As a Member of the Natural Resource Committee that has jurisdiction regarding Native American issues, I am given the responsibility to protect the Native American community. As a member of the Native American Caucus, I have additional resources to make me fully aware of the important issues facing the Native American community. In Congress, I vote on and sponsor legislation that will help, encourage and support the Native American community. As a friend, I have dedicated much of my life to serve as an advocate for Native Americans, and will continue to champion for what is best for the community.
As Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, I played an important role in authoring the Nutrition Title of the 2008 Farm Bill. This critical legislation included the largest expansion of on-reservation nutrition programs in the history of the USDA. I also worked with my colleagues to ensure this Farm Bill was the first ever to fully meet the needs of minority and socially disadvantaged farmers. Funding for outreach and service assistance to tribal and other minority farmers was significantly increased. In addition, the Farm Bill created long overdue transparency and accountability at the USDA in its services to minority farmers and ranchers.
Last Congress, in my role as CHC Chair I fought to include the contributions of Native Americans and Hispanics in the PBS documentary "The War." During this time as CHC Chair -- I also fought with my colleagues to beat back harmful English-only amendments that would have threatened the continued existence of native languages.