Opinion | Politics

Bryan Brewer: Approve HR.3043 to stop IRS harassment of tribes






Bryan Brewer. Photo from Facebook

Bryan Brewer, the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, calls for passage of H.R.3043, the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act. The bill is up for a vote in the House this week, according to the House majority leader's schedule:
In the Great Plains Region, the IRS has harassed our Indian nations and tribes for years. In the North and South Dakota, we have five of the ten poorest counties in the Nation on our reservations, and our people need assistance from our tribal governments. The IRS has spent weeks auditing our tribal headquarters, harassing us over elderly payments of $50 per month and questioning us about burial assistance. Now, they want to audit our districts. One of our tribal leaders objected that this was a treaty violation and he was told by the IRS, “if you want to read your treaties, you can read them in jail.”

After years of hard work, our Indian nations and tribes have a chance to stand up for our rights—our sovereignty, our right to make our Indian reservations and lands the “livable” homelands that our treaties intended. H.R. 3043, the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act is our Act, the Act that we sought from the Great Plains and Indian country to tell the IRS: Step back. Take a breath. Read our treaties. Respect our rights.

To put it in policy terms, the purpose of H.R. 3043 is to provide durable, statutory protection for tribal government programs and services that honors our status as Indian nations and tribes vested with inherent sovereign authority.

Get the Story:
Bryan Brewer: Vote YES on H.R. 3043, the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act (Indian Country Today 9/15)

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