The U.S. Senate has approved a measure which would apologize to Native Americans, on behalf of the people of the United States, for a history of official misdeeds by the federal government and “many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect”by U.S. citizens.

The apology takes the form of an amendment to the 2010 defense appropriations bill, and would require the House and Senate to concur on a version of the appropriations bill which includes the amendment before it would take effect.

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The U.S. Senate will consider an apology for slavery and the subsequent history of legalized discrimination, under a plan announced by senators Sam Brownback and Tom Harkin and covered in an article made available by USA Today this evening.

Harkin and Brownback have already lined up 14 co-sponsors, including presidential candidates Clinton and Obama, for their proposed apology, which they plan to introduce in the Senate as early as March.

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According to the Boston Globe, Senator Sam Brownback intends to offer a resolution in the Senate this week calling for Congress to apologize for slavery.

Brownback, a social conservative running for president, says that he has a Democratic partner for his proposal, which fits with earlier efforts on his part to address historic injustices committed against American Indians and others.

This resolution would join H.Res. 194, Rep. Cohen’s earlier resolution currently before the House.