Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) made the following statement on the House Floor Thursday to express his disappointment that the Cole-Issa tribal amendment was not allowed to be offered during debate on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“I wanted to share a certain frustration, particularly about the votes we just had here in the House.
“I come from Arizona. We have 22 tribal communities–21 actual designated reservations.
“I’ve 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 ten. They’ve done amazing things.
“And 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.
“And that’s of great frustration to me because there were months and months of labor and work put into that.
“But there was also another irony here and I heard some folks on the Right, and a lot on the Left, talking about it. ‘Well the self determination of the court process within those tribal communities…’
“Are we now ready to have this body step up and help our tribes in Arizona that are sophisticated manage their own finances? Their own healthcare?
“Because they are asking for that self determination.”