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Indian Country bracing for worst with Donald Trump's planned budget cuts

Indian Country leaders are turning to allies in Congress in hopes of stopping massive funding cuts that President Donald Trump is expected to unveil as soon as next week. The broad outlines of Trump's forthcoming fiscal year 2018 budget are already known. The Republican president, who is battling several scandals, wants to slash 12 percent from at the Department of the Interior and another 17.9 percent at the Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.indianz.com/News/2017/05/18/indian-county-bracing-for-worst-with...

 

Dayton vetoes teacher licensing overhaul bill

A long-anticipated overhaul of how Minnesota licenses teachers was thrown into doubt Thursday when Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the legislation and asked lawmakers to improve their proposal. In a letter explaining his veto, Dayton echoed criticisms of the legislation that fellow Democrats and teachers union leaders said were fatal flaws. The move came as a shock to Republicans who argued the bill was a bipartisan improvement to the often-criticized current system. http://www.twincities.com/2017/05/18/mark-dayton-vetoes-teacher-li...

 

Legislature chips away at budget, but long list remains

Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders were in an all-out scramble Sunday to finalize agreements on the state’s next two-year, $46 billion budget — and running into a time crunch as they edged closer to the last day of the session. By late Sunday, the House and Senate had passed only three of 10 budget bills that will shape the state’s next spending plan. Among the biggest challenges as private budget talks tumbled on: finding agreement on spending on transportation and health and human services programs, and final details...

 

Trump urges Mideast nations to drive out 'Islamic extremism'

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Donald Trump on Sunday implored Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries to extinguish "Islamic extremism" emanating from the region, describing a "battle between good and evil" rather than a clash between the West and Islam. In a pointed departure from his predecessor, Trump all but promised he would not publicly admonish Mideast rulers for human rights violations and oppressive reigns. http://www.startribune.com/trump-in-address-to-muslims-urges-fight-against-terror/423401003/...

 

Trump's first full education budget: Deep cuts to public school programs in pursuit of school choice

Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools...

 

Bureau of Indian Education Dressed Down in Senate Hearing

Every two years, the Government Accountability Office, the federal watchdog, releases a new “high-risk” list of federal programs that are vulnerable to “fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are most in need of transformation.” This year, that list includes the federal government’s management of Indian education, primarily its mismanagement of spending and facilities. The Bureau of Indian Education runs 183 schools that educate some 48,000 students on reservations in multiple states. https://www.the74million.o...

 

Nolan meets with Trump Cabinet officers in bid to revive BWCA-area copper mining

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, a DFLer, hasn’t let his party affiliation stop him from pushing the Trump administration to reverse a late decision by the Obama administration blocking a proposed northeastern Minnesota copper mine that’s raised concerns about proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Nolan met recently with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to seek support for renewing mining exploration leases for Twin Metals Minnesota. Nolan called the meeting “very good” in an interview and said the appointee...

 

Trump claims witch hunt, says he's most hounded leader ever

WASHINGTON — Brimming with resentment, President Donald Trump fervently denied on Thursday that his campaign had collaborated with Russia or that he'd tried to kill an FBI probe of the issue, contending that "even my enemies" recognize his innocence and declaring himself the most unfairly hounded president in history. Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, he said no and then added concerning the allegations and questions that have mounted as he nears the four-month mark of his presidency:...

 

Education veto, spending disputes mark Legislature's fifth-to-last day

The prospect of a timely finish to the legislative session dimmed Thursday as Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration and Republican leaders of the House and Senate put budget talks on hold for a day of public sparring over dueling tax and spending plans. Adding to the growing partisan tenor of the session’s final days, Dayton on Thursday nixed a Republican policy priority by vetoing a bill that would have overhauled Minnesota’s troubled teacher licensing system — infuriating lawmakers who worked on it for months. http://w...

 

Indian County bracing for worst with Donald Trump's planned budget cuts

Indian Country leaders are turning to allies in Congress in hopes of stopping massive funding cuts that President Donald Trump is expected to unveil as soon as next week. The broad outlines of Trump's forthcoming fiscal year 2018 budget are already known. The Republican president, who is battling several scandals, wants to slash 12 percent from at the Department of the Interior and another 17.9 percent at the Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.indianz.com/News/2017/05/18/indian-county-bracing-for-worst-with...

 

It's Time To Impeach Donald Trump, Democrat Says On The House Floor

WASHINGTON ― Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) called for impeaching President Donald Trump from the House floor on Wednesday. “I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice,” Green began in a sermon-like speech. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/al-green-impeach-donald-trump_us_591c4751e4b0a7458fa47e13?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009...

 

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead Trump-Russia probe

WASHINGTON — Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was given sweeping power Wednesday to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, with a broad mandate that could encompass any questionable actions of President Donald Trump's associates and possibly even the circumstances of last week's abrupt firing of James Comey. The Justice Department's appointment of Mueller as a special counsel is an acknowledgment of growing public demands to place the politically charged inquiry into the hands of an outside investigator with...

 

Real ID bill passes Minn. House and Senate, heads to Gov. Dayton

Minnesota lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to bring the state’s driver’s licenses in line with upgraded federal security standards, finally ensuring that Minnesotans won’t have to use passports to get through airport security. The Minnesota House voted 120-11 on Wednesday to bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID law; the Senate followed suit later in the evening with a 57-8 vote. If signed by Gov. Mark Dayton as expected, it will allow Minnesota to follow the other 49 U.S. states in moving to upgrade their...

