Lawmakers from both parties heaped praise on legislation to recognize the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Montana and six tribes in Virginia. But it was Republicans who took the lead in pushing for passage of the H.R.286, the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act, and H.R.872, the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act.
“It’s unbelievable today that we are still fighting for them to be federally recognized,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Virginia), the sponsor of H.R.872, said at hearing before the House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs
The Republican embrace stands in contrast to the one given by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Although he didn’t block consideration of both bills when they came up at a business meeting in March, he reiterated his opposition to Congressional recognition.