Summary of 2010 Legislation and Regulations of Interest to Indian and Alaska Native Tribes and Organizations
This Memorandum summarizes key legislative and regulatory activity of specific interest to tribes and Indian organizations in the second session of the 111th Congress (2010). Any legislation not enacted into law by adjournment of the 111th Congress died and will have to be reintroduced in the current (112th) Congress in order to receive consideration.
Despite the highly partisan nature of Congress in which every vote was seen through the lens of the November 2010 elections, it was a banner year for Indian country in terms of enactment of long-sought major initiatives.
In March 2010 the President signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) which includes a permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). Tribal leaders and advocates had worked for twelve years on legislation to amend and reauthorize the IHCIA. Implementation of the ACA is underway but will take several years to be fully realized. Opponents of the ACA have vowed to undo it through the repeal of selected provisions and/or not providing funding for various portions of the law.
The Tribal Law and Order Act was signed into law in July 2010, thus providing tribal law enforcement programs additional power and resources to combat crime. The Act requires increased coordination among federal, tribal and state law enforcement officials in the prevention and prosecution of crime and among federal agencies with regard to support for tribal substance abuse programs. The Act requires the House, Senate, and the White House to appoint Commissioners for the Tribal Law and Order Act, and with the President’s appointment of three commissioners in January 2011, all appointments have been made.
In October 2010 the Departments of Agriculture and Justice announced a settlement agreement in the Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action law suit in which Native American farmers and ranchers alleged decades of discrimination by the USDA with regard to participation in farm loan programs. That agreement was followed in December by enactment into law of the Cobell settlement relating to U.S. mismanagement of Indian trust accounts and resources. The Cobell settlement was included in the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, as were four tribal water rights settlement bills.
Of particular disappointment was the failure of Congress to enact legislation to address the U.S. Supreme Court’s Carcieri v. Salazar decision. That decision created uncertainty about the ability of the Secretary of the Interior to place land into trust for a tribe under the Indian Reorganization Act unless the tribe was federally recognized or under federal jurisdiction in 1934. While legislation to address Carcieri was introduced in the House and Senate and included in a House committee version of an FY 2011 Interior appropriations bill, no Carcieri fix provision was enacted.
Congress did not enact two major bills into which tribal advocates have put considerable effort, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization and the Title IV Self-Governance amendments bills. Both were approved by the House but not considered on the Senate floor.
Among the Presidential appointments made last year were Lillian Sparks (Rosebud and Oglala Sioux) as the Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans; Tracie Stevens (Tulalip) as the Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC); Tracey LeBeau (Cheyenne River Sioux) as Director of the new Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs; and Daniel Little (Mashantucket Pequot) as NIGC Associate Commissioner for a three-year term while Paxton Myers (Eastern Band of Cherokee) became the NIGC’s Chief of Staff. The Federal Communications Commission announced in August the establishment of an Office of Native Affairs with Geoffrey Blackwell (Chickasaw) as its Director. In December, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Sebelius announced the establishment of the first tribal committee to advise the Secretary.
The November elections brought a major change to the United States Congress, with the Republicans gaining control of the House of Representatives and picking up a number of seats in the Senate, although not enough to gain the majority. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, who worked tirelessly for the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and the Tribal Law and Order Act, chose not to run for re-election. Other members who have been especially supportive of Indian Country chose to retire from Congress (Patrick Kennedy – RI)) or were defeated (Earl Pomeroy – ND). Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) held on to her seat by waging an historic write-in campaign in which she enjoyed the strong support of Alaska Natives.
In December 2010, President Obama convened the second annual summit with tribal leaders. A highlight of the meeting was his announcement that the U.S. had reversed its position and would now support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Congress adjourned in late December 2010 without enacting any fiscal year 2011 appropriations bills, but rather enacted several Continuing Resolutions to keep federal agencies running on a short-term basis. As of this writing there are still no year-long funding bills for FY 2011; the current Continuing Resolution expires April 8, 2011.
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Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo 99-year Lease Authorization
America COMPETES Act
Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act
Indian Pueblo Culture Center Clarification Act
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
Kalispel, Puyallup, and Swinomish Tribes Leases
Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homeland Act
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
Indian Employment Credit and Accelerated Depreciation Extensions in Tax Relief Act
Special Diabetes Program for Indians
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
Claims Resolution Act (Cobell, Water Settlements, TANF)
Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act
Education Jobs and Medicaid Funding Supplement
Indian Arts and Crafts/Tribal Law and Order Act
Caregivers and Veterans
Health Care Reform/IHCIA Reauthorization
ADMINISTRATION ACTION/FINAL REGULATIONS
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TAX-RELATED LEGISLATION
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES LEGISLATION
FEDERAL RECOGNITION LEGISLATION
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES LEGISLATION
TRIBAL/ALASKA SPECIFIC LEGISLATION
The following summaries cover actions taken by Congress in the second session of the 111th Congress (from January through December 2010) on selected legislation of significance to tribes. Bills that were enacted into law are listed first, in the reverse chronological order of public law numbers assigned to them. Other measures that did not receive final clearance by the end of the session are listed by issue area and within that according to the latest congressional action (Enacted, House or Senate Consideration, Committee Action, Bills Introduced). Unless otherwise stated, Senate bills were referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the House bills to the House Natural Resources Committee.
• Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo 99-Year Lease Authorization, PL 111-381. On January 4, 2011, the President signed as Public Law 111-381 legislation amending the Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955 to add the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo to the list of tribes authorized to enter into leases of their trust lands for up to 99 years. Without the amendment, the standard lease period is 25 years. The bill (S 3903, S.Rpt. 111-371) was sponsored by Senator Bingaman (D-NM) and the House version (HR 4276) by Representative Lujan (D-NM).
• America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, PL 111-358. On January 4, 2011, the President signed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (HR 5116, H.Rpt. 111-478) as Public Law 111-358. The Act reauthorizes for three years (through FY 2013) the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. It also authorizes math, science and technology programs in the Energy, Education and Commerce departments, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and the National Aeronautics and Space administrations. The bill had a particularly contentious legislative path due to partisan disagreements over authorization levels and length of the authorization period.
The original America COMPETES Act was enacted in 2007 in response to a report by the National Academies, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” which made recommendations for federal government actions to improve U.S. students’ performance in math and science and the nation’s development of technology.
The tribal colleges successfully advocated for an authorization for a separate competition in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) grants program (rather than being part of a national minority-serving institutions competition). Under Section 525 of the Act, the Director of the NSF is authorized to make grants to tribal colleges for: 1) activities to improve courses and curricula in STEM (defined as “academic and professional disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics”); faculty development; stipends for undergraduate students participating in research; laboratory equipment and materials; and other activities as defined by the Director.
One of the new programs, under the Department of Commerce, is the Regional Innovation Clusters–a competitive grant program for projects that would stimulate innovation and have a positive impact on regional economic growth and development. Tribal governments are among the list of eligible entities for this program.
HR 5611 was introduced by Representative Gordon (D-TN).
• Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act, PL 111-356. On January 4, 2011, the President signed the Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act as Public Law 111-356. The Act amends the National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act (PL 109-469) requiring the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in consultation with state, local and tribal governments, to submit to Congress a strategy for preventing the illegal trafficking of drugs across the international border between the United States and Canada. It also contains a section specifically addressing the flow of illegal drugs through cross-border Indian reservations.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 11-003 (January 7, 2011).
• Indian Pueblo Culture Center Clarification Act, PL 111-354. On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed HR 4445, the Indian Pueblo Culture Center Clarification Act, as Public Law 111-354. The Act repeals a provision in law that had stated that the trust lands on which the Center is located was not “Indian Country,” thus affording the parcel the same treatment as other lands held in trust for the All Indian Pueblo Council, the co-owner of the property. The clarification was sought to ensure that businesses on that property would not be subject to state taxation. The Act also contains a provision prohibiting gaming from being conducted on the property.
The bill (HR 4445, H.Rpt. 111-515 and S.Rpt. 111-379) was introduced by Representative Heinrich (D-NM).
• FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, PL 111-353. On January 4, 2011, the President signed HR 2751, legislation which includes the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Food Safety Modernization Act, as Public law 111-353. The Act expands the role of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in keeping the nation’s food supply safe for humans and animals. The Act authorizes the Secretary of DHHS to inspect records related to food and to issue a mandatory food recall if a company does not do so even though it has been determined that the food may cause serious health problems. Inspections and tracking of food will be increased and new rules will be implemented with regard to imported foods. Food facility operators are required to implement plans to prevent or significantly minimize hazards associated with the manufacture, processing, or packaging of foods. Exempt from the Act’s requirements are roadside stands and farmers markets. Local, rather than federal, inspection would be allowed for food processing operations that sell directly to consumers within a 275-mile area and average less than a $500,000 in annual sales; the FDA could withdraw this exemption if a facility has been associated with a food-borne illness.
Section 210 of the Act authorizes grants for the training of tribal, state, local and territorial food safety officials. Section 211 authorizes grants to tribes, states, localities and territories for the development of food safety systems (inspections, investigations, training to meet DHHS standards, increase the capacity of laboratories, and planning in the event of a food recall).
• Kalispel, Puyallup, and Swinomish Tribes Leases, PL 111-336. On December 22, 2010, the President signed as Public Law 111-336 legislation (HR 4401) that amends the Act of August 9, 1955 (25 U.S.C. § 415(a) (b)) regarding leases for the Kalispel, Puyallup and Swinomish Tribes. The Act provides for 99-year leases for the Kalispel and Puyallup Tribes, and authorizes the three Tribes to enter into business and residential surface leases without Secretarial approval under certain restrictions.
Representative Smith (D-WA) introduced HR 4401 and the companion measure (S 2906) was sponsored by Senator Cantwell (D-WA).
• Tribal Leases, PL 111-334. On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed as Public Law 111-334 legislation (S 1448) to amend the Act of August 9, 1955 (25 U.S.C. § 415(a)) to authorize the Coquille Indian Tribe; Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians; Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw; Klamath Tribes; and the Burns Paiute Tribe to obtain 99-year lease authority for trust land.
Senator Merkley (D-OR) introduced S 1448 and Representatives Schrader (D-OR) and DeFazio (D-OR) introduced the House bills, HR 4010 and HR 4916, respectively.
• Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homeland Act, PL 111-323. On December 22, 2010, the President signed the Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homeland Act as Public Law 111-323. The Act as passed was HR 1061 (H.Rpt. 111-306; S.Rpt. 111-161) as amended by the Senate in September 2010, and approved by the House December 14, 2010.
The Act takes into trust for the Hoh Tribe certain non-federal lands now held by the Tribe and 37 acres which are currently administered by the National Park Service (NPS). This will provide the Tribe lands outside the flood zone of their Reservation. The inclusion of the present NPS-administered 37 acres, which is within the Olympia National Park, will connect the tribally-purchased non-federal lands to the present Hoh Reservation. The Act prohibits the placement of buildings, logging, and hunting on the federal lands portion taken into trust for the Tribe under this Act. The Act also includes provisions related to the repair and maintenance of the access road on the land that is being transferred and requires a survey and an environmental assessment on the state and private lands acquired by the Tribe prior to their being taken into trust for the Tribe. Additionally, the Act establishes allowable uses by tribal members of the federal lands and prohibits gaming on these lands.
Representative Dicks (D-WA) sponsored HR 1061 and Senator Murray (D-WA) introduced the companion bill (S 443).
• Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2010, PL 111-320. On December 20, 2010, the President signed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) as Public Law 111-320. The Act also reauthorizes the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), the Adoption Opportunities Act, and the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act.
The Act retains the previous law’s one percent allocation of grants for tribal and migrant programs under the community-based child abuse prevention grants program; the ten percent allocation for tribes under the FVPSA grants; and the 15 percent allocation of funds for tribes originating from the Crime Victims Funds administered through the Department of Justice.
New tribal provisions include: 1) adding tribes/tribal organizations to the list of groups from which individuals may be appointed to the DHHS Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect (section 111); 2) making tribes/tribal organizations eligible for time-limited demonstration projects under the CAPTA discretionary grant programs (section 113(d)); and 3) adding tribal eligibility for a wide array of discretionary CAPTA programs (section 114).
• Indian Employment Credit and Accelerated Depreciation Extension Provisions in Tax Relief Act, PL 111-312. On December 17, 2010, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act (HR 4853) as Public Law 111-312. The Act contains provisions included in previously introduced, Indian-exclusive legislation (HR 474/S 288) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend the Indian employment credit and the depreciation rules for property used predominantly within an Indian reservation. The enacted language (see sections 732 and 739) provides a one-year extension – the expiration date for both provisions is now December 31, 2011.
• Special Diabetes Program for Indians, PL 111-309. On December 15, 2010, the President signed the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act as Public Law 111-309, legislation that includes an extension of the authorization for the Special Diabetes Programs (including both the programs for Type 1 diabetes and Indians) through Fiscal Year 2013, at current authorization levels of $150 million per year for each program. The Act also includes a one-year extension of the Medicare “Doc Fix,” language that prevents Medicare reimbursements to doctors from dropping by 25 percent.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-151 (December 10, 2010).
• Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, PL 111-296. On December 13, 2010, the President signed legislation that reauthorizes and revises programs contained in the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 as Public Law 111-296. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S 3307, S.Rpt. 111-178) reauthorizes through fiscal year 2015 the following: (1) The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); (2) the Summer Food Service Program; (3) the State Administrative Expense Program; and (4) the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The Act also makes revisions to permanently authorized programs under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Many Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools offer the school breakfast/lunch programs through the state in which they are located, and there are tribal/tribal organization-administered WIC programs.
Generally, the Act contains changes that are intended to increase access to meal programs, improve nutrition standards for school-based and preschool meal programs, set nutrition standards for all foods sold in elementary and secondary schools, and promote nutrition and healthy eating. The Act includes sections that: o Provide that foster children who are the responsibility of the State or placed by a court are automatically eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. o Provide a performance-based increase in per-meal reimbursements for schools that meet the forthcoming updated nutrition standards. (The proposed USDA regulations were published January 13, 2011 and the comment deadline is April 13.) o Authorize the USDA to set nutrition standards for foods sold on a school campus throughout the school day (i.e., a la carte cafeteria items, vending machines, snack stores), and that revenue from a la carte sales is at least equal to its costs o Require schools to incrementally increase paid lunch fees to a level where the per lunch revenue matches the federal free lunch reimbursement level (beginning in school year 2011-2012) o Provide $5 million annually in mandatory funding for the Farm-to-School competitive grant program which seeks to increase access to local foods; tribes and tribal organizations are among the eligible applicants
Additional information is available via the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website www.fns.usda.gov. The agency has posted a summary chart of PL 111-296, by program, at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/PL111-296_Summary.pdf.
• Claims Resolution Act, PL 111-291. On December 8, 2010, President Obama signed as Public Law 111-291 the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (HR 4783) which includes the Cobell Settlement, the Pigford II settlement (African American farmers vs. the Department of Agriculture), four tribal water rights bills and a one-year extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. There is no increase in the TANF funding nor does the extension include a TANF Emergency Fund.
The Cobell settlement, the outcome of the lawsuit filed in 1996 against the federal government for mismanagement of individual Indian trust accounts and trust assets, includes: o Individuals’ compensation fund: $1.5 billion o Trust Administration Fund: $100 million o Trust Land Consolidation Fund: $1.9 billion (allows $60 million to be transferred to a scholarship fund). The tribal water rights bills were formerly free-standing bills as follows: White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Agreement (HR 1065/S 313), Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act (S 375/HR 3563), Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement (HR 3254/S 965) and the Aamodt Litigation Settlement affecting the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque (HR 3342/S 1105).
For additional information see our General Memoranda 10-147 (December 3, 2010) and 10-023 (March 3, 2010).
• Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act, PL 111-269. On October 12, 2010, the President signed the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act as Public Law 111-269 (HR 3553, S.Rpt. 111-299). The Act amends the definition of “income” in the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) to exclude from consideration as income service-related disability payments and survivor benefits paid to veterans and their families.
HR 3553 was introduced by Representative Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Senator Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Senate version (S 3246). For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-123 (October 1, 2010).
• Rosa’s Law, PL111-256. On October 5, 2010, the President signed S 2791, Rosa’s Law, as Public Law 111-256. The Act replaces the phrase “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” and replaces the phrase “mentally retarded individual” with “individual with an intellectual disability” in various education, health and labor laws. The title of the Act is in honor of Rosa Marcellino, a nine-year old girl with Down’s syndrome who worked with the Maryland General Assembly to enact such a law in that State.
