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Indian Country bills set for passage in U.S. House of Representatives
Monday, November 1, 2021
Indianz.Com

Seven Indian Country bills are slated for passage in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

The measures are being brought up for consideration on Monday, according to the House Majority Leader. They are all being considered under a suspension of the rules, a process typically used for bills that are considered non-controversial and for those with broad, bipartisan support.

The bills are:

H.R.1619, the Catawba Indian Nation Lands Act. The bill affirms the acquisition of 17 acres in North Carolina into trust for the Catawba Nation and ensures that those lands can be used for gaming purposes. The bill was approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources during a markup on May 26.

H.R.2758, the Lumbee Recognition Act. The bill extends federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe, headquartered in North Carolina. The Lumbees are currently subject to a termination-era law that prohibits them from receiving federal services extended to other Indian nations. A prior version of the bill passed the House during the 116th Congress but did not advance in the U.S. Senate.

H.R.1975, the Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act. The bill places land in California into trust for the Pala Band of Mission Indians. The bill was approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources during a markup on October 13.

Indianz.Com Video: Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas): Speaker pro tempore of the U.S. House of Representatives

H.R.5221, the Urban Indian Health Confer Act. The bill amends the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to require the Indian Health Service and other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to “confer, to the maximum extent practicable, with urban Indian organizations.”

A hearing on H.R.5221 took place before the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States on October 5. The bill was approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources during a markup on October 13.

S.108, a bill to authorize the Seminole Tribe to lease or transfer certain lands in Florida without running afoul of the Indian Nonintercourse Act. Similar measures have been enacted for other Indian nations.

H.R.4881, the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act. The bill places land into trust for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and declares it to be part of the tribe’s reservation. The land is located in Tucson, Arizona, and will be eligible for gaming purposes.

A hearing on H.R.4881 took place before the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States on October 5. The bill was approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources during a markup on October 13.

H.R.2088, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act. The bill places about 76 acres in Tennessee into trust for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The lands included significant cultural and historic properties that are currently managed by the federal government.

H.R.2088 was approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources during a markup on October 13. A prior version of the bill passed the House during the 116th Congress but did not advance in the U.S. Senate.

Under a suspension of the rules, bills can be passed by a simple voice vote. On occasion, a recorded vote is requested by a member of the House.

The bills are likely to pass the House later on Monday. If not, they are expected to be approved sometime during the week.

The chamber opened for business at 12pm Eastern with Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas), a citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation and one of three tribal citizens in the U.S. Congress, serving as Speaker pro tempore for the day. November 1 marks the start of National Native American Heritage Month.

A livestream of the House session can be viewed on live.house.gov or on C-SPAN. The Indian Country bills are due to be considered around 4pm Eastern.