WASHINGTON D.C. (KFOR) – Congressman Tom Cole released a statement Wednesday regarding the Cherokee Nation delegate’s seat in Congress.

“Today’s hearing marked an important first step in understanding the legal and procedural factors surrounding the issue of seating a delegate from the Cherokee Nation in the House. I certainly welcome the examination of this question in Congress,” said Cole. “The conversations started today importantly lay the groundwork for other committees of jurisdiction to study it further in the days ahead.”

This comes after Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. called upon the U.S. House of Representatives to live up to the promise made in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota.

The treaty Treaty was a provision that granted the Cherokee Nation a delegate “whenever Congress shall make provision for the same.”

Congressman Cole also made extensive remarks during the hearing.

“With today’s hearing, we begin examination of a specific promise made in the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, and I certainly welcome the examination of this question by Congress. But it seems clear from the language of the treaty that this right is not self-executing and would require action by Congress to implement.” said Cole.

Cole also noted that Wednesday’s hearing was to give Congress the opportunity to understand the issue.

“Finally, I wish to clean up a common misunderstanding about the nature of today’s hearing that I have seen reported in the media. This is a hearing to give Congress an opportunity to understand the issue of seating a delegate to represent the Cherokee Nation. There is no vote on that issue today. Indeed, at present, no legislation has been introduced on this issue.” noted Cole.