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105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     105-737
_______________________________________________________________________


 
    INDIAN FEDERAL RECOGNITION ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

 September 23, 1998.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1154]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1154) to provide for administrative procedures to extend 
Federal recognition to certain Indian groups, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Indian Federal Recognition 
Administrative Procedures Act of 1998''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
          (1) to establish an administrative procedure to extend 
        Federal recognition to certain Indian groups;
          (2) to extend to Indian groups which are determined to be 
        Indian tribes the protection, services, and benefits available 
        from the Federal Government pursuant to the Federal trust 
        responsibility;
          (3) to extend to Indian groups which are determined to be 
        Indian tribes the immunities and privileges available to other 
        acknowledged Indian tribes by virtue of their status as Indian 
        tribes with a government-to-government relationship with the 
        United States;
          (4) to ensure that when the Federal Government extends 
        acknowledgment to an Indian tribe, it does so with a consistent 
        legal, factual, and historical basis;
          (5) to establish a commission which will act in a supporting 
        role to petitioning groups applying for recognition;
          (6) to provide clear and consistent standards of 
        administrative review of documented petitions for 
        acknowledgment;
          (7) to clarify evidentiary standards and expedite the 
        administrative review process by providing adequate resources 
        to process petitions; and
          (8) to remove the acknowledgment process from the Bureau of 
        Indian Affairs and invest it in the Commission on Indian 
        Recognition.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:
          (1) Acknowledgment; acknowledged.--The term 
        ``acknowledgment'' or ``acknowledged'' means a determination by 
        the Commission on Indian Recognition that an Indian group 
        constitutes an Indian tribe with a government-to-government 
        relationship with the United States, and whose members are 
        recognized as eligible for the special programs and services 
        provided by the United States to Indians because of their 
        status as Indians.
          (2) Bureau.--The term ``Bureau'' means the Bureau of Indian 
        Affairs.
          (3) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Commission 
        on Indian Recognition established pursuant to section 4.
          (4) Community.--The term ``Community'' means any group of 
        people which, in the context of the history, geography, 
        culture, and social organization of the group, sustains 
        consistent interactions and significant social relationships 
        within its membership and whose members are differentiated from 
        and identified as distinct from nonmembers.
          (5) Continuously; continuous.--The term ``continuously'' or 
        ``continuous'' means extending from the given date to the 
        present substantially without interruption; proof of any matter 
        required shall be deemed without substantial interruption if 
        such proof is available at least for every fifth year.
          (6) Department.--The term ``Department'' means the Department 
        of the Interior.
          (7) Documented petition.--The term ``documented petition'' 
        means the detailed, factual exposition and arguments, including 
        all documentary evidence, necessary to demonstrate that 
        arguments specifically address the mandatory criteria 
        established in section 5.
          (8) Historical; historically.--The term ``historic'' or 
        ``historically'' means dating from first sustained contact with 
        non-Indians.
          (9) Indian group; group.--The term ``Indian group'' or 
        ``group'' means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, 
        pueblo, village or community within the United States that the 
        Secretary does not acknowledge to be an Indian tribe.
          (10) Indian tribe; tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' or 
        ``tribe'' means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, 
        pueblo, village or community within the United States included 
        on the Secretary's annual list of acknowledged tribes.
          (11) Indigenous.--The term ``indigenous'' means native to the 
        United States in that at least part of the petitioner's 
        traditional territory extended into what is now within the 
        boundaries of the United States.
          (12) Letter of intent.--The term ``letter of intent'' means 
        an undocumented letter or resolution which is dated and signed 
        by the governing body of an Indian group and submitted to the 
        Commission indicating the group's intent to submit a petition 
        for acknowledgment as an Indian tribe.
          (13) Member of an indian group.--The term ``member of an 
        Indian group'' means an individual who is recognized by an 
        Indian group as meeting its membership criteria.
          (14) Member of an indian tribe.--The term ``member of an 
        Indian tribe'' means an individual who--
                  (A) meets the membership requirements of the tribe as 
                set forth in its governing document;
                  (B) in the absence of a governing document which sets 
                out these requirements, has been recognized as a member 
                collectively by those persons comprising the tribal 
                governing body and has consistently maintained tribal 
                relations with the tribe; or
                  (C) is listed on the tribal membership rolls as a 
                member, if such rolls are kept.