• Education Jobs and Medicaid Funding Supplement, PL 111-226. On August 10, 2010, President Obama signed as Public Law 111-226 legislation that authorizes an Education Jobs Fund and provides an extension of increased Medicaid payments (HR 1586). The bill, originally the Aviation Safety and Investment Act, was amended to provide $10 billion for an Education Jobs Fund which includes a 0.5 percent set-aside for BIE-funded schools. Funds are for school year 2010-2011 and are intended to help schools create, retain or re-hire staff for education-related positions at the elementary and secondary levels but may not be used for administrative expenses.
Title II of the Act includes an extension of the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP), and addresses certain allowable drugs under Medicaid.
• Indian Arts and Crafts/Tribal Law and Order Act, PL 111-211. On July 29, 2010, the President signed as Public Law 111-211 legislation that amends the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and enacted the Tribal Law and Order Act.
Title I deals with violations involving misrepresentation of products as being American Indian-/Alaska Native-made and was first passed by the House on January 19, 2010. The House version of the Indian Arts and Crafts Amendments bill was introduced by Representative Pastor (D-AZ) (HR 725, H.Rpt. 111-397) while the Senate version (S 151) was introduced by Senator McCain (R-AZ).
Title II—Tribal Law and Order Act—provides for a comprehensive overhaul and enhancement of tribal law enforcement authority to give tribal police, court officers, and advocates more authority to deal with domestic violence, drug, and gang-related crimes. Senators Dorgan (D-ND) and Barrasso (R-WY) cosponsored the Tribal Law and Order bill (S 797, S.Rpt. 111-93). Representative Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) introduced the companion bill (HR 1924).
For additional information see our General Memoranda 10-090 (July 10, 2010), 10-100 (July 29, 2010) and 10-117 (October 1, 2010).
• Caregivers and Veterans, PL 111-163. On May 5, 2010, President Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act (S 1963) as Public Law 111-163. The Act is designed to improve health care for veterans in rural areas, help the Veterans Administration (VA) adapt to the increasing needs of women veterans and expand services for homeless veterans. Additionally, the Act initiates a comprehensive services package that provides family caregivers of veterans injured after 9/11 with training, counseling, personal care stipends and increased access to health care.
S 1963 was introduced by Senator Akaka (D-HI). For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-086 (June 25, 2010).
• PACT Act, PL 111-154. On March 31, 2010, the President signed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act as Public Law 111-154. The primary focus of the PACT Act is to amend the Jenkins Act in order to enhance restrictions on mail order tobacco business and ensure that sellers of tobacco products pay applicable state and federal taxes.
The Act amends the Jenkins Act to tighten restrictions on “delivery sellers” of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, as well as treating those products as non-mailable through the U.S. Postal Service within the continental United States. The Act requires cigarette sellers to register with the Department of Justice and maintain more extensive sales and delivery records. The new, enhanced regulation requires heightened age and identity verification requirements and more stringent reporting requirements for all delivery sellers that use the internet, telephone, or a common carrier to transact a sale. Criminal and civil penalties under the existing Jenkins Act are also expanded.
Senator Kohl (D-WI) introduced the Senate bill (S 1147) and the House version was introduced by Representative Weiner (D-NY).
• Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act/IHCIA Reauthorization, PL 111-148. On March 23, 2110, President Obama signed the comprehensive health care reform bill (HR 3590), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), as Public Law 111-148. Included within the Affordable Care Act is permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) and more than 50 revised or new provisions for that Act. Tribal advocates worked for a dozen years on reauthorization of the IHCIA.
Section 10221 of the Affordable Care Act incorporates by reference the text of S 1790, the Indian Health Care Improvement Reauthorization and Extension Act of 2009, which was approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in December 2009. It includes many advances to the Indian health system long-sought by Indian Country while other portions of the Affordable Care Act hold the promise of supplying additional revenues to the chronically under-funded IHS system. We have reported in detail to tribal clients on the IHCIA and health care reform provisions of PL 111-148.
• HIRE Act, PL 111-147. On March 18, 2010, President Obama signed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, HR 2847, as Public Law 111-147. The Act extends the authorization for Highway Trust Fund programs and gives the issuers of certain municipal bonds the option of utilizing these bonds in a similar manner as the popular Build America Bonds program while removing the stipulation that the bonds be issued by January 1, 2011. The bonds eligible for this new treatment are those which were originally included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, PL 111-5), i.e., New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, and Qualified School Construction Bonds. Tribal governments are eligible issuers for all except the Qualified Zone Academy Bonds.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-041 (March 30, 2010).
• PAY-GO, PL 111-139. On February 12, 2010, President Obama signed as Public Law 111-139, legislation (H.J. Res. 45) that imposes statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules on mandatory spending and tax revenue legislation. The purpose is to stop the growth of the federal deficit by requiring an annual across-the-board sequestration of funds – with some programs being exempted – when legislation enacted by Congress results in an increase in the federal deficit.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-022 (February 19, 2010).
ADMINISTRATION ACTION/FINAL REGULATIONS
• U.S. Support for United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. On December 16, 2010, in his remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, President Obama announced the United States’ support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The United States had been one of four nations to vote against the Declaration when it was adopted in 2007.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-157 (December 20, 2010).
• Establishment of the Office of Tribal Justice. On November 17, 2010, the Department of Justice, in accordance with section 214 of the Tribal Law and Order Act, issued a final rule establishing the Office of Tribal Justice as a distinct component of the Department.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-146 (November 24, 2010).
• Indian Health Service and Department of Veterans Affairs Memorandum of Understanding. On November 10, 2010, the Indian Health Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs signed a new Memorandum of Understanding designed to improve health care services for Indian and Alaska Native veterans through increased coordination, collaboration, and resource-sharing between the two agencies.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-144 (November 19, 2010).
• Keepseagle v. Vilsack Agreement. On October 19, 2010, the Departments of Agriculture and Justice announced that a settlement agreement had been reached in the Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action lawsuit in which Native American farmers and ranchers alleged decades of discrimination by USDA’s Farm Service agency regarding access to and participation in farm loan programs.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-136 (October 22, 2010).
• DHHS Tribal Advisory Committee. On October 7, 2010, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services announced the decision to establish the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC). The STAC, whose members were announced in December 2010, is to “create a coordinated, department-wide strategy to incorporate tribal guidance on HHS priorities, policies, and budget.”
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-128 (October 8, 2010).
• NIGC Extension of Effective Date of Class II Minimum Internal Control Standards. On September 10, 2010, the National Indian Gaming Commission again extended the effective date of the Minimum Internal Control Standards for class II gaming, this time to October 13, 2011.
• Additional Guidance on Implementation of Tribal Consultation Executive Order. On July 30, 2010, the Office of Management and Budget issued additional guidance to the heads of executive departments, agencies and independent regulatory agencies on implementing Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” The Executive Order was issued by President Clinton in 2000.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-106 (August 20, 2010).
• Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities Rule. On June 16, 2010, the Department of Education announced a rule that allows groups of tribes to create a separate legal entity to serve vocational rehabilitation services projects for American Indians with disabilities.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-079 (June 18, 2010).
• Environmental Protection Agency Office of International and Tribal Affairs. On March 16, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator announced an internal realignment that resulted in a new Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA). The OITA joins the former American Indian Environmental Office (previously under the Office of Water) with the Office of International Affairs.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-032 (March 19, 2010).
• Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Final Rule on Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains. On March 15, 2010, the Department of the Interior published a final rule on the disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains pursuant to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The rule comes 20 years after the enactment of NAGPRA.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-039 (March 26, 2010).
• Federal Communications Commission Rule on Tribal Priority for Radio Service. On March 4, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission published rules streamlining the process of allocating new FM channels and AM frequency assignments, with the goal of increasing radio service in tribal and rural areas. The FCC will give priority in the awarding of allotments and construction permits for tribes, tribal consortia, and entities that are majority-owned or controlled by tribes. On the same day the FCC published in the Federal Register a notice asking for comments on tribal preference in bidding for new radio stations and on how to provide radio opportunities for tribes that do not possess defined tribal lands.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-030 (March 12, 2010).
