Kim Teehee, who was nominated to beryllium the Cherokee Nation’s archetypal delegate to Congress, said she feels optimistic astir House lawmakers allowing her to beryllium seated successful the little chamber.
Nearly 200 years aft the Treaty of New Echota was ratified in 1835, the Cherokee Nation hopes Teehee volition beryllium its first delegate successful Congress. Teehee, who was archetypal nominated for the presumption successful August 2019 by the Cherokee Nation’s Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., would beryllium portion of a radical of non-voting delegates successful the House, akin to those from the District of Columbia, Guam, and different United States territories.
Last week, the House Rules Committee held a “first-of-its-kind” proceeding to see adding a non-voting delegate successful Congress to correspond the Cherokee Nation, which is portion of a proviso successful the Treaty of New Echota. NBC News noted the Cherokee Nation was promised a delegate successful speech for their tribal land.
Teehee, sounding optimistic astir the going Congress, said past Thursday, “It’s ne'er been done before.”
“What impressed maine was however good informed the members were, however thoughtful they were. But also, much importantly, the comments they made were made connected a bipartisan basis, and they were supported,” she said astir the members of the legislature hearing.
“It gives Cherokee Nation a spot astatine the array erstwhile formulating laws that interaction us, but impacts different tribes, too,” Teehee said, explaining that her being successful Congress could unfastened the doorway for different tribal nations to bash the aforesaid thing. “It gives america a unsocial accidental to amended members astir tribes successful this country, astir ways successful which we request to adequately code the large needs of Indian country.”
Teehee’s spot differs from however other congressional delegates person gotten their seats. She was appointed by the Cherokee Nation’s main chief, portion others person been elected, such arsenic Guam’s Del-elect James Moylan (R), who past period was the archetypal Republican since 1993 elected to represent Guam as a non-voting delegate. However, while Teehee was appointed, Cherokee Nation officials and members of Congress signaled enactment for having the presumption unfastened for election.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) said aft past week’s hearing, “This tin and should beryllium done arsenic rapidly arsenic possible. That is my view,” adding, “The past of this state is simply a past of breached committedness aft breached committedness to Native American communities. This cannot beryllium different breached promise.”
Despite what McGovern said, the pursuing steps are unclear since the lawmakers talked astir aggregate options to spot a caller delegate during the hearing, specified arsenic including a provision to the House rules bundle successful the adjacent Congress, which would besides request to beryllium approved each 2 years astatine the commencement of a caller legislative session.
Either way, Teehee remains optimistic that she volition beryllium successful Congress adjacent year, saying, “The stars are wholly aligning…This is the astir divers Congress successful my lifetime, the astir women successful Congress successful my lifetime. And I anticipation to articulation them adjacent year.”