March 11, 2015

Barrasso Opening Statement at SCIA Nomination Hearing for Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks at a nomination hearing to consider Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, of Arizona, to serve as the next Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). 
The hearing featured testimony from Mr. Chaudhuri, the current Acting Chairman and Vice Chairman of the NIGC. The NIGC consists of the Chairman who, along with two other Commissioners, is responsible for regulating the more than 450 Indian gaming facilities associated with nearly 242 tribes across 28 states. If Mr. Chaudhuri is confirmed by the Senate, he will serve a three year term as the Chairman of the NIGC. Chairman Barrasso intends to expedite Mr. Chaudhuri’s confirmation with a markup of his nomination on March 18, 2015.
Click here for more information on Mr. Chauduri’s testimony and to watch video of the entire hearing.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“The Committee will consider the President’s nominee, Jonodev Chaudhuri, to serve as the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission.  
“Last Congress, he was nominated to serve as the National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman on July 22, 2014.
“The Committee held a hearing on his nomination on November 12, 2014. The nomination was returned to the President on December 17, 2014.
“The President once again nominated Mr. Chaudhuri on January 8, 2015.
“Early consideration of this nomination is important for a number of reasons.
“The position has been vacant since September 2013, which is far too long.
“It is an important position charged by Congress with significant responsibilities in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
“According to the most recent data from the National Indian Gaming Commission, Indian gaming has grown to a $28 billion dollar industry.
“An industry with this amount of money flow requires the Commission to be appropriately staffed.
“The Commission must also promote integrity and accountability through regulation and enforcement.
“I have met personally with Mr. Chaudhuri. I am confident that he intends to ensure these principles are carried out by the Commission and this industry.
“I called this hearing so all of our Members have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of Mr. Chaudhuri.
“I intend to work with the Vice Chairman on moving this nomination expeditiously.
“Mr. Chaudhuri congratulations on your nomination and welcome back to the Committee.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s Remarks.