Rep. Noem respects South Dakota’s Native American heritage and works hard to advocate for Indian Country. She is committed to working with tribal leaders to help improve opportunities for Native Americans in South Dakota. From introducing legislation to uphold tribal sovereignty, to working to give Native American women access to new protections from violence and fighting for job training funds, Kristi has been an advocate for Indian Country.
Rep. Noem has been an advocate for South Dakota’s tribes in Washington. Here are just a few examples:
- Rep. Noem introduced Tribal Sovereignty legislation to clarify that the National Labor Relations Board does not have jurisdiction over tribally owned businesses on reservation land as a matter tribal sovereignty.
- A subcommittee hearing was recently held on the bill and Rep. Noem is working to move it forward.
- Rep. Noem has worked to increase job training opportunities for Native Americans in South Dakota. She inserted an amendment to the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 that would increase the amount of Workforce Investment Funds that can be set aside for Native Americans from one to two percent.
- These funds would go directly to tribes for employment and training service programs.
- Rep. Noem has been an advocate for Native American women. Rep. Noem inserted a provision in the House-passed Violence Against Women Act that would empower Native American women and / or their tribal government to petition the federal government for a federal restraining order.
- Rep. Noem successfully inserted an amendment into the House Agriculture Committee-passed Farm Bill to create a permanent Office of Tribal Relations within the United States Department of Food and Agriculture.
- This office will help ensure the Secretary is advised on policy impacting Native Americans and Tribal access to USDA programs.
Anyone questioning Rep. Noem’s commitment to South Dakota should take a look at her record.
- Rep. Noem has a 99 percent voting record in committee and a 98 percent voting record on the House floor.
- Of 240 recorded committee votes, Rep. Noem has voted 237 times.
- Rep. Noem serves on a higher-than-average number of committees. Rep. Noem serves on 3 committees and 9 subcommittees.
- Rep. Noem was also elected by her peers to be a part of the leadership team and attempts to meet with all South Dakotans who visit Washington, D.C.
- Rep. Noem has had over 800 meetings with South Dakotans since coming to Congress.
Rep. Noem always chooses the meeting that has the greatest impact on South Dakota. When it came to Rep. Noem attending Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee meetings, she applies that principle. Here are a few examples:
- On November 3, 2011, Rep. Noem missed a subcommittee hearing to meet with Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar along with Sens. Johnson, Thune and others to discuss funding for the Lewis & Clark water system that impacts 300,000 people.
- On May 26, 2011, Rep. Noem was attending an Education & Workforce subcommittee hearing.
- On June 22, 2011, Rep. Noem was voting in the Education & Workforce Committee and meeting with South Dakotans as opposed to attending a subcommittee hearing focused on issues specific to Montana, Alabama and Texas.
- On April 19, 2012, Rep. Noem was speaking on the House floor to advocate on behalf of the Small Business Tax Credit.
- At least six subcommittee hearings were specifically focused on tribes in states other than South Dakota.
- A subcommittee hearing on May 24, 2011 was specific to the state of Arizona. Rep. Noem chose to meet with a South Dakota trade association at that time.
- A subcommittee hearing on March 20, 2012 was specific to tribes in Utah and Alaska and Rep. Noem chose to meet with South Dakotans in her office.