• Tribal Child Support Enforcement Systems and Office Automation Final Rule. On February 25, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services published a final rule that authorizes tribes who operate comprehensive child support enforcement programs under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act to apply for funding for the cost of installing, operating, maintaining, and enhancing automated data processing systems. Tribes operating comprehensive IV-D programs will receive 90 percent federal funding for the first three years of operation of the program.
For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-024 (March 5, 2010).
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TAX RELATED LEGISLATION COMMITTEE ACTION
• Native American Challenge Demonstration Project Act, S 980/HR 2507. On November 18, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs favorably reported S 980, which would have directed the Secretary of Commerce to establish and implement an economic development demonstration project based on the Millennium Challenge Corporation model distribution of foreign aid to underdeveloped economies in the form of five-year compacts and funding agreements. Limitations to the demonstration project would have included stipulations that the assistance provided could not be in the form of loans and could not be used for gaming activities covered by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The bill would have authorized $20 million per fiscal year from 2010-2014 in the form of funding agreements to the following eligible entities: o two regional Alaska Native nonprofit organizations o a consortia of local Native Hawaiian community organizations o three Indian tribes, consortia of Indian tribes, or nongovernmental entities from the 48 contiguous States
Additionally, the bill would have directed the Secretary of Commerce, in cooperation with the heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and the Small Business Administration, to authorize the eligible entities to coordinate currently federally funded economic development assistance programs from each agency in a manner that would have integrated the program services into a single, coordinated program.
The bill was introduced on May 5, 2009 by Senator Murkowski (R-AK); the House companion bill (HR 2507) was introduced on May 19, 2009, by Representative Young (R-AK).
• To eliminate the preferences and special rules for Alaska Native Corporations under the program under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, S 3959/HR 6447. On November 17, 2010, Senator McCaskill (D-MO) introduced S 3959, which was referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The bill would have amended both the Small Business Act and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to: exclude from the definition of “Indian tribe” any Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) or Alaska Native Village (ANV); require that an ANC or ANV provide proof of economic or social disadvantage to the SBA for purposes of eligibility for procurement contracts; and prohibit the SBA Administrator from extending or waiving the time limitations applicable to participants in the small business capital ownership development program for small businesses owned by an ANC or ANV. Additionally, the bill would have made ANCs and ANVs subject to the same dollar amount limits for sole-source contracts as other 8(a) program participants and would have required ANCs or ANVs to file annual reports detailing their both their yearly revenue and the amount of their revenues paid to shareholders.
On November 18, 2010, Representative Thompson (D-MS) introduced the companion measure (HR 6447) which was referred to the Committees on Small Business and Natural Resources.
• Native American Small Business Assistance and Entrepreneurial Growth Act, S 3534/HR 6233. On June 24, 2010, Senators Landrieu (D-LA) and Dorgan (D-ND), introduced the Small Business Administration portion of S 3471 (see below) as a standalone bill. The bill would have amended the Small Business Act to establish within the Small Business Administration (SBA) the Office of Native American Affairs, headed by an Associate Administrator, to implement SBA programs for the development of business enterprises by Native Americans. The Office would have been charged with assisting Native American entrepreneurs to: develop small businesses; develop management and technical skills; seek federal procurement opportunities; increase Native American employment opportunities; and increase Native American access to capital markets. Additionally, the bill would have required the SBA to provide financial assistance to tribal colleges, and other entities to create Native American business centers. The bill was referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
On September 28, 2010, Representative Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) introduced the companion bill (HR 6233) which was referred to Committee on Small Business.
• Native American Employment Act, S 3471. On June 9, 2010, Senator Dorgan (D-ND) introduced S 3471, the Native American Employment Act. With the introduction of S 3471, Senator Dorgan took what amounted to a multi-pronged approach to address the many types of barriers to economic growth and full employment in Indian Country. If enacted, S 3471 would have amended the: Indian Financing Act; Indian Employment, Training, and Related Services Demonstration Act; Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act; Buy Indian Act; Small Business Act; and Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act by expanding loan and bond guarantees, expanding access to credit, capital and financial services, and creating the Office of Native American Affairs within the Small Business Administration.
• Native American Economic Advisory Council Act, S 3331/HR 5452. On May 7, 2010, Senator Inouye (D-HI) introduced S 3331, the Native American Economic Advisory Council Act. The legislation would have: established the Native American Economic Advisory Council and required the Council to prepare a compilation of successful business enterprises and joint ventures conducted by Native American organizations, and periodically sponsor conferences and training workshops on Native American business activities. Additionally, the bill would have required the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in preparing the President’s comments and recommendations to Congress, about proposed legislation, to include an assessment of the legislation’s economic impact on Native Americans.
On May 27, 2010, Representative Young (R-AK) introduced the companion measure, HR 5452.
• Indian Development Finance Corporation Act, S 439/HR 1607. On April 29, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on S 439, the Indian Development Finance Corporation Act. Originally introduced by Senator Inouye (D-HI) on February 13, 2009, the bill was an effort to encourage the further development of the private sector of Indian tribal economies. The legislation included provisions dedicated to furnishing the necessary capital, financial services, and technical assistance to Indian-owned business enterprises. The House version (HR 1607) was introduced by Delegate Faleomavaega (D-AS) on March 19, 2009.
EDUCATION LEGISLATION HOUSE OR SENATE CONSIDERATION
• Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, HR 4247/S 2860. On March 3, 2010, the House passed by a vote of 262-153 an amended version of the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (HR 4247, H.Rpt. 111-417). The bill would have established minimum federal standards to prevent school personnel from the inappropriate use of mechanical, chemical or physical restraints on students. HR 4247 was developed in response to the findings reported by the Government Accountability Office in GAO-09-719T, Seclusions and Restraints: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers, which found many cases of the inappropriate use of seclusion or restraint. The report also found that a disproportionate number of victims were students with disabilities.
Under the bill, the Secretary of Education would have been required to promulgate regulations preventing use of restraint and seclusion (except in cases of imminent danger of physical injury to the student or others and only by trained staff) in all schools that receive federal funding from the Department of Education. States would have had to submit their policies and procedures to meet such standards within two years of the regulations being promulgated; failure to meet the standards could result in loss of federal funds. The bill would have also required states to have a sufficient number of personnel certified in a state-approved crisis intervention training program (inclusive of CPR, first aid, behavioral supports, as well as prevention and safe use of physical restraint and seclusion). It would have required schools to report to parents on the use of restraint or seclusion on the day of such occurrence. It would have also authorized such sums as necessary for a competitive three-year grant program that would provide awards to states and subgrants to LEAs for the purpose of establishing, implementing and enforcing the necessary policies to comply with the federal standards. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) would have been under a similar directive to develop standards for the Head Start program and funds would be provided to the HHS to make competitive grant awards for development of the necessary policies and procedures to comply with the restraint and seclusion requirements.
The Secretary of the Interior would have been charged with ensuring that all BIE schools comply with the promulgated minimum standards. The bill would authorize funds to be allocated from DoED to the DOI for the BIE schools to carry out the required activities, but the level of funding was not specified.
Representative Miller (D-CA) and 35 co-sponsors introduced the House version (HR 4247). Senator Dodd (D-CT) introduced a similar bill, S 2860, in December 2009, but it did not proceed beyond referral to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
• BIE “Race to the Top” Set-aside, HR 4475/S 3277. On January 20, 2010, Representative McCollum (D-MN), along with 16 co-sponsors, introduced legislation (HR 4475) that would have amended the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PL 111-5) to authorize certain percentages of funds for education reform activities be allocated to Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced a companion bill, S 3277, in April 2010.
Both bills would have amended the PL 111-5 sections that authorize the “State Incentive Grants” and the “Innovation Fund” to allow a minimum of one percent and a maximum of five percent of the funds under each section be allocated to the Department of the Interior for the Bureau of Indian Education schools.
HR 4475 was referred to the House Education and Labor Committee, and S 3277 was referred to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
ENERGY LEGISLATION COMMITTEE ACTION
• Clean Energy Legislation, S 1733/HR 2998. On February 2, 2010, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works favorably reported with amendments the Senate version of clean energy legislation, S 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S.Rpt. 111-121). While it was expected that Senators Kerry (D-MA), Lieberman (I-CT) and Graham (R-SC) would introduce another clean energy bill which addressed issues of reducing carbon emissions on an industry-by-industry basis (electric utilities, transportation, and manufacturing) the efforts fell apart as the 111th Congress lost the political will to tackle large, comprehensive issues after the protracted battles over healthcare reform. The original bill was introduced in September 2009, by Senator John Kerry (D-MA).
