Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arizona Republicans Stab Their Own Native American Constituents In The Back

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Only 55 Republican bigots cast nay votes against the Native American Business Development Enhancement Act of 2009. H.R. 1834, passed with an overwhelming margin. 343 to 55, every Democrat voting yes and the GOP split 108 for it and 55 against it. Most of the nay votes were from the extreme fringes of the radical right, your Michele Bachmanns, Virginia Foxxes, Paul Brouns, Tom McClintocks and Mike Pences.

The bill "amends the Small Business Act to establish in the Small Business Administration (SBA) the Office of Native American Affairs, administered by a new SBA Associate Administrator, to increase Native American entrepreneurship [and] authorizes the SBA's Administrator (acting through the Assiociate Administrator) to: (1) operate a Tribal Business Information Centers program that provides Native American populations with business training and entrepreneurial development assistance; (2) designate entities as centers; (3) contribute agency personnel and resources to the centers; and (4) make grants to the centers."

The bill was introduced by conservative Arizona Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, whose district includes the largest Indian reservation in the U.S. Every single Arizona Democrat voted for it, of course. The dean of the delegation, Raúl Grijalva spoke for them all when he said "I am gratified that the Small Business Administration, through this legislative action, has finally acknowledged the importance of Native Americans and their vital role in the economy. Giving this government-to-government relationship its proper significance is a strong step toward economic empowerment for the Native American community.”

But not a single Republican voted for it, even though most Republicans outside Arizona did. John Shadegg, whose voting record is always very anti-Native American, was a predictable "no." His suburban Phoenix district doesn't have a large Native American population. Trent Franks however, is in a district with a huge Native American population. Although he had been voting all day, he conveniently managed to slip out for this one so he wouldn't have to go on the record. (At 4:29PM Franks voted against increasing the reimbursement rate for Medicare doctors, but at 4:37PM, when Native Americans needed him, he had slipped out to hide in a public toilet-- but that's another story for another day.) Although Jeff Flake wasn't cruising men's rooms, he also slipped out and avoided voting.

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4 Comments:

At 9:14 PM, Blogger rewinn said...

I loved the "hiding-in-the-toilet" maneuver. I hope someone makes a campaign ad on that.

Tap tap-tap!

 
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