U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) on Sept. 22 proposed a bipartisan bill that would require federal law enforcement agencies to report cases of missing or murdered Native Americans.
“Tribal communities in central Washington are, sadly, at the center of the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and that is unacceptable,” Rep. Newhouse said. “The federal government must play an important role in helping our tribal communities.
Rep. Newhouse is one of six original cosponsors of the Bridging Agency Data Gaps and Ensuring Safety (BADGES) Act for Indigenous Communities, HR 8960, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) is also among the original co-sponsors of HR 8960.
If enacted, the legislation would address federal inefficiencies that negatively impact recruitment and retention of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) law enforcement, according to a summary of the bill provided by the Rep.’s office. Newhouse.
Additionally, the bill would increase the effectiveness of federal resources for missing persons and provide resources to tribes and states to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW) crisis, the summary states.
The BADGES Act for Indigenous Communities “will provide tribes and tribal law enforcement with access to federal resources and criminal databases so they can effectively and quickly investigate these tragic cases,” said Representative Newhouse.
The congressman also noted that HR 8960 builds on his efforts to increase the resources of tribal law enforcement officers to further improve their ability to enforce public safety and help improve security. public.
“In turn, this legislation will also provide assistance to tribes to deal with MMIW cases, prevent future cases and bring justice to families of victims,” he said.
HR 8960 is endorsed by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, Seattle Indian Health Board, Amnesty International, National Council of Urban Indian Health, and National Congress of American Indians.
“I am committed to providing assistance to our Indigenous communities and look forward to seeing this legislation enacted,” Rep. Newhouse said.