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 The Trump administration, and its allies in Congress, are fighting a losing war. They continue to press forward for the development of oil, gas, coal, when the rest of the world understands the implication of that folly. Global warming is the most pressing issue for our time. Period. The thing is …

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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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Paulette Jordan is running for governor of Idaho. This is a big deal in so many ways. First, there have been very few Native Americans who have ever run at that level (Alaska’s Byron Mallott, Idaho’s Larry EchoHawk, and Peggy Flanagan in Minnesota).  Second, she’s the first Native woman who …

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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 How does the national press cover Indian Country? That’s often an easy question to answer because it’s so rare for the media to weigh in on events that matter. And when they do? Damn. The White House ceremony to honor code talkers turned into a frenzy. As ABC News reported, …

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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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