Previously, on June 26, 2009, the House, by a 219-212 margin, passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, HR 2998. HR 2998 replaced the previous House version of the bill HR 2454 (H.Rpt. 111-137, H.Rpt. 111-185). The bill was divided into four titles, Clean Energy; Energy Efficiency; Reducing Global Warming Pollution; and Transitioning to a Clean Energy Economy. Provisions in the bill would create a regulatory and implementation plan for “cap and trade” polices as well as invest significant amounts of money in renewable energy production and energy efficiency measures. Tribes were included and explicitly cited as eligible for some programs and measures (in some cases receiving a set percentage or tribal set aside) but not for others.
For additional information see our General Memoranda 09-083 (June 26, 2009) and 09-090 (July 2, 2009).
• Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act Amendments, S 2830/HR 4817. On August 5, 2010, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources favorably reported a substitute amendment to S 2830 (S.Rpt. 111-264). S 2830 was originally introduced by Senator Bingaman (D-NM) on December 3, 2009, and would have amended the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to “correct” the interpretation caused by amendments which were enacted in 2006. The proposed amendment would have restored the availability of funding for non-coal reclamation projects to pre-2006 levels. The changes made by the committee report specified that unappropriated balance amounts paid to uncertified States and Indian tribes under the Abandoned Mine Land Program pursuant to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act could be used for acid mine drainage set-aside programs and for non-coal abandoned mine land reclamation.
On March 16, 2010, Representative Teague (D-NM) introduced the House version (HR 4817) which was referred to House Committee on Natural Resources and the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On September 23, 2010, a subcommittee hearing was held. BILLS INTRODUCED
• Indian Energy Parity Act, S 3752. On August 5, 2010, Senator Dorgan (D-ND) introduced S 3752, the Indian Energy Parity Act. The bill was divided into four sections to address the different types of obstacles that Indian tribes face both in developing energy resources and connecting to the electrical grid. The titles are: Energy Planning; Indian Energy Financing; Indian Energy Development and Energy Efficiency; and Amendments to Indian Energy Laws. The legislation would have: o established demonstration projects through which tribes could integrate and coordinate energy funding from within the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency o required the Secretary of the Interior to approve or disprove appraisals of Indian land or trust assets within 30 days o conducted a study of the electrical generation potential and electrical energy generation needs of Indian Country o provided for increased technical assistance from the Department of Energy o provided for a process of consolidating fractionated land o funded Indian energy efficiency programs o given tribes direct access to weatherization assistance funds o created a new category of energy leases that did not need review and approval by the Secretary of the Interior
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES LEGISLATION HOUSE OR SENATE CONSIDERATION
• Public Lands Service Corps Act, HR 1612/S 1442. On March 20, 2010, the House voted by a margin of 288-116 to pass HR 1612. The bill (introduced by Representative Grijalva (D-AZ)) would have expanded programs authorized under the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to provide job training and other incentives for youth to work in national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and on other public lands. It would have directed the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to create coordinating offices for the job-training program and would have added authority for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to participate in the program. Additionally, HR 1612 would have expanded the scope of allowable projects that could be undertaken by Corps participants and reduce the cost-sharing match requirement from 25 percent to 10 percent.
Senator Bingaman (D-NM) introduced a similar measure (S 1442) on July 10, 2009. His bill, however, would have provided service-learning opportunities not only on public lands but also in Indian Country, and would have authorized funding for an Indian Youth Service Corps which would carry out projects on Indian lands that are determined to be priorities by tribes and surrounding tribal communities. S 1442 included a specific provision clarifying that the bill’s definition of “public lands” did not include any Indian lands.
S 1442 was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and referred to the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests where a hearing was held on October 29, 2009. For additional information see our General Memorandum 09-098 (July 26, 2009).
FEDERAL RECOGNITION LEGISLATION HOUSE OR SENATE CONSIDERATION
• Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Blood Quantum Requirement, HR 5811. On September 22, 2010, the House passed HR 5811 by voice vote. The legislation would have amended the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo’s legislative recognition so that they could have changed their membership criteria from the legislatively imposed limit of 1/8 blood quantum to allow the Tribe to determine its own blood quantum requirement for membership, as do most other federally-recognized tribes.
The bill was subsequently reported (S.Rpt. 111-116) without amendments by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on December 9, 2010. HR 5811 was introduced by Representative Reyes (D-TX), who has introduced similar legislation since the 105th Congress.
• Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, HR 2314/S 1011/ S 3945. On February 23, 2010, the House passed the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act by a margin of 245-164. The legislation would recognize Native Hawaiians as a distinct indigenous group; create an Office for Native Hawaiian Relations and a temporary commission within the Department of the Interior to assist with the process of reorganization. An interim governing council would set criteria for citizenship in the Native Hawaiian government and define its powers and authorities. After the council’s ratification and approval from the Department of the Interior, the Native Hawaiian government could proceed to enter into government-to-government negotiations with both the State of Hawaii and the federal government on issues relating to land, resources, jurisdiction, delegation of powers, and assertions of historical wrong perpetrated against Native Hawaiians. For additional information on HR 2314, see our General Memorandum 10-031 (March 12, 2010).
In the Senate, S 1011 was reported favorably by the Committee on Indian Affairs in December 2009. Senator Akaka (D-HI) introduced a revised bill (S 3945) on November 15, 2010.
GAMING LEGISLATION COMMITTEE ACTION
• Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, HR 2267. On July 28, 2010, the House Financial Services Committee voted 41-22 to approve an amended version of HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. The bill would have essentially repealed the ban on internet gambling imposed by PL 109-347, the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. HR 2267 would have (1) legalized the operation of internet gambling by a licensed operator in any state or tribal jurisdiction that did not opt out of the provisions of the bill, and (2) given the Secretary of the Treasury “full regulatory jurisdiction” over internet gambling. Licensed operators would have been required to ensure that the “individual placing the bet or wager is physically located in a jurisdiction that permits internet gaming at the time the bet or wager is placed,” as well as comply with other requirements. The Committee rejected an amendment proposed by Representative Baca (D-CA) that would have required states and Indian tribes to enact laws authorizing internet gaming in their territory before a license could be issued.
HR 2267 was introduced by Financial Services Committee Chairman Frank (D-MA) in May 2009. Senator Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a more comprehensive measure, S 1597 (the Internet Poker and Game of Skill Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act), in August 2009, which was referred to the Committee on Finance but did not advance.
• Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, HR 4976. On March 25, 2010, Representative McDermott (D-WA) introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (HR 4976), legislation to amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide a mechanism to tax internet gambling, in the event that it became legal. Among other things, the bill would have provided that each internet gambling licensee pay a federal tax of two percent of all funds deposited by customers each month; each licensee would pay to each qualified state and Indian tribal government an “online gambling fee” in an amount equal to six percent of all funds attributable to deposits made by customers; and create a “Wager Tax” in the amount of .25 percent of each wager authorized under federal or state law.
HR 4976 was referred to the House Committees on Ways and Means, and Education and Labor.
• Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Repeal, S 3018. On February 23, 2010, Senator Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act (S 3018), which included language that would have effectively repealed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The stated purpose of S 3018 was to enact a variety of amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in order “to make the Federal individual income tax system simpler, fairer, and more transparent.” Internet gambling was not mentioned in the Purposes section of the bill but nearly one-third of the bill’s text specifically concerned the taxation and regulation of internet gambling. Notably, the entire text of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (HR 2267) and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2009 (HR 2268) was added to the end of the S 3018 as Subtitle C–Internet Gambling Taxation and Regulation; language that would in effect repeal the UIGEA. S 3018 was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES LEGISLATION HOUSE OR SENATE CONSIDERATION
• Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope Act, HR 2818. On September 29, 2010, the House approved by voice vote the Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope Act of 2010, HR 2818 (H.Rpt. 111-641). The bill was designed to raise awareness among health professionals on how to recognize substance abuse disorder and promote best practices for screening and treatment of individuals with addictions. The bill would have expanded the program administered through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to include residential treatment of pregnant and parenting women for methamphetamine addiction and outpatient services.
Representative McNerney (D-CA) was the bill’s sponsor.
