Government

Osage Congress votes to hold ARPA-related legislation, to discuss prioritizing bills

On Day 5 of the 10th Special Session, the Seventh Osage Nation Congress voted to place all legislative bills requesting American Rescue Plan Act funding on hold as other bills are still being considered at the committee level.

As of July 29, there are 13 bills on second reading of the Osage legislative process. These bills have been considered by Congressional select and standing committees and received at least majority votes by those committees to be referred to Congress. At the second reading level, there are three general order days where legislation is subject to amendments. If any Congress member wishes to propose any bill changes, then those amendments will need votes by the 12-member Congress to determine whether the amendments will be made to each bill.

During the July 29 session, under General Order Day 2, Congressman RJ Walker said, “I feel like we’re at a stopping point at least the way I’ve been understanding our discussions so I feel compelled to hold everything on General Order Day 2 to the call of the Speaker.”

Walker’s motion included 13 ARPA-related bills that reached second reading so far with the motion seconded by Congresswoman Alice Goodfox.

The motion passed 12-0.

The Congress then discussed setting their next meeting date with some members noting there will be more newly filed legislation to consider adding to proclamation and more scheduled committee meetings, as well as a discussion on setting priorities on the filed ARPA-related legislation.

Congressman Eli Potts said he has two new bills that would need votes to be added to the proclamation. Goodfox and Pratt also have new ARPA-related bills that would need votes by Congress to be added to the proclamation to be considered during the special session. Per Osage law, proclamations may only be amended by an affirmative vote of consent by two-thirds of the Congress members while in session.

Walker said he preferred the Congress meet Friday to allow committee work to continue and “I wouldn’t mind beginning the discussion about prioritizing all of this in committee of the whole rather than to let it sit, simmer or whatever for four days until Monday. I feel like we’ve all been working this week, it’s fresh in our minds and the end of the week would be a good time to talk about prioritizing.”

Goodfox motioned for Congress to next meet in session for Day 6 at 10 a.m. Friday, July 30, which passed unanimously.

Special sessions may last up to 10 days and may be extended up to three additional days at two-thirds of Congress members' written request. Otherwise, Congress members can motion and vote to end a special session once all legislative business is deemed complete.

For more Congressional information and to view filed legislative bills/ resolutions, visit the Legislative Branch website at: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch.