Participants in the Simnasho Powwow on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. Photo: Alyssa Macy / Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
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Congress set to clear economic development bill for tribes in Oregon



Update: The House passed S.1285, the Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act, at around 5:30pm Eastern on May 15, 2018.

It looks like President Donald Trump will soon be getting another Indian bill to sign thanks to bipartisan action on Capitol Hill.

S.1285, the Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act, is set to clear its final legislative hurdle on Tuesday. The bill helps the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians improve their economies by resolving land and leasing issues.

"We’re working to pass commonsense, bipartisan measures for Indian Country,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said after the Senate approved the Democratic-sponsored bill by unanimous consent on November 29, 2017.

“Advancing key initiatives to strengthen energy and economic development, enhance public and road safety, and improve land and water resources management is part of our commitment to raising the quality of life in tribal communities throughout the country," Hoeven added.


The House is now taking action. S.1285 is expected to clear the chamber under a suspension of the rules on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Majority Leader's schedule, meaning it is considered to be non-controversial.

Since the start of the 115th Congress in January 2017, lawmakers have sent four Indian bills, including another one for tribes in Oregon, to Trump. All have been signed into law:
H.R.228, the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Consolidation Act. The new law makes an Indian Country job program permanent. It was signed on December 18, 2017.
H.R.1306, the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act. The new law helps the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians and the Coquille Tribe with issues affecting their homelands. It was singed on January 8, 2018.
H.R.984, the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act. The new law extends federal recognition to the Chickahominy Tribe, the Chickahominy Tribe - Eastern Division, the Monacan Nation, the Nansemond Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe and the Upper Mattaponi Tribe. It was signed on January 29.
S.772, the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act. The new law makes tribes eligible for AMBER Alert grants for the first time. It was signed on April 13.

Related Stories:
Tribal employment measure gives President Trump his first chance to sign an Indian bill (November 30, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs set to advance three bills at business meeting (September 11, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs cancels business meeting and hearing (July 26, 2017) Senate Committee on Indian Affairs takes testimony on three bills at hearing (July 12, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs adds another hearing to July schedule (June 29, 2017)
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