AMENDING THE WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE TRIBE WATER RIGHTS QUANTIFICATION ACT OF 2010; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 6
(House of Representatives - January 10, 2018)

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[Pages H114-H125]
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                              {time}  1645
 AMENDING THE WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE TRIBE WATER RIGHTS QUANTIFICATION 
                              ACT OF 2010

  Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 681, I call up 
the bill (S. 140) to amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights 
Quantification Act of 2010 to clarify the use of amounts in the WMAT 
Settlement Fund, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 681, an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules 
Committee Print 115-54 is adopted, and the bill, as amended, is 
considered read.
  The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows:

                                 S. 140

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

     SECTION 1. USE OF FUNDS IN WMAT SETTLEMENT FUND FOR WMAT 
                   RURAL WATER SYSTEM.

       (a) Authorization of WMAT Rural Water System.--Section 
     307(a) of the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights 
     Quantification Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-291; 124 Stat. 
     3080) is amended in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by 
     inserting ``, (b)(2),'' after ``subsections (a)''.
       (b) Funding.--Section 312(b)(2)(C)(i)(III) of the White 
     Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010 
     (Public Law 111-291; 124 Stat. 3093) is amended by striking 
     the period at the end and inserting the following: ``, 
     including the planning, design, and construction of the WMAT 
     rural water system, in accordance with section 307(a).''.

     SEC. 2. EXPANSION OF PUEBLO OF SANTA CLARA LAND ELIGIBLE FOR 
                   99-YEAR LEASE.

       Subsection (a) of the first section of the Act of August 9, 
     1955 (commonly known as the ``Long-Term Leasing Act'') (25 
     U.S.C. 415(a)), is amended--
       (1) by striking ``Indians,,'' and inserting ``Indians,'';
       (2) by inserting ``Ohkay Owingeh pueblo,'' after 
     ``Cochiti,'';
       (3) by inserting ``the pueblo of Santa Clara,'' after 
     ``Pojoaque,'';
       (4) by striking ``the the lands'' and inserting ``the 
     land'';
       (5) by striking ``lands held in trust for the Pueblo of 
     Santa Clara,''; and
       (6) by striking ``lands held in trust for Ohkay Owingeh 
     Pueblo''.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF EMPLOYER.

       Section 2 of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 
     152) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``or any Indian tribe, 
     or any enterprise or institution owned and operated by an 
     Indian tribe and located on its Indian lands,'' after 
     ``subdivision thereof,''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(15) The term `Indian tribe' means any Indian tribe, 
     band, nation, pueblo, or other organized group or community 
     which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and 
     services provided by the United States to Indians because of 
     their status as Indians.
       ``(16) The term `Indian' means any individual who is a 
     member of an Indian tribe.
       ``(17) The term `Indian lands' means--
       ``(A) all lands within the limits of any Indian 
     reservation;
       ``(B) any lands title to which is either held in trust by 
     the United States for the benefit of any Indian tribe or 
     Indian or held by any Indian tribe or Indian subject to 
     restriction by the United States against alienation; and
       ``(C) any lands in the State of Oklahoma that are within 
     the boundaries of a former reservation (as defined by the 
     Secretary of the Interior) of a federally recognized Indian 
     tribe.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill, as amended, shall be debatable for 
1 hour equally divided among and controlled by the chairs and ranking 
minority members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce and 
the Committee on Natural Resources.
  The gentleman from California (Mr. LaMalfa), the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Grijalva), the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Walberg), and 
the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott) each will control 15 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California (Mr. LaMalfa).


                             General Leave

  Mr. LaMALFA. 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 S. 140.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 140, as amended, which consists 
of three sections promoting Tribal self-governance and sovereignty over 
their lands, resources, and businesses belonging to Indian Tribes.
  Section 1 of S. 140 amends current law to ensure the completion of a 
Tribal water system in Arizona. It makes a technical amendment to the 
White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to 
clarify that authority exists for any necessary cost overruns 
associated with the Tribe's rural water system, provided it falls 
within the existing authorization level.
  This provision provides the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the 
Department of the Interior certainty that there will be sufficient 
funds to complete the rural water system.
  Section 2 of S. 140 is identical to S. 249, a bill referred to the 
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, which I 
chair. The Natural Resources Committee reported S. 249 favorably on 
July 24, 2017, by unanimous consent.
  Section 2 amends what is commonly known as the Long-Term Leasing Act, 
to authorize two Indian pueblos in New Mexico to lease their restricted 
fee lands for up to 99 years, subject to the approval of the Secretary 
of the Interior.

[[Page H115]]

  Such leases may be for a variety of nonmineral development purposes. 
While current law generally authorizes Indian Tribes, subject to the 
approval of the Secretary, to lease their trust and restricted lands, 
the terms of the leases may not exceed 25 years.
  This bill would authorize the pueblos of Santa Clara and Ohkay 
Owingeh to lease their restricted fee lands for terms of up to 99 
years.
  Congress has amended the Long-Term Leasing Act more than 40 times to 
adjust the terms and conditions of leases of Indian lands and to 
authorize leases of specific Indian lands by their Indian owners for a 
term of up to 99 years, subject to the approval of the Secretary.
  While the Natural Resources Committee does not have jurisdiction over 
section 3 of S. 140, I wish to express my full support for promoting 
Tribal self-governance by giving Tribes parity with States and local 
governments for the purposes of the National Labor Relations Act.
  Tribal self-governance, or sovereignty, means that a Tribe may make 
its own laws and be governed by them. Since President Nixon launched 
the era of Indian self-determination, Tribes have shown that when they 
assume management and control over their affairs, they actually 
outperform the Federal Government.
  Thus, section 3 of S. 140 will continue and enhance the policies of 
Tribal self-determination that have almost always enjoyed strong 
bipartisan, bicameral support for these measures.
  S. 140, as amended, is fully consistent with promoting this important 
Tribal economic opportunity and freedom to do as they see fit.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote on the bill, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Today, we are debating a bill package that follows a very familiar 
playbook for House Republican leadership.
  This bill package is just the latest attempt by my Republican 
colleagues to push a highly partisan agenda by combining that divisive 
proposal with noncontroversial items.
  Today's bill includes two bills that passed Senate and House Natural 
Resources Committee by unanimous consent.
  One of these bills would make a technical correction to a previously 
passed Tribal water settlement, and the other would clarify that two 
pueblos in New Mexico should receive equal treatment when leasing their 
lands.
  Unfortunately, instead of quickly passing these bills and suspensions 
and sending them to the President to be signed into law, House 
Republican leadership has decided to take those two bills hostage and 
combine them with a highly divisive bill that is likely not going 
anywhere--H.R. 986, section 3 of this legislation--which I do not 
support.
  This political stunt seems doomed to fail. The only thing it will 
accomplish is wasting everyone's time.
  Meanwhile, a list of bills that are critical to Tribes across the 
country sit in the Natural Resources Committee and are just ignored by 
the majority.
  For example, we could be moving legislation that would protect and 
preserve Native American cultural artifacts, or legislation that would 
address issues at Indian Health Service, or legislation to codify 
meaningful and robust Tribal consultation process; or we could be here 
today passing the bipartisan bill known as the ``clean'' Carcieri fix.
  These bills deserve attention. They are promoted by not only Indian 
Country, but many, many Members in a bipartisan fashion in this House.
  I hope we can move past these petty political games soon, which 
people are, rightfully, sick of having to see.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues across the aisle to change course 
and stop blocking consensus bills from moving through this body by 
conjoining them with divisive, contentious proposals.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
South Dakota (Mrs. Noem).
  Mrs. NOEM. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, today, I rise in support of S. 140.
  I strongly support this bill, but I want to speak today about one 
particular piece of it--the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act--which I 
helped introduce, along with Mr. Rokita.
  Mr. Speaker, I often stand in this House to oppose interference from 
the heavy hand of the Federal Government, and this is no different.
  In 2004, the National Labor Relations Board, unilaterally, decided 
that it needed to meddle in the affairs of Tribally owned businesses on 
Tribal lands. This is a board that was set up to oversee union 
elections but has become the bureaucratic arm of big labor.
  By further expanding its jurisdiction, the National Labor Relations 
Board threatened the foundation of Indian law, the principle of Tribal 
sovereignty, and the limits of a small Federal Government.
  Since the Obama administration implemented this incredible government 
overreach, dozens of Tribes have supported legislation to clarify that 
the NLRB's jurisdiction does not extend to Tribes. The conservative, 
small government legislation we consider today would make that 
necessary correction.
  Native American Tribes around the country, and especially in my home 
State of South Dakota, are plagued with grinding poverty, high 
unemployment, substance abuse, and poor healthcare. They continually 
seek economic development through self-determination, and the last 
thing that they need, when trying to improve economic opportunities for 
their citizens, is a Federal bureaucracy further meddling with their 
efforts.
  Quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, I believe that subjecting Native American 
Tribes to National Labor Relations Board rules is yet another sign that 
some still want the Federal Government to interfere with Tribal 
decisionmaking.
  I have sponsored the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, and this House has 
passed it multiple times.
  I am proud that many South Dakota Tribes have long supported the 
bill, including the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, 
and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association.
  I urge my colleagues to withdraw the heavy hand of government and 
again support Tribal sovereignty.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time I have 
remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Arizona has 13 minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott), the ranking member of the 
Education and the Workforce Committee, and I ask unanimous consent that 
he may control that time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Arizona?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to S. 140.
  As has been pointed out, buried in section 3 of this otherwise 
noncontroversial water and lands bill is the text of H.R. 986, the 
Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. This nongermane provision would strip 
thousands of employees of their rights and protections under the 
National Labor Relations Act at Tribal enterprises located on Tribal 
lands.
  At issue in the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act are two solemn and 
deeply rooted principles:
  First, the right that Indian Tribes possess in matters of local self-
governance;
  Second, the rights of workers to organize unions, bargain 
collectively, and engage in concerted activities for mutual aid and 
protection.
  Rather than attempting to balance these two important principles, the 
bill chooses sovereignty for some over the human rights of others. I 
would note that the approximately 75 percent of workers employed at 
Tribal casinos are not members of the Tribes running the casino, but 
this bill would strip labor rights of hundreds of thousands of these 
workers as well as those who are actually members of the Tribes.
  In doing so, this legislation would abandon the carefully drawn 
balance between Tribal sovereignty and workers' rights that was adopted 
in the San

