WASHINGTON D.C. –
Today, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, made the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act of 2011 (H.R. 205).
“I am pleased that the Senate took a stand today to advance tribal self-determination and economic development through passage of the HEARTH Act.
“Currently, each individual lease of Indian lands requires approval by the Secretary of the Interior but the HEARTH Act allows tribes to develop their own leasing regulations so long as they are consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s regulations.”
“This bill will streamline the leasing process for tribes and will reduce delays to economic development opportunities on Indian lands. The HEARTH Act also clears the way for all Indian tribes to pursue homeownership on tribal lands held in trust by the United States.
“I would like to thank my Vice Chairman, Senator Barrasso, and Representative Heinrich for their successful efforts to pass this bill.”
H.R. 205, introduced by Representative Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico), passed the House of Representatives on May 15 and the Senate today, and now heads to the President. Senator Akaka was an original co-sponsor of the Senate version of the HEARTH Act, S. 703, which was introduced by Indian Affairs Committee Vice Chairman Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming).
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