Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) were formally elected as Chairwoman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
The formal selection and adoption of rules for the 113th Congress occurred today during the organizing meeting of the Indian Affairs Committee.
Cantwell, who was selected unanimously, is the first woman to chair the committee and succeeds former Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI). Barrasso was also unanimously elected to serve as Vice Chairman. He served as Vice Chairman of the committee during the 111th and 112th Congresses.
"I am very much looking forward to working closely with Senator Barrasso and the members of the committee during this session of Congress," Cantwell said. "I know that we are both committed to continuing the bipartisan approach that this committee has always embraced. We have important work to do on a range of issues to improve economic opportunity across Indian Country."
"I'm honored to work with Chairwoman Cantwell as we continue the committee's long standing history of bipartisanship," Barrasso said. "We'll work together with members of the committee on a range of important issues, including energy and natural resource development, jobs, Indian health care, education, and tribal self-governance."
Both Cantwell and Barrasso said they would work to continue the committee's tradition of bipartisanship in addressing issues important to American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.
At the meeting, in addition to adopting its rules for the new Congress, the committee also adopted its funding resolution for committee operations. During the 113th Congress, the Committee will meet on Wednesdays or Thursdays. The rules for the 113th Congress, as adopted, are available at: http://www.indian.senate.gov/about/committeerules.cfm.