During this week’s edition of Capitol Report on News9, the CBS News affiliate in Oklahoma City, veteran political analyst Patrick B. McGuigan encouraged President Donald Trump – in wake of his strong and effective speech to Congress — to focus on making life better for those who left behind in Indian County, including here in Oklahoma.
Although former President Barack Obama often expressed sympathy for the smaller Native American tribes, personnel at the Department of Interior, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, prevented substantive changes needed to shift away from advantages given to larger tribes in allocation of trust lands, and other matters.
The CapitolBeatOK editor, in discussion with reporter Chris Gilmore, said Trump and new U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke need to avoid Bush and Obama holdover appointments, and bring in new blood at the agency to assure smaller tribes get a better treatment from the federal government. McGuigan said Secretary Zinke had a good first day on the just Thursday (March 2), when he rode horseback to the agency with members of the Park Police.
Turning to Oklahoma news, McGuigan commended state Sen. David Holt and Rep. Leslie Osborn for getting REAL-ID in place after seven years of challenge. Tonching on Tuesday’s state Senate floor debate, McGuigan said he understood concerns of senators like Nathan Dahm and Ralph Shortey, who consistently raised liberty issues about the “compliant” I.D. system. However, the issue had to be resolved – and has been enacted with Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature this past week.