[[Page H116]]

Manuel decision by a Republican-led National Labor Relations Board in 
2004. Perhaps prompted by litigation, the board ruled that the National 
Labor Relations Act will only apply if it does not impact the exclusive 
rights of self-governance in purely intramural matters or abrogate 
rights guaranteed by treaties.
  The San Manuel decision is based on legal principles governing 
Federal laws of general applicability with respect to Indian Tribes 
that have been upheld by appeals courts for over 30 years. That is why 
courts have ruled that Tribes must comply with labor and employment 
laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act; the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act; the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, ERISA; and the 
employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
  Yet this bill singles out the National Labor Relations Act on the 
grounds that Tribes must be given parity with State and local 
governments which statutorily are exempt from the NLRA. Maybe States 
and localities should have been considered, but the statutes are clear 
that they are exempt.
  This is not a reason why Tribes should be exempt from an otherwise 
generally applicable law. Furthermore, State and local governments are 
covered under title VII of the Civil Rights Act; whereas, Tribes are 
expressly exempt.
  For employees of Tribal enterprises, therefore, unions are the sole 
protection under Federal law against discrimination, including sexual 
harassment, because they can negotiate a collective bargaining 
agreement that enforces employees' rights to be free from such conduct.
  Democrats and Republicans together have insisted that our trading 
partners abide by and enforce basic labor rights anytime we do a trade 
deal. And Congress has repeatedly required these obligations in trade 
agreements, but today the House will vote on a bill that takes away the 
assurance that employees have for the freedom of association if they 
are employed in many Tribal casinos.
  This creates a fair question: Would this legislation place the United 
States Government in breach of any of the trade agreements that are now 
in effect? According to the International Labor Organization, in an 
opinion on a similar bill a few years ago, it would, in fact, put us in 
breach of trade agreements.
  We should be able to fashion compromises that, frankly, protect both 
workers' rights and Tribal sovereignty, but what is before us today 
fails that test. There is no principled basis for stripping hundreds of 
thousands of workers from the right to join a union and negotiate 
better wages simply because they happen to work in a commercial 
enterprise on Tribal lands.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote on the bill, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Mexico (Mr. Pearce).
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California for 
yielding and for his work on this bill.
  As he mentioned in the opening statements, there is a provision in 
the bill that allows the Santa Clara Ohkay Owingeh 99-year leasing 
program to move forward. That is in resolution to the long-standing 
problems that we face there. So just a significant provision that 
affects these two units but also the underlying concept that we are 
going to recognize the sovereignty of our Tribes.
  As many people know, some of the Tribes are faced with just very 
difficult poverty conditions throughout the history of their Tribes 
since they have been on the reservations, and I work with close friends 
of mine who are trying to solve these problems and to find resolution 
to long-term prosperity on the Indian reservations.
  So when the National Labor Relations Board reversed its long-standing 
status of recognizing the sovereignty of our nations--70 years they had 
recognized that. In 2004, they simply reversed it without much 
explanation, without any warning, and certainly without precedent.

                              {time}  1700

  It has caused things to be much more difficult, especially in States 
like New Mexico. So the Tribal leaders are saying: We should be 
sovereign. We should be allowed to make these sorts of decisions 
ourself without the Federal Government coming in and putting the 
bureaucracy there.
  The underlying concept of the bill is one that simply says we want 
prosperity on Native American lands, we want their sovereign actions to 
take care of themselves, to move themselves forward. That is what the 
entire Nation says is the American Dream. Let's let that occur for the 
Native Americans in this country. I think the provisions of the bill 
are very important.
  We have been working for 6 years now in Native American housing, 
another way to help move prosperity into Native American lands. Again, 
I support the concept of the bill.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from the Northern Mariana Islands (Mr. Sablan), the ranking 
member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  January 10, 2018, on page H116, the following appeared: from the 
Northern Marianna Islands
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: from the Northern 
Mariana Islands


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to S. 140 because it 
includes H.R. 986, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2017.
  The effect of this legislation would be to strip employees who work 
at businesses owned and operated by an Indian Tribe and located on 
Indian lands of the protections afforded by the National Labor 
Relations Act.
  I am a Chamorro, one of the native people of the Northern Marianas, 
and I fully appreciate the importance of Tribal sovereignty for Native 
Americans. However, this legislation does not properly reconcile the 
competing interests between sovereign rights and the rights of workers.
  At least 75 percent of employees at Tribal casinos are not Tribal 
members. In some cases, as few as 1 percent of the employees are 
members of the Tribes operating the casino. These workers have no say 
in the decisionmaking of Tribal governments.
  Workers have the right to organize, to collectively bargain, and to 
protect their right to fight for a safe workplace, fair pay to provide 
a living for themselves and their families, and good benefits. They 
should not be stripped of these rights simply due to the geography of 
the workplace.
  Federal law and Tribal sovereignty should be able to coexist at 
Tribal casinos without stripping workers of their rights under the 
National Labor Relations Act.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Takano), the ranking member of the 
Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.
  Mr. TAKANO. Mr. Speaker, I thank Ranking Member Scott for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to S. 140, which would strip 
protections from workers who are employed by a Tribally-owned business 
but are not Tribal members. This includes protection from harassment 
and discrimination in the workplace.
  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employers from 
discriminating against employees, does not apply to Tribal enterprises. 
A non-Tribal worker employed by a Tribally-owned casino, for example, 
cannot file a harassment or discrimination claim in Federal court or 
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Instead, collective 
bargaining agreements fill the gap by including provisions that enforce 
their right to a fair workplace.
  By stripping their collective bargaining rights, this legislation 
eliminates the only recourse that these workers have against 
discrimination and harassment. This is one of the many unacceptable 
consequences of this bill.
  Now, I have two letters. One from the International Brotherhood of 
Teamsters and one from the American Federation of State, County, and 
Municipal Employees, both of which raise strong objections to the 
majority's attempt to exclude workers from the rights enshrined in the 
National Labor Relations Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I include these letters in the Record.
                                         International Brotherhood


                                                 of Teamsters,

                                 Washington, DC, December 6, 2017.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the 1.4 million members 
     of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, I am again 
     writing to

[[Page H117]]

     express our strong opposition to H.R. 986, the Tribal Labor 
     Sovereignty Act. This legislation would exempt all Tribally-
     owned and -operated commercial enterprises on Indian lands 
     broadly defined from the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 
     We urge you to vote no when the House considers this 
     legislation.
       If H.R. 986 were to become law, hundreds of thousands of 
     workers at these enterprises, including Teamsters, would be 
     stripped of their protections and rights under the NLRA, 
     including the right to organize and collective bargaining. It 
     would deprive both Tribal members and non-member employees of 
     the right to form or join unions and to bargain collectively 
     for better wages, hours, and working conditions. We should be 
     working to expand the rights and ability of workers to earn a 
     decent living for themselves and their families and to secure 
     a safe and healthy workplace.
       While Tribal casinos have been the focus of discussion, 
     this legislation affects not just casino workers. Since the 
     1980's Tribes have expanded business interests beyond 
     casinos. They now operate many different revenue producing 
     commercial enterprises--construction companies, mining 
     operations, and power plants, to hotels, water parks and ski 
     resorts, to name a few.
       In 2004, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (in San 
     Manuel) ruled that Tribal casino workers should have NLRA 
     protections. Shortly after the San Manuel decision, 
     legislation, in the form of amendments, was twice offered to 
     block the NLRB from enforcing the San Manuel decision.
       These amendments were rejected. Since then, the NLRB has 
     proceeded in a measured fashion asserting jurisdiction on a 
     case-by-case basis. The NLRB will not assert jurisdiction 
     where it would interfere with internal governance rights in 
     purely intramural matters or abrogate treaty rights. 
     Otherwise, the NLRB will protect workers' rights at tribally 
     owned enterprises by asserting jurisdiction. With its case-
     by-case approach, San Manuel takes a careful approach to 
     balancing of tribal sovereignty interests with Federal labor 
     law.
       It should be noted that other important federal laws that 
     protect workers apply to Indian businesses, such as the 
     Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards 
     Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and Title 
     III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Indeed, courts 
     have denied attempts to gain exemptions on numerous occasions 
     ruling commercial tribal enterprises should not be excluded 
     from such laws. NLRA rights and protections should not be 
     treated differently.
       Proponents assert that they are seeking the same exemption 
     as state and local governments. However, this is inaccurate, 
     The NLRA only exempts actual government employees and not 
     private sector employees performing contracted out government 
     functions. Also, a substantial majority of workers at these 
     enterprises are not Indian or Tribe members, and thus have no 
     ability to influence tribal governance, since non-tribal 
     members are prohibited from petitioning a tribe.
       The bill could also undermine enforcement of existing labor 
     contracts and the decision workers made to organize and 
     bargain collectively. When a collective bargaining agreement 
     expires, a Tribe could unilaterally terminate the 
     relationship with the union without consequence under the 
     NLRA. The employer's obligation. to bargain could be 
     eliminated.
       Employees of tribal enterprises have no constitutional 
     rights to protect against employers. Only the NLRA gives them 
     free speech rights. Absent the NLRA they have no protection. 
     Workers cannot be left without any legally enforceable right 
     to form unions and bargain collectively just because they are 
     employed at tribally owned enterprise.
       Finally, the United States requires its trading partners to 
     implement and abide by internationally recognized labor 
     standards, while H.R. 986 deprives workers at these tribal 
     enterprises of these core rights--the right to organize and 
     bargain collectively.
       To focus solely on the NLRA raises the question of the true 
     motivation for this legislation. It is regrettable that the 
     principle of tribal sovereignty is being used to cloak an 
     attack on the basic rights of workers to organize and bargain 
     collectively. The Teamsters Union respects tribal 
     sovereignty. However, we do not believe that this principle 
     should be used to deny workers their collective bargaining 
     rights and freedom of association. We urge you to oppose the 
     Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act and to VOTE NO on H.R. 986 when 
     the legislation comes to a vote in the House of 
     Representatives.
           Sincerely,
                                                   James P. Hoffa,
     General President.
                                  ____