 

Tribal Council plans 'slap on the wrist' for Godwin, administrators

PEMBROKE — Lumbee Tribal Council members are preparing to vote Thursday on a resolution reprimanding tribal administrators, including Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr., for using budgeted money for purposes not approved by the council. Godwin, Tribal Administrator Freda Porter, and Finance Director Sharon Bell are accused of using housing money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay for cleaning up the Lumbee Cultural Center after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the county in Oct. 8 and with flooding that followed. The cleanup...

 

What is the 25th Amendment, and could it be used to remove Trump?

Allegations that President Trump asked fired FBI Director James Comey to quash an investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn have caused some political analysts to resurrect a mechanism for the president’s removal from office: the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Conservative columnist Ross Douthat made waves Wednesday morning with a column in the New York Times advocating the use of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — rather than impeachment — to remove Trump from office. And this isn’t the first time...

 
 By Holly Cook    Politics    May 17, 2017

Chairman Seki in Washington D.C. testifying at the House Interior Approprations Hearing

Chairman Seki in Washington D.C. testifying at the House Interior Approprations Hearing this week. The House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing at which American Indian and Alaska Native public witnesses provide testimony. Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert presided. Chairman Seki testimony at about the 1.43.41 mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwa1QyrYZi4&feature=share...

 
 By Mal Meyer    Politics    May 17, 2017

Budget Negotiations Resume As Deadline Nears

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s legislative leaders are back to the negotiating table in search of a budget deal.The Legislature has less than a week to finalize a new, two-year budget. But first Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans who control the Legislature have to resolve the mountain of differences in their budget plans. The two sides resumed meeting Tuesday morning and were expected to continue meeting on-and-off throughout the day. They’re returning to talks after GOP leaders backed away last week to start sending the governor...

 

Comey memo said Trump asked him to drop Flynn investigation in February

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump asked the FBI director, James Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Comey wrote shortly after the meeting. "I hope you can let this go," the president told Comey, according to the memo. http://www.startribune.com/comey-memo-said-trump-asked-him-to-drop-flynn-investigation-in-february/422624974/...

 

GOP bill to overhaul Minnesota's troubled teacher licensing system is passed

State lawmakers rewrote the rules Tuesday for who can be licensed to teach in Minnesota, and how. The House and Senate passed a sweeping, Republican-backed overhaul of Minnesota’s troubled teacher licensing system on a party-line vote and sent the bill to Gov. Mark Dayton, despite doubts that he would sign it. The DFL governor’s education commissioner said she would advise Dayton to block the bill unless Republicans come up with more money to implement the changes they want to make. http://www.startribune.com/gop-bill-to...

 

Progress on budget, but work remains for Dayton, GOP leaders

Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders inched closer to a budget deal on Tuesday, as both sides offered concessions on spending and tax cuts and managed to reach agreement on the first of 10 bills that will make up the state's next two-year spending plan. The progress was a hopeful sign in negotiations that were stalled in recent days, as the Republican-majority Legislature passed 10 budget bills that the DFL governor quickly vetoed. http://www.startribune.com/dayton-gop-leaders-resume-budget-talks/422553844/...

 

Cherokee chief releases audits ahead of impeachment hearing

CHEROKEE - The chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians released three audit reports Tuesday that he said reveal instances of corruption and fraud by the tribe's previous administration. The audits done by RGL Forensics cover the time period from October 2011 through September 2015 and show problems during the administration of former Principal Chief Michell Hicks, according to current Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2017/05/16/cherokee-chief-releases-audits-ahead-impea...

 

Bill could provide funding for AMBER Alert on reservation

WASHINGTON — On May 10, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty provided testimony to the Indian Affairs committee about a bill that would amend the PROTECT Act to make Indian tribes eligible for grants to implement “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Alert” systems, or AMBER Alert. According to the bill, the U.S. Attorney General would determine when a tribe does not have sufficient funds available to comply with the federal share requirement for the cost of activities funded by a grant for the purpose of...

 

Peterson, Klobuchar, Franken, Nolan Commend Border Security Pilot Program in Warroad

WASHINGTON DC – Congressman Collin C. Peterson’s (D-Minn.) office organized a meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Senator Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) office, Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) office, and Richard M. Nolan’s (D-Minn.) office and learned that the agency selected the Lake of the Woods region for a pilot program to test safer and smarter technology reporting methods to replace outdated Outlying Area Reporting Station phones. The decision by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to initiate a pilot program in...

 

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said that Trump's disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government,...

 

Minnesota House cracks down on female genital mutilation

Scarred but no longer scared, survivors of female genital mutilation embraced one another and lawmakers Monday at the State Capitol after the House voted to impose harsh new penalties on doctors who subject little girls to the painful ritual. “I have two beautiful daughters. I don’t want my two beautiful daughters [to] go through what I [went] through,” said Waris Mohamud, a Somali immigrant standing with a group of women, young and old, dressed in bright headscarves of red, white or blue. http://www.startribune.com/le...

 

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