          (15) Petition.--The term ``petition'' means a petition for 
        acknowledgment submitted or transferred to the Commission 
        pursuant to section 5.
          (16) Petitioner.--The term ``petitioner'' means any group 
        which has submitted a petition or letter of intent to the 
        Commission requesting acknowledgment as an Indian tribe or has 
        a petition or letter of intent transferred to the Commission 
        under section 5(a).
          (17) Previous federal acknowledgment.--The term ``previous 
        Federal acknowledgment'' means any action by the Federal 
        Government the character of which is clearly premised on 
        identification of a tribal political entity and clearly 
        indicates the recognition of a government-to-government 
        relationship between that entity and the Federal Government.
          (18) Restoration.--The term ``restoration'' means the 
        reextension of acknowledgment to any previously acknowledged 
        tribe which may have had its acknowledged status abrogated or 
        diminished by reason of congressional legislation expressly 
        terminating that status.
          (19) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
          (20) Treaty.--The term ``treaty'' means any treaty--
                  (A) negotiated and ratified by the United States on 
                or before March 3, 1871, with, or on behalf of, any 
                Indian group or Indian tribe.
                  (B) made by any government with, or on behalf of, any 
                Indian group or Indian tribe, from which Federal 
                Government subsequently acquired territory by purchase, 
                conquest, annexation, or cession; or
                  (C) negotiated by the United States with, or on 
                behalf of, any Indian group, whether or not the treaty 
                was subsequently ratified.
          (21) Tribal roll.--The term ``tribal roll'' means a list 
        exclusively of those individuals who have been determined by 
        the tribe to meet the tribe's membership requirements as set 
        forth in its governing document or, in the absence of a 
        governing document setting forth those requirements, have been 
        recognized as members by the tribe's governing body. In either 
        case, those individuals on a tribal roll must have 
        affirmatively demonstrated consent to being listed as members.
          (22) United states.--The term ``United States'' means the 48 
        contiguous States, Alaska, and Hawaii; and does not include 
        territories or possessions.

SEC. 4. COMMISSION ON INDIAN RECOGNITION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established within the Department of 
the Interior the Commission on Indian Recognition. The Commission shall 
report directly to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.
    (b) Membership.--
          (1) In general.--(A) The Commission shall consist of 3 
        members appointed by the Secretary.
          (B) In making appointments to the Commission, the Secretary 
        shall give careful consideration to--
                  (i) recommendations received from Indian tribes;
                  (ii) recommendations from Indian groups and 
                professional organizations; and
                  (iii) individuals who have a background in Indian law 
                or policy, anthropology, or history.
          (2) Affiliations.--
                  (A) No more than 2 members of the Commission may be 
                members of the same political party.
                  (B) No more than 1 member of the Commission may be an 
                employee of the Department of the Interior.
          (3) Terms.--(A) Each member of the Commission shall be 
        appointed for a term of 4 years, except as provided in 
        subparagraph (B).
          (B) As designated by the Secretary at the time of 
        appointment, of the members first appointed--
                  (i) 1 shall be appointed for a term of 2 years;
                  (ii) 1 shall be appointed for a term of 3 years; and
                  (ii) 1 shall be appointed for a term of 4 years.
          (4) Vacancy.--Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect 
        its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner in which the 
        original appointment was made. Any member appointed to fill a 
        vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which 
        the member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only 
        for the remainder of that term. A member may serve after the 
        expiration of that member's term until a successor has taken 
        office.
          (5) Compensation.--(A) Each member of the Commission not 
        otherwise employed by the United States Government shall 
        receive compensation at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of 
        the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the 
        Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title, 5, United 
        States Code, for each day, including traveltime, such member is 
        engaged in the actual performance of duties authorized by the 
        Commission.
          (B) Except as provided in subparagraph (C), a member of the 
        Commission who is otherwise an officer or employee of the 
        United States Government shall serve on the Commission without 
        additional compensation, but such service shall be without 
        interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
          (C) All members of the Commission shall be reimbursed for 
        travel and per diem in lieu of subsistence expenses during the 
        performance of duties of the Commission while away from home or 
        their regular place of business, in accordance with subchapter 
        I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
          (6) Chairperson.--At the time appointments are made under 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary shall designate 1 of such 
        appointees as Chairperson of the Commission.
