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U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were formally elected as chair and vice chair, respectively, on Thursday of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Both retain the committee positions they held in the 117th Congress.

During the last session, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs was instrumental in passing bipartisan legislation including laws that protected tribal sovereignty as well as billions of dollars in funding for Indian Country. 

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“None of our achievements in the last Congress would have been possible without the Committee’s bipartisan commitment to Native people in Indian Country, in Alaska, and in Hawaiʻi,” Schatz said in a statement. “Our longstanding tradition of bipartisanship is our strength, so I am truly proud to serve, for the second consecutive Congress, in leadership alongside my good friend, Senator Murkowski.”

“The 117th Congress proved to be a remarkably productive time for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. We navigated part or all of close to 20 measures jurisdictional to us into federal law. We made strides in early 2021 with the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill, which contained nearly $13 billion in historic investments for Native people. We continued the success with the inclusion of our Tribal Title in the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization. And we closed out 2022 with the passage of 12 bills that touched on Native languages, water settlements, and much more,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. 

The Committee also adopted its rules for the 118th Congress and its funding resolution. The rules, as adopted, are available here.

The full video of today’s organizing meeting is available here.

Here is the list of the senators who will serve on the Committee.

Democrats

Sen. Brian Schatz (Chair) - Hawai‘i

Sen. Maria Cantwell - Washington

Sen. Jon Tester - Montana

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto - Nevada

Sen. Tina Smith - Minnesota

Sen. Ben Ray Luján - New Mexico

Republicans

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Vice Chair) - Alaska

Sen. John Hoeven - North Dakota

Sen. Steve Daines - Montana 

Sen. Markwayne Mullin - Oklahoma

Sen. Mike Rounds - South Dakota

 

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