Key Dem lawmaker objects to building new Redskins stadium on federal land

The incoming Democratic chair of an influential congressional subcommittee said she opposes a plan to build a stadium for the Washington Redskins on federal land.

Rep. Betty McCollumBetty Louise McCollumOvernight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans Dems ask Interior to stop offshore drilling work during shutdown House chairman says Trump should close parks during shutdown MORE (Minn.) told The Washington Post that she does not support an effort by team owner Dan Snyder to include language in a year-end spending bill that would pave the way for redeveloping federally owned land to build a new NFL stadium.

The Minnesota Democrat is slated to chair a subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee dealing with spending by the Department of Interior, which owns the land in question.

ADVERTISEMENT

McCollum, who also chairs the congressional Native American Caucus, said that part of her opposition to Snyder's efforts to obtain a new stadium stemmed from the team's name, which has been criticized as a racial slur against Native Americans.

“That’s not something the federal government should be condoning, encouraging or be a part of,” McCollum told the Post. “Is it because there are no tribes here, that it’s OK — they really don’t exist, we can pretend that this doesn’t mean anything? It means a great deal to young Native American children, that means a great deal to Native American veterans. It means a great deal to me.”

Snyder and team officials have long denied that the name is meant to be offensive. Supporters of the team's bid for a new stadium are hoping to include pertinent language in a spending bill later this month, before McCollum and Democrats retake the House in January.

Snyder's efforts with D.C. officials to clear land that's home to the team's previous field, RFK stadium, was first reported last week by The Washington Post, which said Snyder believes his chances of obtaining the land will diminish when House Democrats are in the majority.

The deadline for passing a year-end spending measure and avoiding a partial government shutdown is Dec. 21.