(Senate - May 07, 2010)

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[Pages S3408-S3409]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


      By Mr. INOUYE (for himself, Mr. Begich, and Ms. Murkowski):
  S. 3331. A bill to establish a Native American Economic Advisory 
Council, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I rise to introduce a bill that would 
establish a Native American Economic Advisory Council. This Council's 
primary duties would be to consult, coordinate, and make 
recommendations to Federal agencies for the purpose of improving the 
substandard economic conditions that exist in our Native communities.
  Currently, there is no Council, and despite the federal government's 
``trust'' relationship with Native American tribes, Native Americans 
themselves continue to rank lowest in quality of life standings. As a 
Nation we need to preserve our Native Communities; they are rich with 
cultural significance and living history.
  Native communities are considered ``emerging economies'' that have 
stalled because of the current economic situation. This bill is an 
attempt to keep these communities moving by educating, empowering, and 
encouraging our future Native American leaders to create sustainable 
economic growth programs in their own communities.
  In Hawaii, the cost of living ranges from 30 percent to 60 percent 
higher than the national average. We have to start planning for 
economic stability in the future and this bill provides an opportunity 
to do so. I look forward to working with my colleagues on reinvesting 
in our Nation's future.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be 
printed in the Record, as follows:

                                S. 3331

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Native American Economic 
     Advisory Council Act of 2010''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds--
       (1) the United States has a special political and legal 
     relationship and responsibility to promote the welfare of the 
     Native American people of the United States;
       (2) evaluations of indicators and criteria of social well-
     being, education, health, unemployment, housing, income, 
     rates of poverty, justice systems, and nutrition by agencies 
     of government and others have consistently found that Native 
     American communities rank below other groups of United States 
     citizens and many are at or near the bottom in those 
       (3) Native Americans, like other people in the United 
     States, have been hit hard by the deepest recession of the 
     United States economy in over 50 years, causing a significant 
     decline in employment and economic activity across the United 
       (4) Native American communities have been described as 
     ``emerging economies'' and consequently have been stalled in 
     the efforts of the communities to build sustainable growing 
     economies for the people of the communities and are being 
     adversely affected faster than the rest of the United States;
       (5) economic stimulus programs to help Native American 
     communities generate jobs and stronger economic performance 
     will require United States financial and tax incentives to 
     increase both local and expanded investment that is tailored 
     to the unique needs and circumstances of Native American 
       (6) the impacts of the ongoing recession and the near 
     collapse of the financial and banking systems require a 
     review of assumptions about the future, the need for new 
     growth strategies, and a focus on laying the groundwork for 
     economic success in the 21st century;
       (7) there is a continuing need for direct economic 
     stimulus, including needs for improving rural infrastructure 
     and alternative energy in rural and Native American 
     communities of the United States and providing Native 
     Americans leaders with the tools to create jobs and improve 
     economic conditions;
       (8) in light of the role of Native American communities as 
     emerging markets within the United States, there are 
     opportunities and needs that should be addressed, including 
     consideration of United States support for the pooling of 
     resources to create an Indigenous Sovereign Wealth Fund that 
     is similar to those Funds created around the world to 
     diversify revenue streams, attract more resources, invest 
     more wisely, and create jobs;
       (9) Native Americans should be participants when major 
     economic decisions are made that affect the property, lives, 
     and future of Native Americans; and
       (10) Native Americans should fully participate in 
     rebuilding Native American communities and have necessary 
     tools and resources.

     SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

       The purpose of this Act is to authorize and establish a 
     Native American Economic Advisory Council to consult, 
     coordinate with, and make recommendations to the Executive 
     Office of the President, Cabinet officers, and Federal 
       (1) to improve the focus, effectiveness, and delivery of 
     Federal economic aid and development programs to Native 
     Americans and, as a result, improve substandard economic 
     conditions in Native American communities;
       (2) to build and expand on the capacity of leaders in 
     Native American organizations and communities to take 
     positive and innovative steps--
       (A) to create jobs;
       (B) to establish stable and profitable business 
       (C) to enhance economic conditions; and
       (D) to use Native American-owned resources for the benefit 
     of members; and
       (3) to achieve the long-term goal of improving the quality 
     of Native American life and living conditions and access to 
     basic public services to the levels enjoyed by the average 
     citizen and community of the United States by the year 2025.


       (a) In General.--There is established a Native American 
     Economic Advisory Council (referred to in this Act as the 
     ``Council'') to advise and assist the Executive Office of the 
     President and Federal agencies to ensure that Native 
     Americans (including Native American members, communities and 
     organizations) have--
       (1) the means and capacity to generate and benefit from 
     economic stimulus and growth; and
       (2) fair access to, and reasonable opportunities to 
     participate in, Federal economic development and job growth 
       (b) Members.--
       (1) In general.--The Council shall consist of 5 members 
     appointed by the President.
       (2) Initial appointments.--Not later than 180 days after 
     the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall 
     appoint the initial members of the Council.
       (3) Composition.--Of the members of the Council--

[[Page S3409]]