• Gestational Diabetes Act, HR 5354. On September 29, 2010, the House approved by voice vote HR 5354, the Gestational Diabetes Act of 2010 (H.Rpt. 111-663). The bill would establish a multi-site gestational diabetes research project within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and would have authorized funds for demonstration grants to lower the rate of gestational diabetes. Nonprofit entities, including tribal health agencies, would have been eligible applicants. Among the eligible uses of funds would be “aiding State and tribal-based diabetes programs to collect, analyze, disseminate, and report surveillance data on women with, and at risk for, gestational diabetes, the recurrence of gestational diabetes in subsequent pregnancies and, for women with a history of gestational diabetes, the development of Type 2 diabetes.”
Representative Eliot (D-NY) was the bill’s sponsor.
• Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention Access and Care Act, HR 1995/ S 844. On September 28, 2010, the House approved HR 1995, legislation designed to reduce the high incidence of diabetes within racial and ethnic minority groups, including American Indians and Alaska Natives. The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have engaged in a wide range of activities including conducting and coordinating research with respect to pre-diabetes, diabetes, and treatment of diabetes in minority populations. Inclusion of minority health professionals in diabetes research and mentoring of minority health care professionals would have been encouraged. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would have undertaken a variety of education-related activities. The legislation would have provided for increased health promotion and diabetes prevention programs and increased participation of minority populations in clinical trials. HRSA would have been instructed to work through the Indian Health Service and in collaboration with other federal agencies, to coordinate “the collection of data on ethnic and culturally appropriate diabetes treatment, care, prevention, and services by health care professionals to the American Indian population.”
Representative DeGette (D-CO) was the sponsor of HR 1995. Companion legislation, S 844, was introduced by Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) on April 21, 2009, and referred to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
• Evaluation of Diabetes Screening, HR 6012. On September 28, 2010, the House approved HR 6012, legislation that would have directed the Public Health Service to review the utilization by seniors of diabetes screening benefits under Department of Health and Human Services programs. The Department would have been directed to consult with federal agencies and others and make recommendations regarding diabetes screening benefits for seniors.
Representative Space (D-OH) was the bill’s sponsor.
• Family Health Care Accessibility Act, HR 1745. On September 23, 2010, the House approved by a vote of 417 to 1, the Family Health Care Accessibility Act of 2010 (H.Rpt. 111-607). The bill would have provided medical malpractice coverage for medical volunteers at health centers.
Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) was the bill’s sponsor.
• Renewing Authority for Child Welfare Demonstration Programs, HR 6156. On September 23, 2010, the House approved legislation, HR 6156, that would have renewed the authority for states and tribes to apply to the Department of Health and Human Services for waiver authority to carry out demonstration projects under the Title IV-E Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Kinship Guardianship programs. The waivers allow the states and tribes to use the IV-E funds in a more flexible manner. The current law is rather rigid regarding the use of Title IV-E funds and there is widespread support for a more flexible use of funds. The authority to grant waivers expired in 2006, and while the Secretary can extend those waivers (23 states have had them), no authority exists to grant new waivers. We note that no tribes have IV-E waivers at this time as they have only recently been authorized in statute to administer the Title IV-E program. However, tribes can still benefit from state waivers in instances where the tribe and state have entered into a Title IV-E agreement. HR 6156 would have allowed ten additional waivers annually.
Representative McDermott (D-WA) was the bill’s sponsor.
• Nationally Enhancing the Wellbeing of Babies Through Outreach and Research Now, HR 3470. On September 22, 2010, the House approved legislation, HR 3470, the goal of which was to reduce infant mortality. The bill would have authorized funding for a wide array of pilot programs designed to reduce infant mortality, with preference being given to entities that would serve any of the 15 counties or groups of counties in the nation with the highest infant mortality rates. Among the eligible applicants were tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations as defined in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
Representative Cohen (D-TN) was the bill’s sponsor.
• FIT Kids Act, HR 1585/S 634. On April 21, 2010, the House passed the FIT Kids Act, HR 1585, legislation aimed at improving student physical fitness. The bill would have amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to require local educational agencies (which would include BIE system schools) to engage the families of students on the issue of physical fitness by providing information regarding healthful eating habits, physical education and physical activity, and how the schools are promoting these goals. Information would have been provided regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national guidelines and each school would have collected and disseminated information on whether it follows age-appropriate physical education programs. The Secretary of Education would have been required to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to study ways to incorporate physical education into school settings, to study the effect of exercise on students’ ability to learn and on efforts to encourage participation of disabled students in physical education programs. Schools would have been encouraged to participate in the Department of Agriculture’s Healthier US School Challenge.
Representative Kind (D-WI) was the sponsor of H R 1585. Senator Harkin introduced companion legislation, S 634, on March 18, 2009, and the bill was referred to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
• Comprehensive Problem Gambling Act, S 3418/HR 2906. On May 25, 2010, Senator Merkley (D-OR) introduced S 3418, the Comprehensive Problem Gambling Act of 2010. The bill included authority for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to “establish and implement programs for the identification, prevention, and treatment of pathological and other problem gambling.” Part of the effort would have included a national campaign to increase awareness about problem gambling issues, including targeting radio and television audiences of sporting and gambling events. Grants would have been authorized for treatment and prevention of problem gambling issues; tribal governments would be among the eligible applicants. S 3418 was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
Companion legislation, HR 2906, was introduced by Representative Moran (D-VA) and 70 cosponsors on June 16, 2009. The bill was referred to the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
• Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act, S 3154. On March 23, 2010, Senator Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation, S 3154, to reauthorize and expand the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) programs (in current law called the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Fetal Alcohol Effect programs). The bill was referred to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. In addition to research on FASD, interagency coordination and public education, the bill would have expanded FASD efforts with regard to best practices in educating children with an FASD. The bill would have provided assistance for caretakers, mentors and families, including foster families, with FASD children. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), in a Senate floor statement on the legislation, noted that in South Dakota more than 60 percent of people diagnosed with an FASD lived in a foster home for part of their lives. Tribes and tribal organizations would have been eligible for the various grants authorized in S 3154.
• Child Welfare Workforce Study Act, S 3328/HR 5246. On May 6, 2010, Senator Lincoln (D-AR) and Representative Kennedy (D-RI) introduced the Child Welfare Workforce Study Act, legislation that would have directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (Academy) to study various aspects of our nation’s child welfare workforce. The legislation would have directed the Academy to consult with tribes and tribal organizations “regarding any aspects of the study that will address tribal-specific or unique issues, concerns, or special circumstances with respect to Indian children and their families.” The Department of Health and Human Services would have been instructed to draft proposed regulations based on the Academy’s report.
S 3328 was referred to the Finance Committee and HR 5246 was referred to the Education and Labor Committee.
HOUSING LEGISLATION COMMITTEE ACTION
• HEARTH Act, S 3235/HR 2523. On December 20, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs formally reported S 3235, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act without a written report. The Committee had approved the bill at its June 30, 2010, session. The House version (HR 2523) was reported by the Natural Resources Committee on July 22, 2010.
The HEARTH Act would have amended the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955 to provide for tribes to assume authority over surface land leases on reservation lands (assuming such authority would be at the option of each individual tribe).
HR 2523 was introduced by Representative Heinrich (D-NM) and S 3235 by Senator Dorgan (D-ND). For additional details on the two bills, see our General Memorandum 10-107 (August 20, 2010).
• Assisted Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection, HR 4868. On July 27, 2010, the House Committee on Financial Services reported an amended Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection Act (HR 4868) without a written report. The Rural Housing Preservation portion (Title VIII) of the bill would have required the Secretary of Agriculture to provide financial incentives and other assistance to owners of Section 515 rural multifamily housing projects through long-term use agreements between the project owners and the Secretary. Applications for projects located on “tribal trust lands or other Indian areas” would have been among those given priority.
HR 4868 was introduced by Representative Frank (D-MA).
JUSTICE LEGISLATION COMMITTEE ACTION
• Managing Arson Through Criminal History (MATCH) Act, S 1684/HR 1727. On July 22, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee amended and approved the Managing Arson Through Criminal History (MATCH) Act (S 1684), without a written report. The House passed a companion bill (HR 1727) on September 30, 2009. S 1684 would, among other things, establish a national criminal arsonist and bomber registry. It would have also required jurisdictions to establish and maintain jurisdiction-wide criminal arsonist and bomber registries. Information from those registries would have been fed into a national registry that would be maintained by the Attorney General. Federally recognized Indian tribes could have then elected to carry out the provisions of the bill or enter into a cooperative agreement with another jurisdiction (such as a state) to carry out the MATCH Act mandates. While no new funds would have been authorized, the bill would have amended the Brady Act to authorize funds to be used for grants to implement the MATCH Act.
