Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Three lessons from  last week’s election results. First: Gerrymandering can be defeated. The election districts in Virginia were designed to support incumbents, and especially Republicans. The Atlantic described the “well-documented” Republican operation to gain “control of the mapmaking process in 2010 (and) saw their share of legislative seats steadily grow, …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A year ago ballots from across the country were being examined by citizens, journalists, and politicians, who were all wondering, “What the hell just happened?” The nation woke up to a President-elect Donald J. Trump. And this morning? The Trump brand is like an overpriced hotel where you would never, …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports New Mexico congressional candidate Debra Haaland is criss-crossing Indian Country determined to get her name out there — and to raise enough money to be competitive. She began in Milwaukee at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention and she ends the week in Anchorage at the Alaska Federation …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports First: A fantasy. Wouldn’t it be cool if once, just once, there was a debate in Congress that could only be decided by a vote that benefits Native people? I don’t know. Something like, “I won’t vote for any bill unless it fulfills the treaty obligations that the United …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports You have to wonder why the latest Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act did not get written with one senator in mind, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Yet the bill by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is more conservative than previous approaches. It …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Big news: The rest of the year will have less drama than the ups and downs we’ve been experiencing since January. The federal government will more or less operate on schedule, the federal debt limit fight has been pushed back to the end of the year, and President Donald …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump presidency ended yesterday. “… Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee,” Donald J. Trump said.  “I’m …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate is now going through 20 hours of debate on a House Resolution 1628 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But the House bill was stripped of every word except the title. Now the idea is to come up with the right language to reach 50 votes …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It would be cool, just this once, if the Senate would say, “Indian Country you are so important. So we are adding a special provision to this health care bill that adds big bucks to the Indian Health Service.” Then Senators with significant American Indian or Alaska Native populations would …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A Senate hearing Wednesday on Indian health illustrates the larger problem exactly: How can you strip millions of dollars from a health care system and get better results? The answer is you cannot. But that’s not what the Trump administration testified. And it’s not what the Senate leadership is saying …

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