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Democrats Round Out Indian Affairs Subcommittee

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the ranking member House Natural Resources Committee, has made his choices of Democrats to round out the new Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

They include Rep. Dan Boren, of Oklahoma, who will serve as ranking member, and Reps. Ray Lujan, of New Mexico, Colleen Hanabusa, of Hawaii, and Dale Kildee, of Michigan. Markey will serve ex officio.

“We have a deep bench here on the Natural Resources Committee, and we will need the leadership and energy of every single member to promote sound policies to preserve and promote America’s natural heritage and resources,” Markey said in a Jan. 25 press release.

The Democratic selections round out the subcommittee’s bench. Earlier in the week, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., announced Republican assignments to the subcommittee. Don Young, R-Alaska, was officially appointed chairman over the following GOP House members: Jeff Denham, of California; Daniel Benishek, of Michigan; Paul Gosar, of Arizona; Raúl Labrador, of Idaho; and Kristi Lynn Noem, of South Dakota. Hastings will serve ex officio.

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“The Natural Resources Committee has broad jurisdiction that allows our Members to use their individual talents and expertise to work on policies and issues that will help create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce wasteful government spending,” Hastings said in a statement.

The full committee met Jan. 26 in part to adopt an oversight plan, which included the following Indian-focused items: budget and spending review; federal barriers to economic and energy development on Indian land; Cobell v. Salazar settlement implementation; trust reform; fee-to-trust issues, including Carcieri v. Salazar; Alaska Natives; natural resources management on Indian reservations; Tribal Law and Order Act implementation; Indian Health Care Improvement Act Implementation/Indian Health Service; and gaming.