Young participants in the Mul Chu Tha Parade, held every year on the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. Photo: David H. Barehand

House committee schedules markup on four Indian Country bills

The House Committee on Natural Resources is meeting on Tuesday for a markup session.

Four Indian Country bills are on the agenda for the meeting, including one that has generated significant controversy. The list follows:
H.R.3535, the Ruffey Rancheria Restoration Act of 2017. The bill restores federal recognition to the Ruffey Rancheria. A number of provisions are being changed to address concerns raised by tribes in California and Oregon. Those tribes called for another hearing on the measure -- one took place on September 25, 2017 -- but the markup basically means the request has been rejected by lawmakers.
H.R.4032, the Gila River Indian Community Federal Rights-of-Way, Easements and Boundary Clarification Act. The bill resolves a number of rights-of-way, easement and boundary issues for the Gila River Indian Community and it includes provisions to place land into trust for the Arizona-based tribe. A hearing took place on February 6. The measure is one of many items on the tribe's lobbying list for a contract that ranked third in all of Washington, D.C., for the first quarter of the year.
H.R.4506, the Jobs for Tribes Act. The bill creates a “business incubator” program within the Department of the Interior to promote entrepreneurship and economic development in Indian Country and calls on other federal agencies to help promote Indian businesses. A hearing took place on January 17. The bill was introduced by Rep. Norma Torres (D-California), who recently left her position on the committee.
H.R. 5317, the Repeal of Prohibition on Certain Alcohol Manufacturing on Indian Lands Act. The bill repeals a 19th-century ban on alcohol distilleries on tribal lands. A hearing took place on April 26 and was well received by lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats.

The markup takes place at 10:15am Eastern in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building. It will be webcast.

House Committee on Natural Resources Markup:
Full Committee Markup (May 8, 2018)

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