The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) has passed two pieces of legislation that Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), SCIA Chairman, introduced to jump start economic development in Indian Country: the PROGRESS For Indian Tribes Act and the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act.
“One of the most effective ways that the Committee can empower Tribes is moving legislation that will spur economic development in Indian Country,” Hoeven said. “The Committee has now passed important legislation to cut onerous red tape and increase access to economic opportunities for Tribes and Native businesses.”
The two Hoeven Tribal economic development bills the Committee passed include:
- S. 209, the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act, would:
- Streamline the Department of the Interior’s process for approving self-governance compacts and annual funding agreements for Indian programs.
- Align the process used by the Department of the Interior to be similar to the processes used by the Indian Health Service.
- Add more flexibility in administering those contracts for tribes that either have not qualified for self-governance or have chosen to administer only a few Bureau of Indian Affairs programs.
- S. 212, the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act, would:
- Amend three Federal laws relating to business, economic, and trade development in Indian communities.
- Increase access to capital for Indian tribes and businesses.
- Increase opportunities for Indian business promotion.
- Create mechanisms and tools to attract investments in Indian communities.
What Committee Members Are Saying:
“Lawmakers need to empower Tribes to create solutions that work for their members and that means supporting efforts to strengthen Tribal self-governance. Today, I am proud to be among the bipartisan group of senators taking important steps toward passing this legislation into law.” – Senator Smith, Cosponsor of the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act.
In total, the SCIA passed 12 pieces of legislation for Indian Country on Tuesday, January 29, when the committee convened for its first meeting of the 116th Congress.
“These bills are a strong start for the committee’s work this year and help advance the bipartisan agenda of the Indian Affairs Committee in the 116th Congress,” Sen Hoeven said.
The 12 bills the Committee passed include:
- S. 46 Klamath Tribe Judgment Fund Repeal Act
- S. 50 Columbia River In-Lieu and Treaty Fishing Access Sites Improvement Act
- S. 51 Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act of 2019
- S. 199 Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act
- S. 207 A bill to enhance Tribal Road Safety, and for other purposes
- S. 209 PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act
- S. 210 Tribal Law and Order Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2019
- S. 211 SURVIVE Act
- S. 212 Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act
- S. 216 Spokane Tribe of Indians of the Spokane Reservation Equitable Compensation Act
- S. 224 A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain property to the Tanana Tribal Council located in Tanana, Alaska, and to the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation located in Dillingham, Alaska, and for other purposes
- S. 226 Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2019
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