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Bills designed to address the issue of missing and murdered Native Americans that passed unanimously in the House Monday are headed to President Trump's desk to be signed into law.

Why it matters: The first bill, Savanna's Act, "addresses a tragic issue in Indian Country and helps establish better law enforcement practices to track, solve and prevent these crimes against Native Americans," said Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chair John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who co-sponsored the bill, in a statement.

The big picture: Savanna's Act is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year-old member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe from Fargo, North Dakota, who was eight months pregnant when she was killed in 2017. Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) originally introduced the bill that year.

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told HuffPost when she took over the lead of the bill in 2019, "Native women, because of their looks, can be viewed as more exotic, more Asian, and apparently there is a higher market for women that are of Asian descent. When I heard that, it just… It just sickens me."
  • Murkowski said in a statement Monday the legislation would improve coordination "among all levels of law enforcement, increases data collection and information sharing, and empowers tribal governments with access to the necessary law enforcement databases to help solve cold cases."
  • The second bill, the Not Invisible Act, "paves the way for greater collaboration between federal agencies, law enforcement, and elected tribal officials, ensuring Alaska Natives and survivors have a voice in developing methods to end these horrible crimes," Murkowski said.

Go deeper

Nov 12, 2020 - Health

87-year-old Rep. Don Young tests positive for COVID

Young arrives for a news conference outside of the Capitol in March 2019. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the oldest member of Congress, tweeted Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Why it matters: At 87 years old, Young is part of the age group at "greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19," according to the CDC.

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.