Via Daily Caller:
A Democratic lawmaker said Republicans were using a local official and Navajo tribal member as a “token” minority in support of a mineral and land-use rights bill that is meant to oppose a potential national monument.
Utah Navajo Native and San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally testified in support of the bill Wednesday, but California Rep. Raul Ruiz said her support meant little since the Navajo president and council opposed the bill, which was introduced by Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop.
“First of all, saying that the Navajo Nation supports this land grab because one Navajo woman acting as a commissioner is like using her as a token spokesperson for her nation,” Ruiz said during a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing.
The “land grab” Ruiz is referring to is a claim that Bishop’s bill would transfer 100,000 acres of tribal lands to the state of Utah. Bishop said this is false, but Ruiz persisted.
“That is wrong and that is not right,” he said. “The Navajo Nation under their president and their council opposes this land grab and they are in solidarity with the Ute Nation.”