         American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
           Employees, AFL-CIO,
                                  Washington, DC, January 9, 2018.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the 1.6 million members 
     of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
     Employees (AFSCME), I am writing to urge to oppose S. 140, as 
     currently amended to expand the exemption of employers under 
     the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
       S. 140, as amended, is Just another attempt at passing the 
     so-called Tribal Sovereignty Act, which would deny protection 
     under the NLRA to many workers employed by tribal-owned and -
     operated enterprises on Indian land. A great majority of 
     these workers are not Native Americans and in recent years 
     there has been a substantial expansion of enterprises that 
     would be impacted by this legislation, including not only 
     casinos, but mining operations, power plants, saw mills, ski 
     resorts, high-tech firms, hotels, and spas.
       AFSCME supports the principle of sovereignty for tribal 
     governments, but does not believe that this principle should 
     be used to deny workers their collective bargaining rights 
     and freedom of association. We oppose any effort to exempt on 
     an across-the-board basis all tribal enterprises from the 
     NLRA, without regard to a specific review of all the 
     circumstances, as is currently provided by National Labor 
     Relations Board (NLRB) standards. Workers must not be left 
     without any legally enforceable right to form unions and 
     bargain collectively, especially in instances where they are 
     working for commercial operations competing with other 
     businesses.
       AFSCME strongly urges you to oppose S. 140, as amended, 
     when it comes before the House for a vote.
           Sincerely,
                                                       Scott Frey,
                           Director of Federal Government Affairs.

  Mr. TAKANO. Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this 
legislation.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, in summary, this Federal Government has had a very 
spotty record over the many decades of its treatment of Native American 
Indian Tribes in this Nation, and for us to not act in order to 
countermand what the National Labor Relations Board has done on its own 
would be a mistake. It would be wrongheaded, in that if we are going to 
have the types of relations, these government-to-government relations 
with Indian Tribes in this country, that level of respect, then 
Congress needs to act, Congress needs to maintain that relation.
  So for local governments, State governments to have this protection 
from the NLRA and the Tribes not to, then we would be making a severe 
mistake to not take action here today with this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge strong support for all portions of S. 140 today, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I respect and support Tribal sovereignty. I also support workers' 
rights to unionize and collective bargaining to improve their workplace 
and the lives of their families. Those rights must be balanced, but 
they are not in this bill.
  Union members have a collective voice to fight for higher wages, 
better benefits, safer workplaces, fewer injuries, fewer deaths, lower 
rates of gender-based violence.
  After Unite Here, a union, found that 58 percent of hotel workers and 
77 percent of casino workers in the Chicagoland, where I am from, had 
been sexually harassed, they won a contract that includes panic buttons 
to protect workers.
  Labor rights are fundamental, but under this bill, workers at 
Tribally-owned businesses, casinos and hotels, construction, and other 
industries would lose those rights.
  Remember, three out of four workers employed in Tribal casinos are 
not Tribal members. Those workers could end up with no way to bargain 
for fair wages, appeal unfair disciplinary action, or act against 
sexual harassment.
  Looking at a similar bill in the last Congress, the International 
Labour Organization stated: ``It would appear likely that an exclusion 
of certain workers from the National Labor Relations Act and its 
mechanisms would give rise to a failure to ensure to these workers 
their fundamental freedom of association rights absent any assurances 
that there were Tribal labor laws that provide the same rights to all 
workers.''
  Mr. Speaker, there is no such requirement in this bill. Protect 
workers. Reject this unfair and unbalanced bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the opinion from the 
International Labour Office.

                                  International Labour Office,

                                                        Geneve 22.
     Mr. R.L. Trumka,
     President, AFL-CIO,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Trumka: I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 
     22 October 2015 requesting an informal opinion and guidance 
     from

[[Page H118]]

     the International Labour Organization in respect of a Bill 
     being considered by the United States Congress.
       In particular, you have raised concerns about the Tribal 
     Labor Sovereignty Act (H.R. 511) which you state would deny 
     protection under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of a 
     large number of workers employed by tribal-owned and tribal-
     operated enterprises located on tribal territory and ask for 
     the informal opinion of the Office as to whether such an 
     exclusion of workers employed on tribal lands would be in 
     conformity with the principles of freedom of Association 
     which are at the core of the ILO Constitution and the ILO's 
     Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
       In conformity with the regular procedure concerning 
     requests for an informal opinion from the International 
     Labour Office in respect of draft legislation and its 
     possible impact on international labour standards and 
     principles, the views set out below should in no way be 
     considered as prejudging any comments or observations that 
     might be made by the ILO supervisory bodies within the 
     framework of their examination of the application of ratified 
     international labour standards or principles on freedom of 
     association.
       Your links to committee reports of the congressional 
     majority and minority and other background information have 
     enabled the Office to consider the views of the parties both 
     for and against the proposed amendment and they all appear to 
     confirm recognition of the United States' obligation to 
     uphold freedom of association and collective bargaining. 
     While the proponents of the Bill assert that this can be 
     achieved through the labour relations' regimes autonomously 
     determined by the tribal nations, the opponents--and you 
     yourself in your request--maintain that excluding tribal 
     lands from the NLRA will in effect result in a loss (or at 
     the very least inadequate protection) of their trade union 
     rights. Not only do you refer to tribal labour relations 
     ordinances which in your view provide inadequate protections 
     in this regard, but you also refer to instances where there 
     are no tribal labour relations ordinances at all.
       While elements of indigenous peoples' sovereignty have been 
     invoked by the proponents of this Bill, the central question 
     revolves around the manner in which the United States 
     Government can best assure throughout its territory the full 
     application of the fundamental principles of freedom of 
     association and collective bargaining. From an ILO 
     perspective, while the variety of mechanisms for ensuring 
     freedom of association and collective bargaining rights may 
     differ depending on distinct sectoral considerations or 
     devolution of labour competence, it is critical that the 
     State (the national authority) takes ultimate responsibility 
     for ensuring respect for freedom of association and 
     collective bargaining rights throughout its territory.
       As you have indicated, the 2004 San Manuel Indian Bingo and 
     Casino decision assures possible recourse to the National 
     Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an overarching mechanism aimed 
     at ensuring the protection of freedom of association, while 
     also maintaining deference to the sovereign interests of the 
     tribal nations so as to avoid touching on exclusive rights of 
     self-governance.
       Full abdication of review via an exclusion from the scope 
     of the NLRA for all workers employed on tribal lands as 
     described might make it very difficult for the United States 
     Government to assure the fundamental trade union rights of 
     workers. In cases like those mentioned where there are no 
     tribal labour relations ordinances, undue restrictions on 
     collective bargaining, excessive limitations on freedom of 
     association rights or lack of protection from unfair labour 
     practices, workers on tribal territories would be left 
     without any remedy for violation of their fundamental freedom 
     of association rights, short of a constitutional battle. 
     Furthermore, the exclusion proposed, with no avenue for 
     federal review or overarching mechanism for appeal should 
     there be an alleged violation of freedom of association, 
     would give rise to discrimination in relation to the 
     protection of trade union rights which would affect both 
     indigenous and non-indigenous workers simply on the basis of 
     their workplace location.
       Given the concerns that you have raised, it would be 
     critically important that, at the very least, a complete 
     legal and comparative review be undertaken to support 
     assurances that all rights, mechanisms and remedies for the 
     full protection of internationally recognized freedom of 
     association rights are available to all workers on all tribal 
     lands. In the absence of such assurances, it would appear 
     likely that an exclusion of certain workers from the NLRA and 
     its mechanisms would give rise to a failure to ensure to 
     these workers their fundamental freedom of association 
     rights.
       In accordance with ILO procedure concerning requests for 
     informal opinions on draft legislation, this communication 
     will also be brought to the attention of the United States 
     Government and the representative employers' organization, 
     the US Council for International Business.
           Yours sincerely,

                                               Corinne Vargha,

                                                   Director of the
                        International Labour Standards Department.

