it’s …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate has given up on destroying Medicaid and much of the health care system and is now focused on restructuring the federal tax system (and destroying entitlement programs in the process). Here is what Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation:  “We’re going to double that …

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Trahant Reports The September Mess has started early. Congress will return to Washington next week facing some really tricky issues ranging from an increase in the debt limit to spending money so that the federal government can operate. President Donald J. Trump in Phoenix raised the stakes, saying he would favor a shutdown of the …

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