Tex Hall: Contracting under attack in Congress
"Some in Congress are engaged in a full frontal assault on Indian country by advancing legislation that would limit, or eliminate altogether, the participation of Alaska Native Corporations and Indian tribes in the Small Business Administration 8(a) program. ANCs, congressionally established through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, have the same responsibilities as tribal corporations - to advance the social and economic well being of our people.

Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act gives socially and economically disadvantaged firms a chance to grow and perform on federal government contracts. Tribal participation in the 8(a) program is one of the most important non-gaming economic development tools available to our federally recognized governments and corporations. In fact, 8(a) government contracting is one of our best hopes in Indian country in terms of revenue and job creation across the country.

We are in danger of losing the tribal/ANC 8(a) program, just as we begin to participate, just as we begin to succeed. The House of Representatives has already taken action on legislation that would limit the size of contracts that the government can award to tribes and ANCs. The bill has now moved to the Senate, where it sits before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass."

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Tex Hall: Stand united for 8(a) (Indian Country Today 7/20)

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