    (c) Meetings and Procedures.--
          (1) Initial meeting.--The Commission shall hold its first 
        meeting no later than 30 days after the date on which all 
        initial members of the Commission have been appointed.
          (2) Quorum.--2 members of the Commission shall constitute a 
        quorum for the transaction of business.
          (3) Rules.--The Commission may adopt such rules (consistent 
        with the provisions of this Act) as may be necessary to 
        establish its procedures and to govern the manner of its 
        operations, organization, and personnel.
          (4) Principal office.--The principal office of the Commission 
        shall be in the District of Columbia.
    (d) Duties.--The Commission shall carry out the duties assigned to 
the Commission by this Act, and shall meet the requirements imposed on 
the Commission by this Act.
    (e) Powers and Authorities.--
          (1) Chairman.--Subject to such rules and regulations as may 
        be adopted by the Commission, the Chairman of the Commission is 
        authorized to--
                  (A) appoint, terminate, and fix the compensation 
                (without regard to the provisions of title 5, United 
                States Code, governing appointments in the competitive 
                service, and without regard to the provisions of 
                chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such 
                title, or of any other provision of law, relating to 
                the number, classification, and General Schedule rates) 
                of an Executive Director of the Commission and of such 
                other personnel as the Chairman deems advisable to 
                assist in the performance of the duties of the 
                Commission, at a rate not to exceed a rate equal to the 
                daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay 
                prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under 
                section 5316 of title 5, United States Code; and
                  (B) procure, as authorized by section 3109(b) of 
                title 5, United States Code, temporary and intermittent 
                services to the same extent as is authorized by law for 
                agencies in the executive branch, but at rates not to 
                exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic 
                pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule 
                under section 5316 of such title.
          (2) Commission.--The Commission may--
                  (A) hold such hearings and sit and act at such times;
                  (B) take such testimony;
                  (C) have such printing and binding done;
                  (D) enter into such contracts and other arrangements, 
                subject to the availability of funds;
                  (E) make such expenditures;
                  (F) secure directly from any officer, department, 
                agency, establishment, or instrumentality of the 
                Federal Government such information as the Commission 
                may require for the purpose of this Act, and each such 
                officer, department, agency establishment, or 
                instrumentality is authorized and directed to furnish, 
                to the extent permitted by law, such information, 
                suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the 
                Commission, upon request made by the Chairman of the 
                Commission;
                  (G) use the United States mails in the same manner 
                and under the same conditions as other departments and 
                agencies of the United States; and
                  (H) take such other actions as the Commission may 
                deem advisable to carry out its duties.
          (3) Members.--Any member of the Commission may administer 
        oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before the 
        Commission.
    (f) Assistance From Other Federal Agencies.--Upon the request of 
the Chairman of the Commission, the head of any Federal department, 
agency, or instrumentality is authorized to make any of the facilities 
and services of such department, agency, or instrumentality available 
to the Commission and detail any of the personnel of such department, 
agency or instrumentality to the Commission, on a nonreimbursable 
basis, to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties under this 
section.
    (g) Termination of Commission.--The Commission shall terminate 12 
years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (h) Federal Advisory Committee Act.--The provisions of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to the Commission.

SEC. 5. PETITIONS FOR RECOGNITION AND LETTERS OF INTENT.

    (a) In General.--
          (1) Submission.--Any Indian group may submit to the 
        Commission a petition requesting that the Commission recognize 
        that the Indian group is an Indian tribe.
          (2) Hearing.--Indian groups that have been denied or refused 
        recognition as an Indian tribe under regulations prescribed by 
        the Secretary shall be entitled to an adjudicatory hearing, 
        under section 9 of this Act, before the Commission. For 
        purposes of the adjudicatory hearing, the Assistant Secretary's 
        final determination shall be considered a preliminary 
        determination under section 8(b)(1)(B) of this Act.
