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Senator Lankford’s RESPECT Act Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK)’s Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes (RESPECT) Act was adopted by the Senate by unanimous consent. The bill would repeal several outdated, offensive federal laws against Native Americans, including unenforced laws currently in place subjecting Native Americans to forced labor. Specific to Oklahoma, the bill would repeal a 100-year old law that allowed for the forced removal of Native American children from their homes to attend boarding schools without the consent of the child’s parents. 

“Senate passage of the RESPECT Act takes us one step closer to removing old, disgraceful laws that have not been enforced for generations,” said Lankford. “I’m grateful to the Senate for passing this bill that addresses the important significance to repeal these outdated, offensive laws.”

Lankford cosponsored the RESPECT Act during the 114th Congress, where it passed out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee unanimously. Due to time constraints on the Senate Calendar, it was not voted on by the full Senate in 2016. The bill was originally introduced by Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).