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Jennifer Bendery @jbendery
, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I'm gonna do a little thread that I think you should read. (1/14)
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young Native woman named Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. She lived in Fargo, North Dakota. She was 22 years old. She was eight months pregnant. And then she disappeared. (2/14)
Her parents called the police. After reports of suspicious behavior by a couple who lived in the same apt building as Savanna, the police got a search warrant & smashed in the door to their apt. They found the woman who lived there with a newborn. It was Savanna's baby. (3/14)
The woman confessed to killing Savanna to kidnap her baby. Her boyfriend admitted dumping bloody towels & his own bloody shoes into an apt building trash bin. Days later, some kayakers found Savanna's body in a river. She was wrapped in plastic and duct tape. (4/14)
That was August 2017. Today, Savanna's baby is living with her dad and Savanna's story is part of a horrifying statistic. 84% of Native American women experience violence in their lifetime. In some counties, they are murdered at TEN TIMES the national average. (5/14)
The level of violence aimed at Native women is so high in Savanna's state that almost everyone in Indian Country -- ~30K American Indians live in ND -- *personally* knows someone who has gone missing or been murdered. That's according to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). (6/14)
So Heitkamp introduced a bill to try to do something about this. It's called #SavannasAct. It trains and incentivizes law enforcement to better handle cases of murdered and missing indigenous women. I wrote about it here. (7/14)…
Heitkamp's bill sailed through the Senate this month. Unanimous vote. It was expected to sail through the House, too, on the suspension calendar, which expedites votes on bills with broad support. But then it hit a snag. That snag is called Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). (8/14)
Goodlatte is single-handedly blocking #SavannasAct. How can he do that? He's the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over this bill. If he doesn't want it to move, Paul Ryan won't move it. Now it's going nowhere. (9/14)
Why is Goodlatte blocking #SavannasAct? His office has refused to answer this question all week. Believe me, I have been annoying. Got nada, other than a vague statement on Monday. But I finally figured out yesterday what his problem is. (10/14)
Goodlatte is blocking this bill b/c he doesn't like that it gives an incentive for DOJ to give law enforcement grants to agencies that want to use this $ to implement #SavannasAct guidelines. He is about to tank the entire bill over this. See here:… (11/14)
So, in sum, a single GOP congressman is blocking a bill that would help combat horrifying levels of violence against Native women. It would pass the House if it got a vote. It doesn't cost any additional federal $. But Goodlatte, who is retiring, won't let it go. (12/14)
Congress will adjourn any day now. When it does, this bill will expire. There is still a tiny window of time for this bill to get on the House suspension calendar, but only if Goodlatte lets it go. He's hoping to let this bill quietly die with the congressional session. (13/14)
I know everyone is focused on the govt shutdown, Mattis, etc. But this is happening too. Just wanted yall to know about this bill, the shit that Native women face & that one retiring GOP congressman is making his blockade of #SavannasAct his final act in Congress. Fin. (14/14)
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