WASHINGTON — This week, U.S. Senator Tom Udall will address the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) at its 2017 Tribal Unity Impact Day and preside as vice chairman during a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs business meeting and oversight hearing.
Speaking to NCAI on Tuesday, Sept. 12, Udall will outline his priorities on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and discuss his work on issues important to Indian Country – including improving health care for Native Americans and strengthening public safety and law enforcement.
On Wednesday, Sept. 13, Udall will oversee a business meeting of the Indian Affairs Committee to review several bills, including the Udall-cosponsored Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2017. The bill would formally authorize a joint Tribal housing initiative between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. Native veterans are disproportionately affected by homelessness, and the Tribal HUD-VASH program would provide rental assistance, case management, and clinical and supportive services for Native American veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Immediately after the business meeting, the committee will hold an oversight hearing titled “High Risk Indian Programs: Progress and Efforts in Addressing GAO’s Recommendations.” The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, and Indian Health Service were designated as “high risk” in a biennial report issued in February by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ oversight agency. Wednesday’s hearing is part of a series that will examine how these agencies are focusing resources and expertise to improve federal Indian programs and address GAO’s recommendations. Udall will press agency officials on how the lack of adequate information technology infrastructure is affecting their ability to complete necessary administrative and oversight functions. Udall also will underscore the need for better sharing of best-practices within federal Indian programs.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
WHAT: Udall to address National Congress of American Indians
TIME: Approximately 10:10 a.m. ET
WHERE: 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
WHAT: Udall to preside as vice chairman at Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Business Meeting and Oversight Hearing
TIME: Approximately 12:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Watch live here.
The committee will vote on the following bills:
H.R. 984, Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017
S. 1285, Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act
S.1333, Tribal HUD-VASH Act of 2017