Senator Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S 1684. Representative Bono Mack (R-CA) sponsored HR 1727. For additional information on HR 1727 which passed the House on September 30, 2009, see our General Memorandum 09-126 (October 9, 2009).
• Witness Security and Protection Grant Program Act, HR 1741. On March 22, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee amended and approved legislation that would have established a grant program to better protect witnesses in state and local cases (HR 1741; no written report). The House passed HR 1741 on June 9, 2009 (H.Rpt. 111-138). Currently state and local agencies are required to reimburse the federal witness protection program for eligible non-federal witnesses. Both bills would have created a competitive grant program whereby states, tribes, and local governments could apply for funds to establish short-term witness protection programs in cases involving homicide, a serious violent felony or serious drug offense. However, the Senate version would have extended to include cases involving gangs or organized crime. Rather than giving priority to applications based on an annual murder rate as in the House version, the Senate amended bill set forth specific criteria for evaluating grant applications. The House bill, but not the Senate version, would have authorized $30 million each year for FYs 2010–2014 for the grant program.
Representative Cummings (D-MD) is the bill’s sponsor.
• Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education Act, HR 1064. On December 16, 2010, the House Committee on Judiciary reported HR 1064 (H.Rpt. 111-688), the Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education Act (Youth PROMISE Act). HR 1064 was intended to help communities develop comprehensive plans to address youth violence through coordinated, evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. Such plans would have been developed through a community PROMISE Coordinating Council which would have included representatives from law enforcement, parents, school system, juvenile court, and health programs among others. The bill would have authorized $300 million for each fiscal year from 2011 through 2014 for grants to local and tribal governments for PROMISE assessment and planning grants, and such sums as necessary in FYs 2011-2014 for PROMISE implementation grants. Other provisions included: authorization, under the COPS program, for discretionary grants for hiring and training of youth-oriented police officers; support for youth victim and witness protection programs; authorization of a federal PROMISE Advisory Panel; and requirement that the U.S. Sentencing Commission undertake a study on adolescent development and the effectiveness of juvenile sentences.
Representative Scott (D-VA) introduced HR 1064 in February 2009. Senator Casey (D-PA) introduced a similar measure (S 435) on the same date but that bill did not advance beyond Judiciary Committee referral.
TRIBAL AND ALASKA NATIVE SPECIFIC LEGISLATION HOUSE OR SENATE CONSIDERATION
• Salmon Lake Land Selection Resolution Act, HR 2340/S 522. On July 1, 2010, the House passed an amended version of HR 2340 (H.Rpt. 111-514), legislation introduced by Representative Young (R-AK) which would have ratified an agreement among the Secretary of the Interior, the State of Alaska and the Bering Straits Native Corporation. The agreement reached in 2007 would resolve conflicting land selections between the State and Corporation in the area around Salmon Lake, which is 38 miles north of Nome.
Companion legislation (S 522, S.Rpt. 111-130), introduced by Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Begich (D-AK), was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in December 2009.
• Fountainhead Property Land Transfer Act, HR 1554. On June 30, 2010, the House passed under suspension of the rules the Fountainhead Property Land Transfer Act (HR 1554, H.Rpt. 111-513). The bill would have authorized the Secretary of the Interior to take into trust 18 acres of federal land in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The legislation provided that the Tribe would pay to the Secretary the fair market value of the property, pay for the land survey and all other expenses associated with the transfer of property, reserved to the Secretary terms and conditions necessary to protect federal interests, and prohibited the Tribe from conducting gaming on these lands.
Representative Boren (D-OK) sponsored the bill.
• Pick-Sloan Tribal Commission Act, S 3648/HR 6100. On December 8, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs reported an amended S 3648 (S.Rpt. 111-357), legislation that would have established a seven-member Pick-Sloan Tribal Commission for Comprehensive Resolution. The Commission would have consulted with the several tribes affected by the Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin Program, conducted a study as to the impacts of the Program, and provided recommendations to the President and Congress on a comprehensive resolution. The named affected Tribes were the: Cheyenne River Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Santee Sioux, Standing Rock Sioux, Three Affiliated, and Yankton Sioux.
S 3648 was sponsored by Senator Dorgan (D-ND). The House companion bill, HR 6100, was introduced by Representative Pomeroy (D-ND) on August 10, 2010.
• Blackfoot River Land Settlement Act, S 2802/ HR 4613. On December 1, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs reported an amended measure that would have ratified a negotiated agreement among the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, non-Indian litigants, and the State of Idaho to resolve land ownership disputes that arose from the realignment of the Blackfoot River by the Corps of Engineers in the mid-1960’s. The bill would have: conveyed certain lands in trust for the Tribe and allottees; conveyed non-Reservation lands to the Black River Flood Control District No. 7 which would have been re-conveyed to the non-Indian landowners; and authorized $1 million to fund a tribal trust fund account, an allottee trust fund account and an account controlled by the Black River Flood Control District No. 7 for payments to non-Indian landowners and administrative costs.
Senator Crapo (R-ID) sponsored the bill, which was also the subject of a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on April 29, 2010. A companion bill, HR 4613, was introduced by Representative Simpson (R-ID) on February 4, 2010.
• Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Act, S 2956/HR 4285/HR 5413. On November 18, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs reported amended legislation (S 2956) to implement a water rights settlement among the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians and several California water districts. The legislation would have guaranteed the Tribe 4994 acre-feet of water per year and established the Pechanga Settlement Fund consisting of $6.9 million for a Water Infrastructure Account, $17.9 million for a Delivery Capacity Account and $25 million for a Water Fund Account. The bill would have required the Tribe to develop a water code regarding the regulation of water uses and requirements and limitations relating to the storage, recovery and use of water.
Senator Boxer (D-CA) introduced S 2956 on January 26, 2010. Representative Bono Mack (R-CA) sponsored an identical measure (HR 4285) in December 2009; and Representative Baca (D-CA) introduced a similar measure (HR 5413) on May 26, 2010.
• Pine River Indian Irrigation Project, S 1264/HR 3061. On November 18, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved legislation (S 1264) that would have directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study assessing the irrigation infrastructure of the Pine River Indian Irrigation Project in Colorado. The Secretary would have then been directed to develop a prioritized list, in consultation with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, of recommended repair-rehabilitation-reconstruction projects that could be performed over a ten-year period. The bill would have authorized $10 million per year in each of FYs 2010-2015 to be provided via grants or cooperative agreements to the Tribe for implementation of the recommended projects. There also would have been $4 million authorized for the study required by the legislation.
The Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing on the bill, which was introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), on April 29, 2010. Representative Salazar (D-CO) introduced companion legislation (HR 3061) in June 2009, on which the House Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on September 16, 2010.
• Tule River Tribe Water Development Act, HR 1945/S 789. On March 2, 2010, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power approved legislation (HR 1945, S.Rpt. 111-153) that would have required the Bureau of Reclamation to complete a feasibility study to evaluate alternatives for a domestic, commercial, municipal, industrial, and irrigation water supply for the Tule River Indian Tribe of California. Water supplies would have been prohibited for projects constructed relative to the feasibility study from being used for both the Tribe’s current and future casino and facilities that support a casino.
The House passed HR 1945, sponsored by Representative Nunes (R-CA), in July 2009 by a 417-3 vote. Companion legislation, S 789, was introduced by Senator Feinstein (D-CA), on which the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing in July 2009.
• Quileute Tribe Tsunami Protection Act, HR 6527. On December 16, 2010, Representative Dicks (D-WA) introduced legislation that would have conveyed two parcels of Olympic National Park lands to the Quileute Indian Tribe to provide the community with lands outside the tsunami and Quillayute River flood zones. HR 6527 would have also, among other things, adjusted the northern boundary of the Quileute Indian Reservation, and clarified public use and access to Olympic National Park lands that are contiguous to the Reservation.
