May 17, 2012 –
NCAI Praises House Passage of HEARTH Act, Urges Swift Senate Action
HEARTH Act Passes House of Representatives 400 to 0
Washington, DC (May 16) – In good news for Indian tribes, last night the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act. 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.
“NCAI 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 (NCAI). “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 H.R. 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