          (3) Groups and entities excluded.--The provisions of this Act 
        do not apply to the following groups or entities, which shall 
        not be eligible for recognition under this Act--
                  (A) Indian tribes, organized bands, pueblos, 
                communities, and Alaska Native entities which are 
                recognized by the Secretary as of the date of enactment 
                of this Act as eligible to receive services from the 
                Bureau;
                  (B) splinter groups, political factions, communities, 
                or groups of any character which separate from the main 
                body of an Indian tribe that, at the time of such 
                separation, was recognized as being an Indian tribe by 
                the Secretary, unless it can be clearly established 
                that the group, faction, or community has functioned 
                throughout history until the date of such petition as 
                an autonomous Indian group; and
                  (C) any Indian group whose relationship with the 
                Federal Government was expressly terminated by an Act 
                of Congress.
          (4) Transfer of petitions.--(A) No later than 30 days after 
        the date on which all of the initial members of the Commission 
        have been appointed, the Secretary shall transfer to the 
        Commission all petitions pending before the Department. The 
        Secretary shall also transfer all letters of intent previously 
        received by the Department that request the Secretary, or the 
        Federal Government, to recognize or acknowledge an Indian group 
        as an Indian tribe.
          (B) On the date of such transfer, the Secretary and the 
        Department shall cease to have any authority to recognize or 
        acknowledge, on behalf of the Federal Government, any Indian 
        group as an Indian tribe.
          (C) Petitions and letters of intent transferred to the 
        Commission under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall, for 
        purposes of this Act, be considered as having been submitted to 
        the Commission in the same order as they were submitted to the 
        Department.
    (b) Petition Form and Content.--Except as otherwise provided in 
this section, any petition submitted under subsection (a) by an Indian 
group shall be in any readable form that clearly indicates that the 
petition is requesting the Commission to recognize the petitioning 
Indian group as an Indian tribe. Each petition shall contain specific 
evidence establishing the following mandatory criteria:
          (1) The petitioner has been identified as an American Indian 
        entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1934.
                (A) Evidence to be relied upon in determining a group's 
                Indian identity may include 1 or a combination of the 
                following, as well as other evidence of identification 
                by other than the petitioner itself or its members. 
                Proof of any 1 of the following for a given time is 
                conclusive evidence of Indian identity for that time.
                          (i) Identification as an Indian entity by 
                        Federal authorities.
                          (ii) Relationships with State governments 
                        based on identification of the group as Indian.
                          (iii) Dealings with a county, parish, or 
                        other local government in a relationship based 
                        on the group's Indian identity.
                          (iv) Identification as an Indian entity by 
                        anthropologists, historians, or other scholars.
                          (v) Identification as an Indian entity in 
                        newspapers and books.
                          (vi) Identification as an Indian entity in 
                        relationships with Indian tribes or with 
                        national, regional, or State Indian 
                        organizations.
                  (B) A petitioner may establish that, for any given 
                period of time for which evidence of identification as 
                Indian is lacking, such absence of evidence corresponds 
                in time with official acts of the Federal or relevant 
                State government which prohibited or penalized the 
                expression of Indian identity. For such periods of 
                time, the absence of evidence identifying the 
                petitioner as an Indian entity shall not be the basis 
                for declining to acknowledge the petitioner.
          (2) A predominant portion of the petitioning groups comprises 
        a distinct community and has existed as a community on a 
        substantially continuous basis since 1934.
                  (A) The criterion that the petitioner meets the 
                definition of community set forth in section 3 may be 
                demonstrated by 1 or more of the following:
                          (i) Significant rates of marriage within the 
                        group or, as may be culturally required, 
                        patterned out-marriages with other Indian 
                        populations.
                          (ii) Significant social relationships 
                        connecting individual members.
                          (iii) Significant rates of informal social 
                        interaction which exist broadly among the 
                        members of a group.
                          (iv) A significant degree of shared or 
                        cooperative labor or other economic activity 
                        among the membership.
                          (v) Evidence of strong patterns of 
                        discrimination or other social distinctions by 
                        nonmembers.
                          (vi) Shared sacred or secular ritual activity 
                        encompassing most of the group.
                          (vii) Cultural patterns shared among a 
                        significant portion of the group that are 
                        different from those of the non-Indian 
                        populations with whom it interacts. These 
                        patterns must function as more than a symbolic 
                        identification of the group as Indian. They may 
                        include, but are not limited to, language, 
                        kinship organization, or religious beliefs and 
                        practices.
