News | Legislative & Policy Updates

Sen. Tester Now Heading Indian Affairs Committee

Sen. Cantwell Leaves & Sen. Tester Takes Over as Chair of Senate Indian Affairs Committee
Last week (Thursday, Feb. 13) U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) took over leadership as the new chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. He replaced Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who had been chair since February 2013. This change in leadership was spurred by a reorganization of committees when Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. ambassador to China.

In her time at the helm of the committee, Cantwell advocated for Indian people on issues of healthcare, education and housing, and was a major architect in the Violence Against Women Act legislation. She was the first woman to lead the committee. She recently earned some publicity because of her role in advocating for a change in the name of the Washington, D.C., NFL team.

According to Tester’s biography, his leadership was shaped by his family’s belief that family agriculture and public education are the foundations of democracy. According to the committee, Tester has served as an Indian Affairs Committee member for seven years and looks forward to this new step in leadership. To learn more about Tester, visit his Senate webpage here:

We look forward to seeing what actions Tester will take in support of American Indian people.