House Passes Rep. Blum’s Sac & Fox Legislation
Today, joined by the entire Iowa delegation as co-sponsors, Rep. Rod Blum’s legislation to restore criminal jurisdiction to the Sac & Fox Tribe passed through the House of Representatives.
This bill repeals a 1948 federal statute which limits tribal criminal jurisdiction at the Sac and Fox tribe within the State of Iowa. The State of Iowa is supportive and enacted legislation in April 2016 which enables the federal government to repeal the existing law.
Speaking on the House Floor today, Congressman Blum voiced his support:
“With respect to the law enforcement on the Settlement today a lot has changed since 1948. Today the Tribe has a fully functional criminal justice system which includes a full time police department whose officers are certified by the State of Iowa. The Tribe maintains and employs law trained judges and a prosecutor who, together with a probation department, handle all criminal cases which arise on Tribal lands.[...] The entirety of the Meskwaki Settlement is located in Tama County, Iowa in my district. Since I came to Washington, I’ve gotten to know the Sac and Fox Tribal Council and their representatives, and was happy to first introduce this bill in 2016 after its approval by Governor Branstad.”
“Today marks a major step forward in our effort to restore a piece of our sovereignty and provide better law enforcement services on our Settlement. We remain hopeful that the U.S. Senate will follow the House’s lead on this issue” said Tribal Chairman Alvin Wildcat. He further noted, “We wish to thank Congressman Rod Blum and Congressman David Young for their strong support and tireless advocacy in navigating this bill through the legislative process.”
This bill awaits further consideration in the Senate, where the companion bill, S. 381, was introduced by Senator Grassley.
Watch the entire floor speech by Rep. Blum here.