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