Published May 15, 2019
WASHINGTON — What a difference a week makes. Last week a racist tweet by Trump stalled two bills impacting Indian Country. This week both bills passed the House of Representatives.
The House passed H.R. 312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, and Rep. Tom Cole’s (R-Okla.) H.R. 375, which updates the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 to affirm that the federal government can take land into trust for the benefit of tribes that received federal recognition after June 18, 1934.
Both bills will now go to the Senate for consideration.
Cedric Cromwell, chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe was quick to praise members of the House who helped with the passage of H.R. 312, a bill that impacts his Tribe.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, bi-partisan legislation, would protect the Tribe’s reservation from being the first Indian reservation disestablished since the dark days of the Termination Era.
H.R. 312 cleared the U.S. House by a vote of 276 to 146, with 47 Republicans supporting the measure.
“To see Democrats and Republicans come together to save our reservation has been deeply humbling. Our Tribe has suffered so much in the past from the United States’ failure to protect our land — today the House of Representatives acted to change that history, and to help us take one step closer towards a better and more secure future for the Mashpee people” said Chairman Cedric Cromwell.
“I cannot express the amount of gratitude for the passionate leadership of Representatives, Bill Keating, Joe Kennedy, Raul Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, and Deb Haaland, who stood shoulder to should in bipartisanship with Representatives Tom Cole, Doug LaMalfa and Paul Cook and Tom McClintock.
What they demonstrated today on the House Floor was nothing short of genuine understanding of my people, the Mashpee Wampanoag. They displayed unwavering honor to our Ancestors with their words and actions today.” added Cromwell.