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WASHINGTON On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act. The unanimous vote was 400 to 0.
Gun Lake Settlement in Michigan
The legislation will amend the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955 to authorize surface leasing of tribal lands under tribal leasing regulations, which would be approved by the Secretary. The legislation supports tribal self-determination and will enable tribes to move much more quickly on leasing and economic development, while maintaining the Secretary's trust responsibility to oversee trust lands. It is an extension of the Navajo Leasing Act of 2000 to all Indian tribes.
The National Congress of American Indians was quick to applaud the House vote.
“The National Congress of American Indians is very appreciative of Representative Heinrich for taking the lead on the HEARTH Act and passing the bill in House with the incredible support of Representatives Hastings, Markey, Young, Boren, Cole and Kildee and all the co-sponsors,”
said Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians.
“In the Senate the lead sponsor is Senator Barrasso with Senator Akaka and more sponsors on both sides of the aisle. This legislation has strong bi-partisan support, and offers an opportunity to keep making progress on important legislation that will help create jobs and improve the economy. I urge the Senate to take up HR 205 and pass it this week.”
The House bill has been sent to the Senate, where it awaits consideration. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has reported out the companion legislation, S. 703.
posted May 17, 2012 8:20 am edt
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