  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of S. 140, the Tribal 
Labor Sovereignty Act, a provision in the pending legislation that will 
end the National Labor Relations Board's alarming overreach into 
businesses operated on sovereign Tribal lands.
  In March of 2017, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and 
Pensions, which I have the privilege of chairing, held a hearing on 
this legislation and heard from Native American business leaders on how 
the NLRB's arbitrary use of its jurisdiction had been harming 
businesses large and small on Tribal lands.
  Leaders of the Native American community testified before the 
subcommittee on how the NLRB had meddled in the day-to-day operations 
and management of Native American businesses, often dragging out 
matters for years.
  To make matters worse, the proceedings led by the NLRB are creating 
burdensome legal costs for businesses who are seeking to provide high-
quality goods and services to Native American communities.
  While members of the NLRB have changed and have begun to make great 
progress in reversing some of the Board's most damaging decisions, 
Congress needs to make it clear that Tribal labor sovereignty must be 
safe from future Washington overreach.
  The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act will clarify the National Labor 
Relations Act and reverse the troubling encroachment of the Federal 
Government on Tribal lands.
  Congress has the opportunity here to stand up for sovereign rights of 
Native Americans and the businesses they own and operate on their 
lands. These Tribes have created their own system of labor protections 
for employees and employers consistent with their lands and traditions, 
and it is not for Washington bureaucrats to tamper with those 
protections.
  I urge my colleagues to support the sovereignty of all Native 
American Tribes and pass the underlying bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Pocan).
  Mr. POCAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the bill before us that 
takes away National Labor Relations Act protections for hundreds of 
thousands of workers.
  I support Tribal sovereignty. In my home State of Wisconsin, I am 
proud the Ho-Chunk Nation is in my district. Potawatomi, Oneida, 
Menominee, St. Croix, Stockbridge-Munsee, Lac du Flambeau, Lac Corte 
Oreilles, Red Cliff, Bad River, and other Tribes all reside in my home 
State, and I am glad to support the autonomy of those Tribal nations. 
But this bill isn't about Tribal sovereignty. It is about going after 
workers' rights.
  Look at the track record of the majority in this Congress. The 
Republicans have continued to go after workers' rights, as they have so 
far. They have repealed the rule that required companies seeking large 
Federal contracts to disclose violations of labor law. They made it 
harder for people whose jobs are shipped overseas to get unemployment 
insurance. They have made it harder for workers whose employers don't 
offer retirement plans to save for retirement. They have repealed an 
OSHA rule requiring employers to maintain accurate records of serious 
workplace injuries for 5 years, while the administration drastically 
reduces the number of OSHA inspectors.
  This bill isn't about meaningful sovereignty. It is about selective 
sovereignty, because it only goes after labor rights.
  If this were a bill about sovereignty, it would include a number of 
other areas that Tribes are compelled to follow in addition to the 
National Labor Relations Act: the Occupational Safety and Health Act; 
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, ERISA; the Family and 
Medical Leave Act; and the public accommodations of Americans with 
Disabilities Act, just to start.
  If this bill was about sovereignty, it would exempt OSHA and ERISA 
and the FMLA and the ADA, for starters. But it doesn't do that. This 
bill only exempts labor protections for hundreds of thousands of 
workers, Tribal members and nonmembers, because the majority in this 
Congress isn't really worried about sovereignty. It is concerned

[[Page H119]]

about taking away the rights of workers, and that is what this bill is 
really about.
  Mr. Speaker, if this body wants to help Tribes, I am here to help. 
Bring a bill to the floor that covers all exempted areas, and that is a 
bill that I could support. But that is not what is in front of us 
today.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record letters of opposition from the 
International Union of Operating Engineers, the United Auto Workers, 
United Food and Commercial Workers, and Unite Here.
                                            International Union of


                                          Operating Engineers,

                                  Washington, DC, January 8, 2018.
     Hon. Paul D. Ryan,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi: The International 
     Union of Operating Engineers opposes the Tribal Labor 
     Sovereignty Act, legislation contained in S. 140 (115-54) 
     that would eliminate the labor protections currently 
     guaranteed to hundreds of thousands of American workers. 
     Indeed, if enacted into law, this bill would constitute the 
     biggest rollback in labor law since the passage of the Taft-
     Hartley Act in 1947.
       The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) 
     represents nearly 400,000 men and women across North America. 
     Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers 
     maintain and operate Native American and non-Native American 
     gaming facilities around the United States, from Connecticut 
     to California, and this legislation would have a dramatic 
     effect on their lives and livelihoods. The IUOE is the 
     second-biggest union in the hospitality sector. But this 
     legislation extends beyond casinos and gaming. IUOE members 
     work in mining and energy facilities on Native American lands 
     in a number of locations, and those workers eventually could 
     lose their rights as a result of this legislation.
       In a few short words, this bill changes current law by 
     exempting the National Labor Relations Act from tribal 
     enterprises on tribal lands. Today, the National Labor 
     Relations Board (Board) implements a case-by-case review of 
     whether labor law applies to tribal enterprises.
       The precedent-setting case that comes from the San Manuel 
     Band of Mission Indians is instructive. The Tribe operated a 
     92,000-sq.ft. casino (over two acres), with 1,400 employees. 
     Only five of the workers were Native American. The Board 
     determined that this large commercial establishment should 
     not receive the exemption from labor law provided to states 
     and local government because its operations were 
     fundamentally different than a government. The San Manuels 
     were not providing a public good to members of the tribe. 
     They were not behaving like a government. Instead, the Board 
     determined that when the tribal operation in question is 
     commercial in nature, employs significant numbers of non-
     Indians, and caters to a non-Native American clientele, ``the 
     special attributes of sovereignty are not implicated.'' The 
     Board determined that private labor law applies to the San 
     Manuel casino, just as it would with any other commercial 
     operation. Federal courts have supported this interpretation. 
     Sovereignty does, however, apply to governmental functions of 
     the tribe, just as they would with any state government.
       If passed, the exemption from labor law would unfairly 
     advantage commercial tribal operations at the expense of non-
     Native American private-sector companies. Competitors with 
     Native American commercial operations must comply with labor 
     law; Native American operations will not. As mentioned above, 
     the bill's reach extends well beyond the gaming industry. 
     Tribes are engaged in a variety of commercial enterprises, 
     from mining and energy development, to manufacturing and 
     construction. Over time, it is reasonable to expect that 
     tribal enterprises will expand and compete more aggressively 
     with non-Native companies in a wide variety of commercial 
     sectors, without any concern for the rights of workers.
       Tribal labor law is woefully inadequate--virtually non-
     existent in most tribes around the country. It is no 
     replacement for the nation's basic legal framework that 
     protects workers' rights. Eliminating the NLRA for tribal 
     enterprises will strip away freedoms guaranteed to Americans 
     today, including hundreds of thousands of workers at tribal 
     casinos who are not Native American. S. 140 (115-54) would 
     immediately eliminate the rights of thousands of Operating 
     Engineers in workplaces all over the United States.
       The International Union of Operating Engineers opposes S. 
     140 (115-54), which eliminates nearly one-million workers' 
     individual right to take collective action to improve their 
     working conditions, and respectfully urges you to oppose it 
     when it comes to the floor of the House of Representatives on 
     Wednesday.
       Thank you for your consideration.
           Sincerely,
                                                James T. Callahan,
     General President.
                                  ____

         International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and 
           Agricultural Implement Workers of America--UAW,
                                  Washington, DC, January 9, 2018.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the more than one million 
     active and retired members of the International Union, United 
     Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of 
     America (UAW), I urge you to vote against S. 140, because it 
     includes provisions from the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act 
     (H.R. 986). This misguided bill would deny protection under 
     the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to hundreds of 
     thousands of workers employed by tribal casinos. This 
     legislation could also impact dozens of other businesses, 
     including power plants, mining operations, and hotels.
       UAW believes strongly in tribal sovereignty and has a 
     strong record of supporting civil rights. This bill, however, 
     is misleading. It is an attack on fundamental collective 
     bargaining rights and would strip workers in commercial 
     enterprises of their rights and protections under the NLRA. 
     Under the terms of this bill, when a labor contract expires, 
     a tribe could unilaterally terminate the bargaining 
     relationship with the union without legal consequence under 
     the NLRA, because the employer's obligation to bargain could 
     be eliminated. As a result of having a union and a legally 
     binding contract, hundreds of dealers have been promoted to 
     benefited and supervisory positions because of provisions in 
     the contract that maintain minimum percentages of full-time, 
     part-time, and supervisory positions. Work rules, wages, and 
     benefits have all improved because of the right to 
     collectively bargain. This bill would jeopardize these hard-
     fought gains.
       The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act seeks to overturn a 
     decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in San 
     Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, 341 NLRB No. 138 (2004). In 
     that decision, the Board concluded that applying the NLRA 
     would not interfere with the tribe's autonomy and the effects 
     of the NLRA would not ``extend beyond the tribe's business 
     enterprise and regulate intramural matters.'' The ruling does 
     not apply in instances where its application would ``touch 
     exclusive rights of self-governance in purely intramural 
     matters'' or ``abrogate Indian treaty rights.'' The NLRB has 
     taken a nuanced view on this matter and has ruled on a case-
     by-case basis. Congressional interference is not justified.
       Supporters of the bill argue that the bill creates parity 
     for the tribes with state and local governments who are not 
     covered under the NLRA. However, there are some significant 
     differences. Tribes are exempt from employment laws (Title 
     VII of the Civil Rights Act) that apply to state and local 
     governments, whereas private sector contractors work 
     extensively on behalf of state and local governments and 
     generally must comply with the NLRA. Non-tribal members 
     cannot petition a tribe for labor legislation, while workers 
     employed by a state or local government have a voice with 
     their elected leaders. This is significant because 75 percent 
     of Native American gaming employees are not tribal members. 
     At Foxwoods, where the UAW represents the workers, well over 
     98 percent of employees and patrons are not tribal members. 
     Hundreds of tribal gaming facilities make tens of billions in 
     revenue annually, and these employees are working for what is 
     simply a commercial operation competing with non-tribal 
     businesses.
       At a time of growing wealth inequality and a shrinking 
     middle class, the last thing Congress should do is deprive 
     workers of their legally enforceable right to form unions and 
     bargain collectively. We urge you to oppose S. 140.
           Sincerely,
                                                      Josh Nassar,
     Legislative Director.
                                  ____



