MAY 31, 1918 ACT REPEAL ACT
(House of Representatives - December 01, 2014)

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[Pages H8186-H8187]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                      MAY 31, 1918 ACT REPEAL ACT

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules 
and pass the bill (H.R. 5050) to repeal the Act of May 31, 1918, and 
for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 5050

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

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``May 31, 1918 Act Repeal 
     Act''.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) 1918 act.--The term ``1918 Act'' means the Act of May 
     31, 1918 (40 Stat. 592, chapter 88).
       (2) Fort hall townsite.--The term ``Fort Hall Townsite'' 
     means the land that was taken out of trust by being set aside 
     or set apart under the 1918 Act on the Fort Hall Reservation, 
     consisting of approximately 120 acres in the East Half of the 
     Northeast Quarter in Section 35 and the West Half of the West 
     Half of the Northwest Quarter in Section 36, Township 4 
     South, Range 34 East, Boise Meridian, Idaho, based upon a 
     survey completed on May 19, 1921, and depicted on the 
     document entitled ``Plat of the Townsite of Fort Hall'' on 
     file with Bingham County, Idaho and the Tribes.
       (3) Tribes.--The term ``Tribes'' means the Shoshone-Bannock 
     Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation.

     SEC. 3. REPEAL.

       The 1918 Act is repealed.

     SEC. 4. RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL.

       (a) In General.--The Tribes shall have the exclusive right 
     of first refusal to purchase at fair market value any land--
       (1) within the Fort Hall Townsite; and
       (2) offered for sale.
       (b) Acquired Land Held in Trust.--The United States shall 
     hold in trust for the benefit of the Tribes or a member of 
     the Tribes, as applicable--
       (1) any land owned or acquired by the Tribes or a member of 
     the Tribes within the Fort Hall Townsite before the date of 
     enactment of this Act; and
       (2) any land owned or acquired by the Tribes or a member of 
     the Tribes within the Fort Hall Townsite on or after the date 
     of enactment of this Act.

     SEC. 5. EFFECT.

       Nothing in this Act affects any valid right to any land set 
     aside or set apart under the 1918 Act.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Hastings) and the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Lowenthal) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Washington.


                             General Leave

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend 
their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Washington?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time 
as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank the gentleman from Idaho 
(Mr. Simpson), my colleague, for his hard work and leadership on H.R. 
5050. He will be speaking on the bill later, so I will just provide a 
brief summary.
  Under the Act of May 31, 1918, the Secretary of the Interior was 
authorized to set aside land for town-site purposes within the Fort 
Hall Indian Reservation in the State of Idaho. The town-site envisioned 
under the 1918 Act never came to fruition, and the land is now owned by 
a county. The tribe seeks restoration of the land into tribal ownership 
because the parcel is centrally located on the reservation and can't be 
used for economic development. This bill removes this unused 
reservation so that the land may be fully utilized by the tribe.
  Again, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, Mr. Simpson, for 
his work on behalf of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 5050 would repeal the Act of May 31, 1918, and give 
the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation the 
exclusive right of first refusal to purchase, at fair market value, any 
land within the Fort Hall town-site which is offered for sale.
  By repealing the 1918 Act, more land within the reservation's 
boundaries would be available to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the 
Secretary would be prevented from possibly selling land within the 
designated town-site area. This bill would not affect current 
landowners and provides the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes only with the right 
of first refusal for any future transactions involving the lands.
  Mr. Speaker, I support adoption of H.R. 5050 and urge my colleagues 
to support this legislation. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 3 
minutes to the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson), the author of this 
legislation.
  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Hastings for bringing this 
bill and the subsequent bill that will follow to the floor and see 
rapid action. I thank the gentleman for his support of this.
  Let me also say that this is the last year that Chairman Hastings 
will be in Congress. He has chosen to retire at the end of this year, 
and it has been a pleasure to work with him on both resource issues and 
on energy and water issues that I am involved with. We are going to 
miss him and his 20 years of service representing Washington and all 
the people in this country. So I appreciate the work that you have 
done, and we will miss you.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5050, the May 31, 1918 
Act Repeal Act. This is a simple but significant piece of legislation 
addressing issues that impact the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Idaho.
  As its name suggests, H.R. 5050 would repeal the 1918 Act that gives 
the Federal Government authority to unilaterally take Shoshone-Bannock 
tribal land out of trust and transfer it to a local government for use 
as a township. This act is antiquated, and any purpose it may have 
served toward its stated goal of providing trading opportunities for 
the tribes has long since expired. Today, thanks to an MOU dating back 
to 2009, the local county government has granted jurisdiction over the 
remaining town-site to the tribes for law enforcement, emergency 
services, roads, and infrastructure.
  It is time to wipe this 1918 law off the books. From a practical 
standpoint, the tribes are already managing the land in question, for 
which the county has no interest in being responsible.
  From a more general point of view, allowing the Federal Government 
the authority to unilaterally take tribal land out of trust violates 
the spirit of the relationship the government should have with the 
tribes. Repealing this act is the right and sensible thing to do.
  Mr. Speaker, as I conclude today, I would like to take note that H.R. 
5050 has been introduced by my colleagues in the Senate and was 
unanimously passed out of the committee, and I am hopeful that the 
Senate would take action on this quickly so that this bill and the 
subsequent bill can be signed into law and the tribes can move on these 
issues.
  Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, this is a good piece of 
legislation. I urge its adoption, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Washington (Mr. Hastings) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 5050.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas 
and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

[[Page H8187]]



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