Congressman Steve King

Representing the 4th District of Iowa

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King's Indian Health Service Language Included in Interior Appropriations Bill

Jun 19, 2019
Press Release

Bill Text Encourages IHS to work directly with Sioux City’s “Siouxland Human Investment Partnership”

 

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Steve King releases this video of remarks he delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives today. In his remarks, King announces that he has successfully placed language in the House Interior Appropriations component of HR 3055 that formally recognizes the Siouxland Human Investment Partnership (SHIP) as a nonprofit organization that the Indian Health Service (IHS) should work with "whenever possible and within Service authority." In addition to the language referencing SHIP, King also highlighted the inclusion of $2,000,000 in grant funding for drug and alcohol treatment services for Native Americans that may be applied for by SHIP to continue work on the “Hope Street” project in Sioux City.

 

To watch Congressman King’s remarks, please click the image or click this link.

Excerpt:

“But the foundational language that I appreciate being in here so much says: ‘The Committee recognizes nonprofit organizations such as the Siouxland Human Investment Partnership that help American Indians in urban areas outside of the Urban Indian Health Program, and encourages the Service to offer technical assistance to such organizations whenever possible and within Service authority.’ I very much appreciate that language.”

“There’s additional language that sets aside ‘$2,000,000 available for 11 grants or contracts with public or private institutions services to provide alcohol or drug treatment services to Indians, including alcohol detoxification services.’ We are in the process of building what we are calling ‘Hope Street’ which is going to be a location that allows them to go directly to that facility for that kind of help.”

In concluding his remarks, King also took time to honor Mr. Frank LaMere. Mr LaMere recently passed away after having spent most of his life serving as an advocate for Native American causes throughout the Midwest. Restoring IHS services had long been one of Mr. LaMere's priorities. King and LaMere collaborated on the language that was submitted for consideration.

Excerpt:

“I wanted to conclude with this. The lead on this effort has been Mr. Frank LaMere. He has been a statesman for the Winnebago for years, and, also, for Native Americans in a broader sense especially in the upper Midwest. He tragically passed away two days ago.  His funeral is today. He worked on these projects for a lifetime and it’s very fitting that we take action on one of his initiatives here in this Congress today. And I am hopeful that we will be able to take up HR 184 which also transfers the land back to the Winnebago that they should rightfully have.”

HR 184 is legislation that has been introduced by Congressman King that seeks to return land to the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska that was wrongfully condemned by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Background:

13 years ago, the Indian Health Service stopped funding an alcohol and drug treatment center in Sioux City. King's language opens the door to the return of IHS grant funding for addiction treatment programs in Sioux City, including drug and alcohol detox efforts coordinated by SHIP.  If enacted into law, King’s language will allow SHIP, and other nonprofit organizations, to partner with the IHS to better serve Native American populations in urban areas like Sioux City.

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