House passes bill to give American Indian tribes more authority to combat reservation crime

The U.S. House has approved a bill that gives American Indian tribes more authority to combat crime on their reservations.

The Senate has already passed the Tribal Law and Order Act, and Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, a co-sponsor, says he expects President Barack Obama to sign it.

Dorgan says the bill is a response to a crisis situation on Indian reservations where violent crime continues to devastate communities at rates much higher than the national average.

The measure provides for the appointment of special U.S. attorneys to ensure violent crimes are prosecuted, improves training for reservation police, expands the sentencing authority of tribal courts and improves the collection and reporting of Indian crime data.