       (A) 1 member shall be an Alaska Native;
       (B) 1 member shall be a Hawaiian Native; and
       (C) 3 members shall represent American Native groups and 
     organizations from other States.
       (4) Chairperson.--The President shall designate 1 of the 
     members of the Council to serve as Chairperson.
       (c) Experience.--Each member of the Council shall be a 
     Native American who, as a result of work experience, 
     training, and attainment, is well qualified--
       (1) to identify, analyze, and understand the attributes and 
     background of successful business enterprises and economic 
     programs in Native American communities and cultures;
       (2) to appraise the economic development programs and 
     activities of Federal agencies in the context of the goals 
     and purposes of this Act; and
       (3) to recommend programs, policies, and needed program 
     modifications to improve access to and effectiveness in the 
     delivery of economic development programs in Native American 
       (d) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Council--
       (1) shall not affect the authority of the Commission; and
       (2) shall be filled in the same manner as the initial 
     appointments to the Council.
       (e) Expenses.--Each Member of the Council shall be allowed 
     travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, 
     at the rate authorized for employees of agencies under 
     subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, 
     while away from the homes or regular places of business of 
     the employees in the performance of services for the Council.
       (f) Staff.--
       (1) In general.--The Council may, without regard to the 
     civil service laws (including regulations), appoint and 
     terminate an executive director and such other staff as are 
     necessary to enable the Council to perform the duties 
     required under this Act.
       (2) Compensation.--
       (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the Council 
     may fix the compensation of the executive director and other 
     personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and 
     subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, 
     relating to classification of positions and General Schedule 
     pay rates.
       (B) Maximum amount.--The rate of pay for the executive 
     director and other personnel of the Council shall not exceed 
     the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under 
     section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.
       (g) Detail of Employees.--
       (1) In general.--An employee of the Federal Government may 
     be detailed to the Council without reimbursement.
       (2) Civil service status.--The detail of an employee shall 
     be without interruption or loss of civil service status or 
       (h) Temporary Services.--The Council may procure temporary 
     and intermittent services in accordance with section 3109(b) 
     of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals that 
     do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of 
     basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule 
     under section 5316 of that title.
       (i) Administrative Services.--The Secretary of Commerce 
     shall provide necessary office space and administrative 
     services for the Council (including staff of the Council).

     SEC. 5. DUTIES.

       (a) In General.--The Council shall advise and make 
     recommendations to Federal agencies on--
       (1) proposing sustainable economic growth and poverty 
     reduction policies in a manner that promotes self-
     determination, self-sufficiency, and independence in urban 
     and remote Native American communities while preserving the 
     traditional cultural values of those communities;
       (2) ensuring that Native Americans (including Native 
     American communities and organizations) have equal access to 
     Federal economic aid, training, and assistance programs;
       (3) developing economic growth strategies, finance, and tax 
     policies that will enable Native American organizations to 
     stimulate the local economies of Native Americans and create 
     meaningful new jobs in Native American communities;
       (4) increasing the effectiveness of Federal programs to 
     address the economic, employment, medical, and social needs 
     of Native American communities;
       (5) administering Federal economic development assistance 
     programs with an understanding of the unique needs of Native 
     American communities with the objectives of--
       (A) making Native American leaders knowledgeable about best 
     business practices and successful economic and job growth 
       (B) promoting investment and economic growth and reducing 
     unemployment and poverty in Native American communities;
       (C) enhancing governance, entrepreneurship, and self-
     determination in Native American communities; and
       (D) fostering demonstrations of transformational changes in 
     economic conditions in remote Native American communities 
     through the use of innovative technology, targeted 
     investments, and the use of Native American-owned natural and 
     scenic resources;
       (6) improving the effectiveness of economic development 
     assistance programs through the integration and coordination 
     of assistance to Native American communities;
       (7) recommending educational and business training programs 
     for Native Americans that increase the capacity of Native 
     Americans for economic well-being and to further the purposes 
     of this Act; and
       (8) initiating proposals, as needed, for fellowship and 
     mentoring programs to meet the economic development needs of 
     Native American communities.
       (b) Additional Duties.--The Council shall--
       (1) prepare a compilation of successful business 
     enterprises and joint ventures conducted by Native American 
     organizations, including tribal enterprises and the 
     commercial ventures of Native Corporations (as defined in 
     section 102 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
     Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3102)) in the State of Alaska; 
       (2) periodically sponsor and arrange conferences and 
     training workshops on Native American business activities, 
     including providing mentors, resource people, and speakers to 
     address financing, management, marketing, resource 
     development, and best business practices in Native American 
     business enterprises.


       In preparing and communicating the comments and 
     recommendations of the President on proposed legislation to 
     committees and leadership of Congress, the Director of the 
     Office of Management and Budget and the head of a Federal 
     agency shall include an assessment of the impacts of the 
     proposed legislation on the economic and employment prospects 
     and opportunities provided in the proposed legislation to 
     improve the quality of living conditions of Native American 
     communities, organizations, and members to the levels enjoyed 
     by most people of the United States.

     SEC. 7. REPORTS.

       The Council shall--
       (1) prepare periodic reports on the activities of the 
     Council; and
       (2) make the reports available to--
       (A) Native American communities, organizations, and 
       (B) the General Services Administration;
       (C) the Office of Management and Budget;
       (D) the Domestic Policy Council;
       (E) the National Economic Council;
       (F) the Council of Economic Advisers;
       (G) the Secretary of the Treasury;
       (H) the Secretary of Commerce;
       (I) the Secretary of Labor;
       (J) the Secretary of the Interior;
       (K) the Secretary of Energy; and
       (L) members of the public.


       There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
     Act such sums as are necessary.