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House committee schedules markup on controversial federal recognition bill

Filed Under: National | Politics | Federal Recognition
More on: 114th, bia, brian patterson, h.r.3764, h.r.4564, h.r.5032, h.r.5259, hnrc, house, republicans, uset
     
   

United South and Eastern Tribes President Brian Patterson, right, with Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Chairman Rodney Butler, left, and Narragansett Tribe Ambassador and Council Member Randy Noka. Photo from USET

A controversial federal recognition bill opposed by tribes and the Obama administration is taking a step forward in the 114th Congress.

H.R.3764, the Tribal Recognition Act, strips the Bureau of Indian Affairs of its ability to make decisions on federal recognition petitions. Instead, it puts the power in the hands of Congress, whose members have famously failed to get along for much of the past decade.

"Too much is at stake for the federal recognition process to be politicized," Brian Patterson, the president of the United South and Eastern Tribes, said at a hearing on Capitol Hill in December.

But Republican lawmakers respond that federal recognition must be politicized. They are set to approve the bill at markup before the House Committee on Natural Resources this week and from there it could go to the House for approval.

"Recognition of a tribe is a solemn act of the United States Government, with long-term consequences not only to a tribe’s members, but to other tribes, and to states and non-Indian citizens," the markup memo on H.R.3764 states. "This makes recognition a question for the political – or legislative – branch."

The markup takes place on Wednesday and Thursday and both sessions will be webcast. H.R.3764 is one of four bills on the agenda, which follows:
H.R.3764, the Tribal Recognition Act of 2015. The bill provides that a group may secure federal recognition as an Indian tribe only through an act of Congress.
Markup Memo
H.R.4564, the Robert Emmet Park Act of 2016. The bill redesignates the small triangular property located in Washington, DC, and designated by the National Park Service as reservation 302 as Robert Emmet Park.
Markup Memo
H.R.5032, a bill to allow certain property in the town of Louisa, Virginia, to be used for purposes related to compliance with water quality standards.
Markup Memo
H.R.5259, the Certainty for States and Tribes Act. The bill requires the Interior Department to re-establish the Royalty Policy Committee, a panel of tribal and state officials.
Markup Memo

House Committee on Natural Resources Notices:
Markup on 4 Bills (September 7, 2016)
Markup on 4 Bills (September 8, 2016)

Related Stories:
USET leader criticizes GOP lawmakers for handling of Indian issues (12/08)
House committee holds another hearing on federal recognition bill (12/8)
Republicans push for federal recognition bill despite opposition (10/29)
Top GOP lawmaker slams BIA's Washburn on eve of big hearing (10/28)
Assistant Secretary Washburn to testify on federal recognition bill (10/27)
House subcommittee takes up federal recognition bill at hearing (10/26)
Bill strips Bureau of Indian Affairs of federal recognition powers (10/22)
House subcommittee embraces two tribal federal recognition bills (09/30)
DOI finalizes new rule for appeals in federal recognition cases (08/13)
BIA adopts new policy regarding federal recognition process (06/30)
Lobbyists met at White House to discuss federal recognition (6/30)
BIA issues long-awaited update to federal recognition process (6/29)
Appropriations measure blocks BIA's federal recognition reforms (06/16)
No movement on reform of federal recognition process at BIA (05/04)
BIA faces fire over latest reforms to federal recognition process (4/23)
BIA submits federal recognition rule to White House for review (4/21)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on BIA recognition reform (4/20)
Lawmakers want BIA to delay new federal recognition reforms (03/27)
BIA expected to finalize changes to federal recognition process (3/24)

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