• Former Bennett Freeze Area Development Act, HR 6525. On December 15, 2010, Representative Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) introduced legislation that would have created a Former Bennett Freeze Area Rehabilitation Trust Fund to be used for rehabilitation and improvement of housing, infrastructure, health, education, and economic development to the Bennett Freeze area of northeast Arizona. Other provisions included the requirement that the Commissioner of the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation enter into self-determination contract(s), if requested by Navajo Nation or Hopi Tribe, for programs, functions, services, or activities currently administered by the Commissioner for that Tribe; and authorize the Navajo Nation to negotiate Accommodation Agreements with the Hopi Tribe for Navajo families WO wish to remain on the Hopi Partitioned Lands.
• Cherokee Nation Maintenance of W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam, HR 6465. On December 1, 2010, Representative Boren (D-OK) introduced legislation (HR 6465) that would have amended the Water Resources Development Act to allow the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to build one or more hydroelectric power facilities at the W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam located on the Arkansas River in Oklahoma, and to market the electricity generated from the facility/ies. The Secretary of the Army would have had to approve the design and construction plans, and would have been authorized to provide technical and construction management assistance.
Representative Boren introduced a similar version (HR 4948) in March 2010.
• Navajo Nation 99-Year Lease, HR 6210. On September 23, 2010, Representative Lujan (D-NM) introduced legislation that would have amended the Act of August 9, 1955 (25 U.S.C. § 415(a)) to authorize the Navajo Nation to obtain 99-year commercial lease authority for trust land.
• 40th Anniversary of Blue Lake Lands Return, H.Res. 1634. On September 16, 2010, Representative Lujan (D-NM) introduced H.Res. 1634, a resolution recognizing the 40th Anniversary of the return of the Blue Lake lands to the Taos Pueblo, lands that are sacred to the Tribe.
• Alaska Safe Families and Villages Act, S 3740. On August 5, 2010, Senator Begich (D-AK) introduced legislation (S 3740) that would have established under the Department of Justice-Office of Justice Programs an Alaska Safe Families and Villages Demonstration Project. The bill would have set the requirements for selection and participation in the Project whereby the participating Alaska tribes could establish tribal courts and ordinances, and impose sanctions on offenders. The bill would have also established an Alaska Village Peace Officers grant program under the Department of the Interior-Office of Justice Services. It would have authorized intergovernmental agreements among the State of Alaska, its political subdivisions, Alaska tribes and the federal government regarding employment of law enforcement-related personnel, cross-deputization matters, detention/incarceration of offenders, and jurisdictional or financial matters.
• Grand Ronde Reservation Act Amendments, HR 6070. On July 30, 2010, Representative Schrader (D-OR) introduced legislation (HR 6070) that would have amended the Grand Ronde Reservation Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to take certain lands into trust on behalf of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. The measure stated that such property, located within the boundaries of the Tribe’s original 1857 reservation, taken into trust is to be treated as “on-reservation” trust acquisition, and shall be part of the Tribe’s reservation.
• Bridgeport Indian Colony Land Trust, Health, and Economic Development Act, HR 5468. On May 28, 2010, Representative McKeon (R-CA) introduced legislation (HR 5468) that would have authorized approximately 32 acres of federal land and seven acres on which a health clinic had been built to be taken into trust for the benefit of the Bridgeport Indian Colony. The expansion of the Tribe’s reservation with the addition of the present federal lands is intended to be used for housing, a community activity center and economic development.
• Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act, HR 5402. On May 26, 2010, Representative Young (R-AK) introduced legislation to amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) with respect to the open season during which certain Alaska Native Vietnam veterans are eligible to file for allotments for up to two parcels of federal land totaling up to 160 acres each. This bill would have amended the use and occupancy requirements and also increased the choices of land available for selection. For example, under existing law, there is no land available in southeast Alaska because it is either within the Tongass National Forest or has been selected or conveyed to the State of Alaska or ANCSA Native Corporations.
• Maniilaq Association Land Transfer, HR 5317. On May 13, 2010, Representative Young (R-AK) introduced legislation (HR 5317) that would have directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to convey certain property located in Kotzebue, Alaska, to the Maniilaq Association. The conveyance covered lands and buildings/facilities currently located on such property, which would be used for health and social service programs. It also would have provided that the Maniilaq Association would not be liable for any environmental contamination as of the date of conveyance; and provided the Secretary easement and access to the property for retained federal obligations and liability purposes.
• Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act, S 3290/HR 5592. On April 29, 2010, Senator Baucus (D-MT) introduced legislation (S 3290) that would have ratified and implemented both a water rights compact among the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana, the State of Montana and United States, and the Birch Creek water use agreement between the Tribe and the State. The bill describes the Tribe’s water rights and would have authorized funding for the Blackfeet Irrigation Project ($125 million), the Blackfeet Land and Water Development Fund ($93.2 million for each year in FYs 2011-2015), and established the Birch Creek Mitigation Fund. The State, which has appropriated $15 million, would be required to provide an additional $20 million toward the settlement.
On July 22, 2010, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on S 3290. Representative Rehberg (R-MT) introduced an identical bill (HR 5592) on June 29, 2010.
• Elko Motocross and Tribal Conveyance Act, S 3185/HR 5416. On March 25, 2010, Senator Reid (D-NV) introduced legislation (S 3185) that would have, in Title II of the bill, taken into trust status 373 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands for the benefit of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada. Authorized uses for the land did not include class II or class III gaming.
Representative Heller (R-NV) introduced an identical measure (HR 5416) on May 26, 2010.
• Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer, HR 4672. On February 23, 2010, Representative Young (R-AK) introduced legislation (HR 4672) that would have directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to convey certain property located in Anchorage to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The conveyance would have covered lands and buildings/facilities currently located on such property which are used for health and related programs; provided that ANTHC would not be liable for any environmental contamination as of the date of conveyance; and would have provided the Secretary easement and access to the property for retained federal obligations and liability purposes.
OTHER LEGISLATION HOUSE OR SENATE CONSIDERATION
• Department of the Interior Tribal Self-Governance Act, HR 4347. On September 22, 2010, the House of Representatives passed under suspension of the rules the Department of the Interior Tribal Self-Governance Act of 2010 (HR 4347, H.Rpt. 111-603), legislation that would have made comprehensive amendments to Title IV of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA), as well as some important amendments to Title I of the ISDEAA. Title IV governs self-governance compacts and funding agreements with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other agencies/bureaus under the Department of the Interior (DOI). The bill as passed by the House was amended from the version reported by the House Natural Resources Committee on July 22, 2010. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on the bill on November 18, 2010.
The purpose of the bill was to enhance tribal self-governance by, among other things, making the DOI self-governance program consistent with its Indian Health Service counterpart in Title V. There were also clarifying amendments to Title I of the ISDEAA. House passage of HR 4347 was an important milestone in the close to ten-year-tribal effort to seek enactment of this legislation.
Representative Boren (D-OK) was the sponsor of HR 4347. For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-118 (October 1, 2010).
• DISCLOSE Act, HR 5175. On June 24, 2010, the House passed the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act by a vote of 219-206. The DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175, H.Rpt. 111-492) would have greatly increased reporting requirements for corporations, unions, so-called 527 groups, and other organizations that use general treasury funds (as opposed to PACs) to support or oppose candidates. The bill was introduced in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Fed. Election Comm’n, 130 S. Ct. 876, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753 (2010), allowing corporations and labor unions to expend unlimited sums on elections.
Representative Van Hollen (D-MD) sponsored HR 5175. For additional information see our General Memorandum 10-092 (July 16, 2010).
• Honoring Wilma Mankiller, H.Res. 1237. On April 14, 2010, the House approved H.Res. 1237, a resolution honoring the late Wilma Pearl Mankiller, who served three terms as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Among her many other accomplishments, Ms. Mankiller was a published author, lecturer and strong tribal advocate. She passed away on April 6, 2010.
• RESPECT Act, HR 5023. On April 14, 2010, Representative Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the Requirements, Expectations, and Standard Procedures for Executive Consultation with Tribes (RESPECT) Act (HR 5023). The bill would have established requirements and guidelines with which federal agencies must comply when engaging in tribal consultation on matters that would have “substantial direct impacts on the lands or interests of one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.” Other provisions of the bill addressed the protection of sensitive tribal information, agency recognition of tribal sovereignty, codification of tribal waiver application process, and tribal judicial recourse for agency failure to fulfill their consultation obligations.
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