United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, chaired by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), passed the following two bills at its December 11 business meeting:
- S.1853, the Bridging Agency Data Gaps and Ensuring Safety (BADGES) for Native Communities Act; and
- S.2365, the Health Care Access for Urban Native Veterans Act of 2019.
Senator Hoeven addressed the importance of each bill in his opening remarks:
“S. 1853 is aimed at combating data gaps between federal and state law enforcement and tribal communities. The bill directs the Attorney General to establish programs and grants that allow tribal governments and law enforcement to access and enter information into federal criminal information databases, as well as receive training on criminal reporting guidelines,” said Hoeven.
“S. 2365 is intended to expand access to health care services for urban Native veterans and resolve a parity issue for urban Indian organizations,” continued Hoeven. “The Health Care Access for Urban Native American Veterans Act of 2019 will allow urban Indian organizations to enter into arrangements with the Department of Veterans Affairs to share medical facilities and services, and be reimbursed for health care provided to a Native veteran.”
S. 1853 was introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) on June 13, 2019 and is cosponsored by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jon Tester (D-MT).
S. 2365 was introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) on July 31, 2019. The following senators are cosponsors: Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jon Tester (D-MT).
The committee voted favorably on S. 1853, as amended, and S. 2365. Both bills will now move to the Senate floor for further consideration.