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WASHINGTON—Speaking before a bipartisan working group to end domestic violence on Sept. 26, Navajo Council Delegate Amber Crotty (Beclabito, Cove, Gadi’i’áhi/To’Koi, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooi, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Tsé ałnáoz’t’I’í) called on lawmakers to support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2018. The reauthorization bill provides inclusion of necessary expansions to Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (sexual assault, sex trafficking, stalking, co-occurring child abuse; and co-attendant crimes).

WASHINGTON—House lawmakers will return from their month-long August recess on September 4. August is a time for lawmakers to campaign, listen to constituents and get ready for the mid-term elections in November. Upon the return to Capitol Hill, they will be taking up a number of issues including appropriation and authorization bills to keep the federal government operating. Fiscal 2018 ends on September 31.

WASHINGTON—On March 12, the Monument Valley Ambassadors, a group of high school students from Monument Valley High School, Utah, visited the Navajo Nation Washington Office (NNWO) during their visit to the nation's Capitol. The students voiced their concerns for improving road conditions and education in their community. The ambassadors also raised concern about health care, veterans, and natural resources.

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of the Interior released proposed land into trust regulations including reinstating "the 30-day delay for taking land into trust following a decision by the Secretary or Assistant Secretary."

The abstract reads:

"This rule revises existing regulations governing off-reservation trust acquisitions to establish new items that must be included in an application and threshold criteria that must be met for off-reservation acquisitions before National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance will be required. The rule will also reinstate the 30-day delay for taking land into trust following a decision by the Secretary or Assistant Secretary."

Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Michael S. Black, invites Tribal leaders to attend one of the listed listening sessions to provide input on improving "efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability" at the Department of the Interior.

Lawmakers have decided to put off government funding decisions until March 2017. That gives Republicans time to coordinate with President-elect Donald Trump, but it also means they have to devise another stopgap deal before Dec. 9. Lawmakers are in recess for Thanksgiving.

WASHINGTON—The House and Senate will reconvene next week after a weeklong recess. The Senate will reconvene for regular business Monday, June 6 and the House will reconvene Tuesday, June 7. Follow this link for the 2016 Congressional calendar. 

The Tribal Interior Budge Council Meeting will take place May 10-12 at the Washington Plaza Hotel.

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