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Tribal Provisions in VAWA

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 28, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Mr. Speaker, this is one of those moments where you come up here for 1 minute, and I wanted to share a certain frustration, particularly the votes we just had here in the House.

I come from Arizona. We have 22 tribal communities, 21 actual designated reservations. I lived almost my entire life alongside the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community. It's a sophisticated tribe with wonderful outreach into the community. They've come light years in the last 10. They've done amazing things.

We have been working with that community and Congressman Cole's office trying to work on language that would work with them in VAWA, and yet Congressman Cole and Congressman Issa were not allowed in the process to offer their amendments. That's of great frustration to me because there was months of months of labor and work put into that.

But there was also another irony here. I heard some folks on the right and a lot on the left talking about the self-determination court process within those tribal communities. Okay, great. Are we now ready to have this body step up and help our tribes in Arizona that are sophisticated manage their own finances and their own health care? Because they're asking for that self-determination.