Rounds’ RESPECT Act Passes Senate Indian Affairs Committee Unanimously

RESPECT Act would repeal outdated statutes related to the federal government’s treatment of Native American citizens

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today praised the Senate Indian Affairs Committee’s unanimous passage of his Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes Act (RESPECT Act). This legislation would repeal several outdated, offensive federal laws against Native Americans, including laws that allow for the forced removal of Native American children from their homes to be sent to boarding schools and laws subjecting Native Americans to forced labor.

“The laws that would be repealed under the RESPECT Act are a sad reminder of the hostile aggression and overt racism displayed by the early federal government toward Native Americans,” said Rounds. “The idea that these laws were ever considered is disturbing, but the fact that they remain part of our legal code today is, at best, an oversight. I thank Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and all the members of the committee, for moving the RESPECT Act forward today.”

The RESPECT Act now heads to the full Senate floor for further action. More information on the RESPECT Act can be found here.