                                                         UFCW,

                                  Washington, DC, January 9, 2018.
     To All Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

       Dear Representative: On behalf of the 1.3 million members 
     of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union 
     (UFCW), I am writing to express our strong opposition to the 
     Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act as rolled into a bill that will 
     be reported as S. 140.
       UFCW is proud to represent 1,000 members at casinos that 
     operate on tribal lands. These workers have joined together 
     to bargain collectively for good wages, decent benefits, and 
     a voice on the job. Passage of the Tribal Labor Sovereignty 
     Act would take that voice away.
       We support sovereignty for tribal governments, but the 
     Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act is so broad that it would 
     prevent any worker from exercising their freedom of 
     association under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 
     The vast majority tribal casino workers are not tribal 
     members and therefore have no voice in tribal policy and are 
     not protected under tribal law.
       Most federal laws protecting the workplace apply to tribal 
     businesses including the Employee Retirement Income Security 
     Act (ERISA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the 
     Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and NLRA. The NLRA should 
     not be treated any differently than these other important 
     laws that protect workers.
       There are many differences between state and local 
     governments and tribal businesses. State and local 
     governments do not operate multi-billion dollar commercial 
     Enterprises, nor manage enterprises where the majority of the 
     employees and customers are from outside of the jurisdiction. 
     If working people don't like state and local government 
     policy

[[Page H120]]

     they can change management by voting for different lawmakers, 
     while non-tribal employees and customers have no meaningful 
     way to influence tribal policy.
       Congress should be working to expand the rights of American 
     workers, not take them away. We urge you to stand up for 
     American workers and oppose the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act.
           Sincerely,
                                               Anthony M. Perrone,
     International President.
                                  ____



                                                  UNITE HERE!,

                                                     Las Vegas, NV
       Dear Representative: UNITE HERE represents over 275,000 
     hardworking men and women in the hospitality industry and 
     strongly urges you to oppose the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act 
     (H.R. 986).
       Like most Americans, our members have a deep respect for 
     Native Americans and their role in shaping our nation. Our 
     members also have a deep and abiding respect for the rights 
     of American workers and to uphold the laws that govern our 
     nation and all of its citizens.
       This brings me to H.R. 986. This bill would exempt all 
     businesses owned and operated by Indian nations from the 
     National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Tribal businesses, 
     including but not limited to Indian-owned casinos, have 
     workforces and customers that are almost all non-Indian. If 
     this bill were to become law, American citizens working for 
     Native American businesses would lose their U.S. rights under 
     the NLRA, including ``full freedom of association'' and 
     ``self-organization'' without ``discrimination.'' Over the 
     last 30 years, as Indian enterprises entered the stream of 
     interstate commerce, a number of federal laws protecting the 
     workplace have been applied to Indian businesses: Employee 
     Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Occupational Safety 
     and Health Act (OSHA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and 
     National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Congress should not 
     treat the rights Americans have under the NLRA any 
     differently than these other important laws that protect 
     American workers.
       Much has been made of the need for this bill to give tribal 
     governments ``parity'' with state and local governments. This 
     comparison is misleading, if not absurd. States and local 
     governments do not typically operate multi-billion dollar 
     commercial enterprises. States and local governments do not 
     typically run enterprises where the overwhelming majority of 
     the government's employees are from outside of their 
     jurisdiction and the overwhelming majority of customers are 
     also from outside of their jurisdiction. In a state or 
     locality, if the citizens who live there don't like the 
     government's policies, they can vote for people to change 
     those policies. The non-tribal employees and customers have 
     no meaningful way to influence tribal policies.
       In this time of incredible income inequality in our 
     country, Congress should be working to expand the rights of 
     American workers, not finding ways to take them away. H.R. 
     986 is no different than the laws signed by Governors Scott 
     Walker (R-WI) and Rick Snyder (R-MI): they attack the basic 
     rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain.
       Please stand up for American workers and join our union to 
     oppose H.R. 986.
           Sincerely,
                                                        D. Taylor.

  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact of those in 
opposition, but 150 Tribes and individuals from the Native Americans 
that are asking for this stand in support of this, and we are delighted 
to listen to that and work for a solution here.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from North Carolina 
(Ms. Foxx), the chairwoman of the Education and the Workforce 
Committee.

                              {time}  1715

  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the adoption of the 
Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, an important and long overdue provision 
included in this legislation before us today.
  For nearly 70 years, the National Labor Relations Board respected the 
sovereignty of Native American Tribes throughout the country and 
allowed the Tribes to adjudicate labor issues within the laws and 
standards of each Tribe. However, in 2004, the NLRB began to change its 
longstanding practices and adopted subjective tests to determine when 
it wanted to assert its jurisdiction in matters involving Native 
American Tribes.
  These subjective tests are applied on an arbitrary, case-by-case 
basis and are having an impact on Tribal businesses that are operated 
on sovereign Tribal lands. Tribal business leaders have been asking 
Congress to respect their sovereign rights and end the NLRB's 
inconsistent and misguided decisions when it comes to labor decisions 
dealing with Tribal businesses.
  The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, sponsored by Representative Todd 
Rokita, a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, stops 
the NLRB from picking winners and losers when it comes to matters 
dealing with Tribal businesses and ends the bureaucratic overreach 
conducted by the NLRB in recent years.
  Most importantly, this legislation protects the sovereignty Native 
Americans deserve and ensures that Tribes have control over their own 
labor relations and, ultimately, determine what works best for 
workplaces on Tribal lands.
  Bipartisan support for Tribal sovereignty has been reaffirmed time 
and again by Congress, and for more than 180 years, the Supreme Court 
has held that Tribes possess a nationhood status and retain inherent 
powers of self-government. It is time that we strip unelected 
bureaucrats of the power they abuse and respect the rights of Native 
American Tribes.
  I wish to thank Representative Todd Rokita for introducing and 
championing the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act and urge Members to 
support this important clarification to Federal law.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, will you advise as to how much 
time is left on both sides.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Yoder). The gentleman from Virginia has 
15\1/2\ minutes remaining. The gentleman from Michigan has 9\1/2\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur), the ranking member of the 
Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and 
Related Agencies.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill.
  It was in 1935 that this body enacted the National Labor Relations 
Act. It guaranteed basic rights to private sector workers to organize 
into trade unions, to engage in contractual bargaining for decent wages 
and better conditions at work, and to take joint action, if necessary.
  But in 1935, just like today, here, 2018, the Republican Party and 
business interests vehemently opposed passage of any laws that help 
workers. Little has changed. Once again our Republican colleagues 
trample on the backs of workers.
  This legislation rolls back proven protections that allow wages to 
rise in places like California, and their casinos, from $10 an hour to 
$13 an hour. Now, these modest pay increases have helped elevate the 
workers who work in those casinos above the Federal poverty level.
  Who has ever tried to buy a house in California or tried to live on 
$13 an hour or $10 an hour? You are not talking about a whole lot of 
money there, especially from a party that just gave $1 trillion away to 
the people at the very top.
  But with this bill, our Republican colleagues chose to strip these 
hundreds of thousands of workers, the majority of whom are not members 
of Tribes but work in those casinos, of decent wages and their right to 
a voice in the workplace.
  Wow.
  Beneath their sheepskin costumes hides another Republican attack on 
worker rights in this country, this time under the guise of Tribal 
sovereignty.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. I yield the gentlewoman from Ohio an 
additional 1 minute.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Let me remind my colleagues though, throughout our 
National Labor Relations Board's history, it has never and will not 
assert jurisdiction where it would interfere with a Tribe's internal 
governance rights in purely intramural matters.
  So I urge my colleagues to oppose this bad bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the strong opposition to it from 
the United Steelworkers of America and from the Communications Workers 
of America. As a proud daughter of labor, I am proud to stand here 
today in opposition to this bill.

                                          United Steelworkers,

                                  Pittsburgh, PA, January 9, 2018.
     Re United Steelworkers oppose inclusion of anti-worker H.R. 
         986, Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2017 in S. 140.

