Lance Morgan of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, chairman of the Native American Contractors Association (NACA) and chief executive officer of Winnebago, Nebraska-based Ho-Chunk Inc., will deliver a message to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in Washington today that American Indian tribes, the states and national government will suffer if Congress makes big changes to the government contracting program, reported the Omaha World-Herald.
The webcast testimony is available live. The hearing began at 2:15 p.m. in Room 628 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.
Morgan is defending the U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) program designed to provide economic opportunities for Native businesses and level the playing field for government contracts. “It’s opened the world to us and allowed us to shine,” Morgan said of Ho-Chunk, Inc., the economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. “And it never would have been possible without these government contracts.”
The hearing called “Promise Fulfilled: The Role of the SBA 8(a) Program in Enhancing Economic Development in Indian Country,” will address the criticisms of Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo and Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-MS, “alleging possible misconduct by a few Alaska Native Corporations in their execution of government contracts within the 8(a) Program,” states a Ho-Chunk, Inc. press release. Both Senator McCaskill and Congressman Thompson have introduced legislation to eliminate the ANC’s from the Native 8(a) program.