Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Trahant Reports One election will not erase what is Donald J. Trump. Most of his voters see him as the antidote to business as usual. He’s shaking thing up (even if there is disagreement on specific issues). Destroying health care? Yes. So what. At least something new will surface. Montana voters, it would seem, have …

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Good morning. I am resisting the temptation to parse the Trump budget. The document does not express anything except White House contempt. Congress is already rewriting this document. So focus the energy (and line by line reviews about spending) on Capitol Hill not the White House. — Mark Trahant Interactive version here #DisruptIndianCountry #FederalBudget #Infographic …

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    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 How much does it cost to buy the vote of a ‘moderate’ Republican? Today the going rate is $8 billion. (And that, by the way, is more than ten times amount of money the Indian health system is at risk of losing if Congress enacts the “American Health Care Act.”) The $8 billion …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Debra Haaland filed paperwork to run for Congress from New Mexico. If elected, she would be the first Native American woman to ever serve in that body. And what makes this news especially cool: This is a winnable seat. Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, has served the past …

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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 James Singer will run for the United States Senate in Utah. He’s the first Native American to run in 2018 elections. Singer is a member of the Navajo Nation. He’s also the first candidate to cite Standing Rock as the answer to the question, “why run?” “This past year has …

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