     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the 850,000 members of 
     the United Steelworkers (USW), we strongly urge you to oppose 
     S. 140 on the House floor this week. Rather than

[[Page H121]]

     being identical to the Senate bill, this version includes the 
     anti-worker and undemocratic Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 
     2017 (H.R. 986).
       H.R. 986 would exempt all employees of federally recognized 
     Native American-owned commercial enterprises operated on 
     Indian lands from the protections of the National Labor 
     Relations Act (NLRA) and would authorize over 567 distinct 
     and separate labor law jurisdictions in the United States.
       To be absolutely clear, this legislation strips workers--
     both Native American and non-Native American--of their NLRA 
     protections. While some organizations have falsely attempted 
     to paint tribal governments as similar entities to states 
     (which are exempt from the NLRA), tribal governments are 
     substantially different than states in one key democratic 
     principal: state governments allow workers an ability to vote 
     for their legislators no matter their ancestry, while most 
     tribal governments require blood quantum or lineal descent to 
     determine who is eligible for membership or citizenship.
       Simply put, if H.R. 986 becomes law by inclusion in S. 140, 
     U.S. citizens working in the United States for tribal 
     commercial enterprises would not be able to vote for the 
     elected representatives who set their labor laws. These 
     workers will lose the ability to petition the government that 
     oversees their working conditions.
       The gaming industry, which is an employer for approximately 
     246 of the 567 federally recognized American Indian tribes; 
     has over 600,000 casino workers on tribal lands, the 
     overwhelming majority of whom are not Native Americans. In 
     2011 before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the National 
     Indian Gaming Commission testified that the vast majority of 
     employees (up to 75 percent) were non-tribal members.
       Our union understands the importance of the principle of 
     tribal sovereignty; however the fundamental human rights of 
     employees are not the exclusive concern of tribal enterprises 
     or tribal governments. As the International Labor 
     Organization highlighted in a letter on a previous version of 
     this bill, ``it is critical that the State (the national 
     authority) takes ultimate responsibility for ensuring respect 
     for freedom of association and collective bargaining rights 
     throughout its territory''. That is why we believe the 
     current test set by the NLRB is the best course of action 
     until labor laws are strengthened in the United States.
       In 2004, the NLRB under the Bush Administration ruled for 
     the first time that Tribal casino workers should have the 
     benefit of NLRA protections, San Manuel, 341 NLRB No. 138 
     (2204). Yet, since the San Manuel ruling, the NLRB has 
     asserted jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis. In 2015, the 
     NLRB declined jurisdiction citing the 1830 Treaty of Dancing 
     Rabbit Creek and 1866 Treaty of Washington stating:
       ``We have no doubt that asserting jurisdiction over the 
     Casino and the Nation would effectuate the policies of the 
     Act. However, because we find that asserting jurisdiction 
     would abrogate treaty rights specific to the Nation.'' 
     Chickasaw Nation Windstar World Casino, 362 NLRB 109 92015).
       Similarly the NLRB declined jurisdiction:
       ``. . . when an Indian tribe is fulfilling a traditionally 
     tribal or governmental function that is unique to its status, 
     fulfilling just such a unique governmental function 
     [providing free health care services solely to tribal 
     members],'' Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, 341 NLRB 139 
     (2004).
       The NLRB has developed a reasonable and responsible test to 
     determine jurisdiction. H.R. 986 creates significant 
     confusion and jurisdictional issues over labor law 
     enforcement and grossly undermines worker's rights. Our union 
     urges you to oppose S. 140, with the inclusion of H.R. 986, 
     and asks you to instead work to expand worker's rights not 
     restrict them further.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Leo W. Gerard,
     International President.
                                  ____

                                                  January 9, 2018.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the members and officers 
     of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), I am writing 
     to express our strong opposition to S. 140. CWA has no 
     objections whatsoever to Sections 1 and 2 of the bill as 
     amended. Unfortunately, these non-controversial, sensible 
     bills have been hijacked to also pass H.R. 986, a bill that 
     would strip hundreds of thousands of workers at tribal-owned 
     and -operated enterprises of their protections for the right 
     to bargain collectively.
       H.R. 986 seeks to overturn a National Labor Relations Board 
     (NLRB) decision in San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, which 
     applied the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to a tribal 
     casino enterprise. The NLRB's finding in San Manuel adopted a 
     test to determine whether the NLRA is applicable to 
     businesses operating on tribal lands--if it would ``touch 
     exclusive rights of self-governance in purely intramural 
     matters'' or ``abrogate Indian treaty rights,'' the NLRA 
     would not apply, but otherwise the decision will be based on 
     a series of factors including whether an entity is a purely 
     commercial enterprise or employs or caters to individuals who 
     are not tribal members.
       The San Manuel test balances two crucial issues--tribal 
     sovereignty and the right of workers to bargain collectively. 
     The test ensures that truly internal matters of self-
     governance will continue to be handled by sovereign tribes, 
     while also ensuring that the fundamental rights of workers to 
     organize and advocate for their own interests are properly 
     respected. H.R. 986 would overturn this balance by exempting 
     any enterprise or institution owned and operated by an Indian 
     tribe and located on its land from the requirements of the 
     NLRA--or any other guarantee of workers' fundamental right to 
     organize and collectively bargain.
       The practical impact of H.R. 986 would be to exempt a broad 
     swath of businesses from the NLRA, even though, in many 
     cases, they are purely commercial enterprises. For many of 
     these companies--particularly casinos--the majority of their 
     workforces are not members of the tribe employing them and 
     therefore do not have full access to internal, tribal 
     mechanisms for grieving issues or petitioning for change in 
     tribal policies. This is why the International Labour 
     Organization stated in 2015 that ``it would appear likely 
     that an exclusion of certain workers from the NLRA and its 
     mechanisms would give rise to a failure to ensure these 
     workers their fundamental freedom of association rights.''
       I urge you to oppose S. 140 as amended and instead work to 
     advance an agenda that protects both workers' fundamental 
     human right to organize and tribal sovereignty. CWA will 
     consider including votes on this bill in our Congressional 
     Scorecard Thank you in advance for your consideration.
           Sincerely,

                                                 Shane Larson,

                                             Legislative Director,
                          Communications Workers of America (CWA).

  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Lewis).
  Mr. LEWIS of Minnesota. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from 
Indiana (Mr. Rokita) for introducing this very important legislation 
that restores a simple promise: the sovereign rights of Native 
Americans will be protected.
  For almost 70 years following the passage of the National Labor 
Relations Act, Tribal sovereignty was upheld and Tribes were given the 
equal right to self-governance enjoyed by our State and local 
governments. For the Tribes in my district, sovereignty meant the 
freedom to advance their own economic development and provide critical 
government services to their Tribal members.
  With the NLRB's San Manuel decision, unelected bureaucrats tossed 
aside this longstanding precedent and began to assert themselves in 
Tribal matters on an arbitrary, case-by-case basis. The agency granted 
itself the right to navigate Tribal law and decide when a Tribal 
enterprise is for commercial purposes, a requirement that would never 
be imposed on revenue-generating activities of State and local 
governments.
  As the Federal bureaucracy expands its own power, Tribes face legal 
confusion and uncertainty, hindering their self-sufficiency and the 
ability to provide for their members.
  The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act restores the well-established legal 
standard of Tribal sovereignty. As State and local governments are 
excluded from the Federal requirements of the NLRA, this bill simply 
ensures Tribal governments receive equal treatment, not lesser status. 
It provides our Tribes with needed clarity that, when an enterprise is 
owned and operated by the Indian Tribe and located on Tribal land, 
Tribal sovereignty will be protected.
  I am proud to be a cosponsor of this bipartisan legislation, and I am 
glad it was included in this package, which I urge my colleagues to 
support.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the Democratic whip.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, what a sad state of affairs. There are scores 
of critically important issues that need to be considered by this 
House, not the least of which is funding our government. We failed to 
do that, and now we are confronted with a bill that is recycled, and we 
have added two natural resources bills on it that could have passed 
unanimously.
  I am a big defender of Native Tribes' rights and sovereignty, and I 
know that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle remain committed to 
their sovereignty as well. This bill, however, is about undermining the 
National Labor Relations Act, not about Tribal sovereignty.
  That act, the National Labor Relations Act, safeguards workers' 
rights to organize and bargain collectively. Most of my friends on the 
other side of the aisle are not for that. I know that. I have seen them 
vote that way.
  No matter where you work, the basic protections for American workers, 
however, ought to apply. It is already

[[Page H122]]

settled law that the National Labor Relations Act and other worker 
protection laws apply to businesses even on Tribal lands outside the 
context of inherently governmental functions carried out by Tribal 
governments. This was not decided by some faceless bureaucrat. This was 
a court of our land that made this decision.
  Instead of undermining workers' rights, this House ought to be moving 
forward with policies that help our workers and their families make it 
in America as part of a strong middle class. That means raising wages. 
It means making childcare more affordable. It means expanding access to 
opportunities like higher education, homeownership, and a secure 
retirement. Those are the issues that Democrats continue to be focused 
on.
  That is not what this bill focuses on. Instead, Republicans are 
focused not on helping workers, but trying to pit one group, Tribes, 
against another group, workers. That is not what we ought to have in 
this country.
  And they are attaching popular, noncontroversial natural resources 
bills to this legislation. They have nothing to do with this 
legislation and would pass overwhelmingly.
  I am going to vote against this bill, and I hope they will bring the 
natural resources bills back so we can pass those, as everybody wants 
to do.
  This is not the kind of regular order Speaker Ryan promised when he 
took the gavel and that Republicans promised when they took the 
majority.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. I yield the gentleman from Maryland an 
additional 2 minutes.
  Mr. HOYER. As I said at the beginning, we are bringing this bill to 
the floor, a retread. This is not new legislation that they are 
offering. The only thing new about it is they put two natural resources 
bills attached to it.
  We should be focused, as I said before, on reaching agreement on 
appropriation bills, on caps, on protecting DREAMers, on making sure 
that CHIP children aren't left aside, not this bill. But those bills 
aren't scheduled today, and they are not scheduled next week as far as 
I know. Maybe the majority leader will give me better information 
tomorrow.
  In fact, what we really ought to be working on now, as I say, are 
those appropriation bills. But, under the Republican majority, we are 
still stuck working on fiscal year 2018 when we are already nearly 
halfway through.
  I urge my colleagues not to oppose Tribal sovereignty, not to oppose 
the rights of our Native American brothers and sisters. We are for 
them, but not to be pitted against workers making a decent, acceptable 
wage so they can live with some quality of life.
  It is not enough to give the upper 1 percent a huge tax cut and 
pretend that you are helping the middle class, the workers. In fact, in 
this bill, you are doing exactly the opposite.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and stand up for workers, 
whether they are Native Americans or whoever they may be. Stand up for 
workers. Respect workers. Understand that workers made this country 
great, and they deserve our support and our protection.
  Defeat this bill.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Roe), a gentleman who had a distinguished record of 
supporting and helping and enabling workers.
  Mr. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of 
S. 140 and its inclusion of H.R. 986, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act.
  There are more than 560 federally recognized Native American Tribes 
across the United States, and each of these Tribes has a unique history 
and distinct culture that have helped shape who we are today as a 
nation. Each Tribe has an inherent right to self-govern, just like any 
other sovereign government does.
  That right to self-governance is rooted in the Constitution and has 
been reaffirmed by courts for almost 200 years. Because of it, Tribal 
leaders are able to make decisions that affect their people in a way 
that makes the most sense for their Tribe and best protects the 
interests of their members--or, rather, they should be able to make 
those decisions.
  We are here today because, for the past 14 years, the National Labor 
Relations Board has ignored longstanding labor policy and involved 
itself in Tribal activities. Since its 2004 San Manuel Indian Bingo and 
Casino decision, the Board has used a subjective test to decide on a 
case-by-case basis whether a Tribal business or Tribal land is for 
commercial purposes, and, if it is, the Board has asserted its 
jurisdiction over that business.

