Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

** Updated Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Gavin Clarkson is clear: He supports President Donald J. Trump. And he’s running for Congress because “the swamp is deep, the alligators, bite, and the taxpayers are getting ripped off every day.” He wants less regulation and more oil and gas development. And don’t get him started on …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports What qualifications are needed to manage (and possibly reform?) the Indian health system? It’s Indian Country’s largest employer with more than 15,000 on the payroll and many, many more people who work in health care for tribes, non-profits and other related agencies. The IHS budget is $6.1 billion. Yet it’s …

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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 The first year of the Trump era has been challenging: The administration and the Congress sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act and radically redesign one of the nation’s best public health insurance programs, Medicaid. That plan failed.  And I’ll come back to that point shortly. But first: Congress …

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Trahant Reports Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce his pick for the U.S. Senate. The StarTribune reports it will be, as expected, his Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. “In selecting Smith, the governor is choosing one of his most trusted advisers and someone who has worked for years traveling the …

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A lot on my plate. But I will be writing because there is a new deadline for Congress to fund the government this week. There are serious issues that go beyond money, partly because Republicans will need to either hold their caucus together or win votes from Democrats. Tough roads. Which one is the less …

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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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Why Indian Country should have a voice in this debate Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There is no better way for any legislature — be it a tribal council, a state assembly, or a Congress — to telegraph what’s most important to a society than through tax policy. How a government collects revenue says what …

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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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