                              {time}  1730

  Among its other provisions, the bill under consideration would amend 
the National Labor Relations Act to reaffirm that the NLRB cannot 
assert its authority over enterprises or institutions owned or operated 
by a Tribe on Tribal land. It very simply reasserts a legal standard 
that was in place for decades and returns to Tribes the ability to 
manage their own labor relations as a sovereign right has.
  I want to thank my friend and fellow member of the Education and the 
Workforce Committee from Indiana (Mr. Rokita) for his leadership on 
this issue and for continuing to work on those in Congress who have 
helped lead the fight to protect Tribal sovereignty over the years.
  It is time for all of us to join that fight and stand with the Native 
American community and restore to Indian Tribes the ability to govern 
their own labor relations.
  Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how you support Tribal sovereignty, which, 
by definition, is a sovereign state, but not allow Tribes to self-
govern. I don't understand that, and I also don't understand, Mr. 
Speaker, if our friends on the other side of the aisle today are so 
worried about getting our work done, why I had to leave committee 
hearings to come over here three times today to vote not adjourning 
this body. I would like to know that.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Norcross).
  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Speaker, the land of opportunity is right here. It 
is called the United States of America. But, unfortunately, there is 
not always a level playing field when it comes to that land of 
opportunity. This year is the 83rd anniversary of the National Labor 
Relations Act, the act that gave workers a voice, a voice in the 
workplace. It gave them the ability to bargain--along with their 
employers--a living wage, pensions, the ability to retire with dignity.
  But today, we are really debating how to hurt workers--that somehow 
you get treated outside of the reservations in a humane way, where 
casinos are operating in a very profitable way, but you cross that 
line, and you are being treated differently. You are being treated less 
than and doing it all under the guise of Native American sovereignty.
  The vast majority of casinos on their properties are treated with 
respect by employees. But they were able to get to some folks to 
introduce this piece that somehow let them try to do it differently on 
that line. When we cross it, you are less than. We can take advantage 
of you, and we see that happen time after time.
  I have been before the NLRB many times, had cases. I won many, but I 
also lost them. But I always felt as if I was treated fairly. And that 
is what we should be doing here, treating employees, no matter where 
you are in this great country, fairly. It has been a decade since we 
raised the minimum wage. And somehow, we are just looking for no reason 
to hurt employees.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to 
the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Speaker, we want to respect the sovereign nations, 
but we can't pick and choose the way we treat them. Certainly, 
everybody who works in this great country deserves an opportunity to be 
treated fairly.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter from the Transport 
Workers Union of America that talks about being fairly treated.

         Transport Workders Union of America, AFL-CIO,
                                                 January 10, 2018.

    Vote Alert: Vote NO on the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (S. 140)

       Dear Representative: On behalf of the Transport Workers 
     Union of America (TWU), AFL-CIO, we write urging you to 
     oppose the

[[Page H123]]

     Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. This bill (introduced as H.R. 
     986) has been paired with unrelated bills and packaged as 
     part of S. 140, which the House is expected to vote on today. 
     We urge you to oppose the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act by 
     voting NO on S. 140.
       The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act would exempt from the 
     protections of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) 
     workers employed by tribal-owned and -operated commercial 
     enterprises located on tribal lands. Under this bill, the 
     NLRA rights and protections would be denied to more than 
     600,000 tribal casino workers, the vast majority of whom are 
     not Native American.
       This bill would overturn a 2004 decision by the Bush 
     Administration's National Labor Relations Board (Board), in 
     which the Board applied the NLRA to a tribal casino (San 
     Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, 341 NLRB No. 138 (2004)). In 
     reaching this decision, the Board applied a test: the NLRA 
     will not apply if its application would ``touch exclusive 
     rights of self-governance in purely intramural matters.'' 
     And, the NLRA will not apply if it would ``abrogate Indian 
     treaty rights.'' The Board also considered other factors, 
     including that the casino in question was a typical 
     commercial enterprise that catered to non-Native American 
     customers and employed non-Native Americans. While the Board 
     asserted NLRA protections in the San Manuel decision, it 
     ruled the opposite way, denying its jurisdiction in a 
     companion case (Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, 341 NLRB 
     No. 139 (2004)).
       We understand the importance of tribal sovereignty and 
     support the principle in true self-governance matters. But 
     the fundamental human rights of employees are not the 
     exclusive concern of tribal enterprises or tribal 
     governments. While proponents of the bill falsely compare 
     tribal governments to state governments, they miss a glaring 
     truth: while state governments are exempt from NLRA 
     protections, their workers are eligible to vote for those who 
     set their labor laws. But the vast majority of the 600,000 
     casino workers who would be impacted by the Tribal Labor 
     Sovereignty Act are not Native Americans, and therefore have 
     no voice in the selection of those setting tribal policy nor 
     the ability to petition the tribal government to protect 
     their rights.
       We object to a sweeping exemption of all tribal enterprises 
     from the NLRA, and believe the test used by the Board to 
     determine whether the NLRA is applicable should remain. 
     Unfortunately, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act has been 
     packaged with unrelated bills in an attempt to pressure 
     support for this particular bill. While TWU has no position 
     on the other bills contained in S. 140, we urge you vote NO 
     in opposition to the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act.

  Mr. NORCROSS. Mr. Speaker, I ask Members to really look inside 
yourself. Is this the best way to treat employees? Is this how we help 
lift up all of those workers? I think not, and I urge Members to reject 
this attempt to hurt workers and not protect sovereignty.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of yielding 3 minutes 
to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Rokita), the sponsor of this 
legislation, as well as the chair of the Subcommittee on Early 
Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.
  Mr. ROKITA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding. I rise in 
strong support of this bill which includes a provision identical to the 
legislation that I have been cosponsoring the last two Congresses, H.R. 
986, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. I also want to thank all of the 
Members who came in support of this legislation here today and last 
Congress from this side of the aisle who stood up for the rights of 
sovereign nations, our friends, Native Americans, and who made very 
clear the issue before us today.
  It was mentioned by the naysayers on the other side of the aisle that 
the NLRA, the National Labor Relations Act, started in 1935. If you go 
back to that legislation--and it still exists today in the same form--
you see that Federal, State, and local governments are exempted from 
the act for good reason.
  This was supposed to always be a private sector labor relations act 
and bill. Now, we can argue the pros and cons of that all day long, but 
that is not the debate here today. The fact of the matter is that 
governments were specifically exempted.
  Mr. Speaker, why does that not include our Native American friends 
who have sovereign nations? You know, I took my two boys--Kathy and I 
took my two boys, Ryan and Teddy, to a water park this year and last 
year--two different cities in my district. Those cities operated the 
water park. They owned it. We paid the fee. We went in. We used it.
  The employees who worked there--and they were excellent--were exempt 
from the NLRA. Yet the Democrats who pander to groups left and right 
are now saying that they are for the sovereign rights of the 
government, of our Native American Tribes, but they say this isn't that 
bill. No, it is. It is that simple.
  You are either for their sovereignty, Mr. Speaker, or you are not. 
And that is all this bill does. It doesn't choose between friends. The 
Democrats do not need to worry. It is either you are for people in 
believing in their own destiny and manifesting it, or you think that 
you have to subject them to your will. That is all this bill is about.
  By the way, I think it is absolutely ridiculous--Dr. Roe asked the 
question. I won't ask the question. I will put it in statement form. I 
think it is absolutely ridiculous that some Members, Mr. Speaker, can 
come to the floor of the House today and say that this is not an 
important bill, that the rights of the governments of sovereign nations 
aren't important, and that there are other things to do.
  Yet, three times today, the Democrats motioned to adjourn the House, 
wasting precious legislative time. This bill is supported by more than 
150 Tribes. The chamber of commerce supports the bill. Four Democrats 
cosponsor the bill, and I thank each of them for it. Last Congress, the 
bill passed the House with bipartisan support. And, Mr. Speaker, I 
suspect it will again today.
  Let's get this job done. Let's support our Native American friends. 
Let's support the sovereignty of the governments at the Federal, State, 
and local level. Support this bill, especially subsection 3.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter in opposition to the 
bill from the AFL-CIO.

                       AFL-CIO Legislative Alert

         American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial 
           Organizations,
                                  Washington, DC, January 9, 2018.
       Dear Representative: The AFL-CIO urges you to oppose the 
     Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, H.R. 986, which would deny 
     protection under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to a 
     large number of workers employed by tribal-owned and -
     operated enterprises located on Indian land. Among these 
     workers are over 600,000 tribal casino workers, the vast 
     majority of whom are not Native Americans. In recent years, 
     the number and type of enterprises affected has grown well 
     beyond the gaming industry, and would now include mining 
     operations, power plants, smoke shops, saw mills, 
     construction companies, ski resorts, high-tech firms, hotels, 
     and spas. Many of these are commercial businesses that 
     compete with non-Indian enterprises. As proposed, the Tribal 
     Labor Sovereignty Act would strip all workers in these 
     enterprises of their rights and protections under the NLRA.
       The House bill, introduced by Representative Rokita, would 
     overturn a decision by the National Labor Relations Board 
     (NLRB) in San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, 341 NLRB No. 138 
     (2004), which applied the NLRA to a tribal casino enterprise. 
     In San Manuel, the NLRB looked to Supreme Court and circuit 
     court precedent to articulate a test for whether the NLRB 
     should assert jurisdiction over tribal enterprises, whether 
     located on tribal lands or outside them. (Before San Manuel, 
     NLRB jurisdiction was determined based solely on location: On 
     tribal land, the NLRB would forego jurisdiction; off tribal 
     land, the NLRB would assert jurisdiction. Under the San 
     Manuel test, the NLRA will not apply if its application would 
     ``touch exclusive rights of self-governance in purely 
     intramural matters.'' Nor will the NLRA apply if it would 
     ``abrogate Indian treaty rights.'' The Board in San Manuel 
     also considered other factors, including whether the casino 
     in question was a typical commercial enterprise, employed 
     non-Native Americans, and catered to non-Native American 
     customers.
       In San Manuel, the Board concluded that applying the NLRA 
     would not interfere with the tribe's autonomy, and the 
     effects of the NLRA would not ``extend beyond the tribe's 
     business enterprise and regulate intramural matters.'' 
     However, the test articulated in San Manuel provides a 
     careful balancing of tribal sovereignty interests with the 
     NLRA's federal labor law protections. In a companion case, 
     Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corp., 341 NLRB No. 139 (2004), the 
     Board tipped the balance the other way and didn't assert 
     jurisdiction.
       The AFL-CIO supports the principle of sovereignty for 
     tribal governments, but does not believe that employers 
     should use this principle to deny workers their collective 
     bargaining rights and freedom of association. While the AFL-
     CIO continues to support the concept of tribal sovereignty in 
     truly internal, self-governance matters, it is in no position 
     to repudiate fundamental human rights that belong to every 
     worker in every nation. Workers cannot be left without any 
     legally enforceable right to form unions and bargain 
     collectively in instances where they are

[[Page H124]]

     working for a tribal enterprise which is simply a commercial 
     operation competing with non-tribal businesses.
       The International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of 
     the United Nations, has confirmed this view in response to a 
     question about whether excluding (from the NLRA) workers 
     employed on tribal lands would conform with principles of 
     freedom of association. These values are at the core of the 
     ILO Constitution and the ILO's Declaration on Fundamental 
     Principles and Rights at Work. The Director for the 
     International Labour Standards Division wrote that in the 
     absence of tribal ordinances offering full protection of 
     internationally recognized rights, ``it is critical that the 
     State (the national authority) takes ultimate responsibility 
     for ensuring respect for freedom of association and 
     collective bargaining rights throughout its territory.'' In 
     other words, if the tribes themselves don't guarantee these 
     basic rights--and many do not, the U.S. government must not 
     abdicate its responsibility to protect them.
       Notwithstanding the importance of the principle of tribal 
     sovereignty, the fundamental human rights of employees are 
     not the exclusive concern of tribal enterprises or tribal 
     governments. In fact, the vast majority of employees of these 
     commercial enterprises, such as casinos, are not Native 
     Americans. They therefore have no voice in setting tribal 
     policy and no recourse to tribal governments for the 
     protection of their rights.
       The AFL-CIO opposes any effort to exempt on an across-the-
     board basis all tribal enterprises from the NLRA, without 
     undertaking a specific review of all the circumstances--as 
     current NLRB standards provide. Where the enterprise employs 
     mainly Native American employees with mainly Native American 
     customers, and involves self-governance or intramural 
     affairs, leaving the matter to tribal governments may be 
     appropriate. However, where the business employs primarily 
     non-Native American employees and caters to primarily non-
     Native American customers, there is no basis for depriving 
     employees of their rights and protections under the National 
     Labor Relations Act.
           Sincerely,
                                         William Samuel, Director,
                                    Government Affairs Department.

  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, a lot has been said about State 
and local being exempt and Tribes not being exempt. Well, that was a 
decision made way back when. The law specifically exempts State and 
local. Maybe it should; maybe it didn't; but it did. Tribes were not 
specifically exempted.
  So in conclusion, this bill will strip hundreds of thousands of 
employees of the right to join a union. Where some Tribes have Tribal 
labor ordinances that are fair and workable, others do not. And at 
least one expressly prohibits the formation of unions.
  There is no principal basis for excluding these workers from coverage 
under labor law just because they happen to work in a commercial 
enterprise on Tribal lands. If this bill will come into law, it will be 
the first rollback of workers' rights under Federal law in over 70 
years, and it may well place the United States in violation of several 
international trade agreements.
  For that reason, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose the 
legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, this has been a telling debate. Again, I think the key 
question here, as has been asked by so many colleagues: Are Native 
American Tribes government entities; are they sovereign? The only 
answer that we can respond with is: Absolutely, yes. They are 
sovereign. This is not an issue debating NLRB or NLRA. It is going back 
to what we have established already that, in fact, a sovereign nation, 
just like a State or local government, is free from the intervention of 
NLRB.
  In this case, a sovereign nation has that right. Just as a reminder, 
over 150 Native American organizations have asked for this legislative 
effort to be achieved. Why? Because it was working fine up until 2004, 
and NLRB then came arbitrarily in--sometimes yes, sometimes not--
intervening, but, ultimately, they were changing the system in place.
  While we are moving back to letting the sovereignty reign in these 
Native American Tribes, yet we need to make it very clear for the 
future and not go back to what has precipitated this change.
  The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act to clarify that the 
law does not apply to any enterprise or institution owned and operated 
by an Indian Tribe and located on Tribal land. It protects the 
sovereignty of Native American Tribes, reaffirming they are afforded 
the same rights and protections enjoyed by State and local government.
  It ensures Tribes have control over their labor relations and can 
determine what is best for the workplaces. It eliminates legal 
confusion and uncertainty that is hindering the ability of Tribal 
governments to serve their citizens.
  Mr. Speaker, that is what it does. It reasserts and reaffirms what we 
have already said in law. And for that reason, I ask my colleagues to 
support this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 681, the previous question is ordered on 
the bill, as amended.
  The question is on the third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be read a third time, and was read the third 
time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, this 15-
minute vote on passage of S. 140 will be followed by 5-minute votes on:
  Suspending the rules and passing H.R. 4567; and
  Agreeing to the Speaker's approval of the Journal, if ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 239, 
noes 173, not voting 19, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 11]

                               AYES--239

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Aguilar
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Arrington
     Babin
     Bacon
     Banks (IN)
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Bergman
     Beyer
     Biggs
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Budd
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Cardenas
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Cheney
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Comer
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Correa
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Curtis
     Davidson
     DelBene
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Deutch
     Diaz-Balart
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Dunn
     Emmer
     Estes (KS)
     Farenthold
     Faso
     Ferguson
     Fleischmann
     Flores
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallagher
     Garrett
     Gianforte
     Gibbs
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guthrie
     Handel
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Heck
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins (LA)
     Hill
     Holding
     Hollingsworth
     Hudson
     Huizenga
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Jordan
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     King (IA)
     Knight
     Kustoff (TN)
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Latta
     Lewis (MN)
     Lieu, Ted
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lujan Grisham, M.
     Lujan, Ben Ray
     Marchant
     Marino
     Marshall
     Massie
     Mast
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McCollum
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Meeks
     Messer
     Mitchell
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Moore
     Mullin
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Norman
     Nunes
     O'Halleran
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Peterson
     Pittenger
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Posey
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Rice (SC)
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney, Francis
     Rooney, Thomas J.
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce (CA)
     Ruiz
     Russell
     Rutherford
     Sanford
     Schrader
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Sewell (AL)
     Shimkus
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (TX)
     Smucker
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Taylor
     Tenney
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Upton
     Valadao
     Vela
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Walz
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Zeldin

                               NOES--173

     Barragan
     Bass
     Beatty
     Bera
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Blunt Rochester
     Bonamici
     Bost
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)

[[Page H125]]


     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capuano
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Connolly
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello (PA)
     Courtney
     Crist
     Crowley
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     Davis, Rodney
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     Demings
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Donovan
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Espaillat
     Esty (CT)
     Evans
     Fitzpatrick
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Gomez
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Gottheimer
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hastings
     Higgins (NY)
     Himes
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Jackson Lee
     Jayapal
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Joyce (OH)
     Kaptur
     Katko
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Khanna
     Kihuen
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger
     Krishnamoorthi
     Kuster (NH)
     Lance
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lynch
     MacArthur
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McEachin
     McGovern
     McKinley
     Meng
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Norcross
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Panetta
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Pingree
     Pocan
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Raskin
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Rosen
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (WA)
     Soto
     Speier
     Suozzi
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Welch

                             NOT VOTING--19

     Adams
     Brooks (IN)
     Carbajal
     Cummings
     DeSaulnier
     Gabbard
     Gaetz
     Hanabusa
     Jenkins (WV)
     Kind
     McHenry
     McNerney
     Nolan
     Scalise
     Scott, David
     Shuster
     Turner
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                              {time}  1809

  Messrs. CROWLEY, KATKO, and SMITH of New Jersey changed their vote 
from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  Messrs. HECK, BEN RAY LUJAN of New Mexico, and ZELDIN changed their 
vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________