                          (viii) The persistence of a named, collective 
                        Indian identity continuously over a period of 
                        more than 50 years, notwithstanding changes in 
                        name.
                          (ix) A demonstration of political influence 
                        under the criterion in paragraph (3)(B) shall 
                        be conclusive evidence for demonstrating 
                        community for that period of time.
                          (x) Other evidence as considered appropriate 
                        by the Secretary.
                  (B) A petitioner shall be considered to have provided 
                sufficient evidence of community at a given point in 
                time if evidence is provided to demonstrate any 1 of 
                the following:
                          (i) More than 50 percent of the members 
                        reside in a geographical area or areas no more 
                        than 50 miles from a historic land base(s) or 
                        site(s) of the petitioner.
                          (ii) At least 50 percent of the marriages in 
                        the group are between members of the group.
                          (iii) At least 50 percent of the group 
                        members maintain distinct cultural patterns 
                        such as, but not limited to, language, kinship 
                        organization, or religious beliefs and 
                        practices.
                          (iv) There are distinct social institutions 
                        encompassing more than 50 percent of the 
                        members, such as kinship organizations, formal 
                        or informal economic cooperation, or religious 
                        organizations.
                          (v) The group has met the criterion in 
                        paragraph (3) using evidence described in 
                        paragraph (3)(B).
          (3) The petitioner has maintained political influence or 
        authority over its members as an autonomous entity from 1934 
        until the present.
                  (A) This criterion may be demonstrated by 1 or more 
                of the evidence listed below or by other evidence of 
                political influence or authority:
                          (i) The group is able to mobilize significant 
                        numbers of members and significant resources 
                        from its members for group purposes.
                          (ii) Most of the membership considers issues 
                        acted upon or actions taken by group leaders or 
                        governing bodies to be of importance.
                          (iii) There is widespread knowledge, 
                        communication, and involvement in political 
                        processes by most of the group's members.
                          (iv) There are internal conflicts which show 
                        controversy over valued group goals, 
                        properties, policies, processes, or decisions.
                  (B) A petitioning group shall be considered to have 
                provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate the 
                exercise of political influence or authority at a given 
                point in time by demonstrating any 1 of the following:
                          (i) A continuous line of group leaders, 
                        acknowledged and accepted as such by State or 
                        local governments or nonmembers in general, 
                        with a description of the means of selection.
                          (ii) Group leaders or other mechanisms exist 
                        or existed which allocate group resources such 
                        as land, residence rights, and the like on a 
                        consistent basis.
                          (iii) Group leaders or other mechanisms exist 
                        or existed which settle disputes between 
                        members or subgroups by some means.
                          (iv) Group leaders or other mechanisms exist 
                        or existed which exert strong influence on the 
                        behavior of individual members, such as the 
                        establishment or maintenance of norms and the 
                        enforcement of sanctions to influence behavior.
                          (v) Group leaders or other mechanisms exist 
                        or existed which organize or influence economic 
                        subsistence activities among the members, 
                        including shared or cooperative labor.
                  (C) A group that has met the requirements in 
                paragraph (3) at a given point in time shall be 
                considered to have provided sufficient evidence to meet 
                this criterion at that point in time.
          (4) A copy of the group's present governing document, 
        including its membership criteria. In the absence of a written 
        document, the petitioner must provide a statement describing in 
        full its membership criteria.
          (5) The petitioner's membership consists of individuals who 
        descend from a historical Indian tribe or from historical 
        Indian tribes which combined and functioned as a single 
        autonomous political entity.
                  (A) A petitioner shall be presumed to descend from a 
                historical Indian tribe or combined tribes upon proof 
                by the petitioner that its member descend from an 
                Indian entity in existence in 1934. This presumption 
                may be rebutted by affirmative evidence offered by any 
                interested party that the Indian entity in existence in 
                1934 does not descend from a historical Indian tribe or 
                combined tribes.
                  (B) The following evidence shall be deemed by the 
                Commission to provide descent from a historical Indian 
                entity for the time for which such evidence is 
                available:
                          (i) Rolls prepared by the Secretary on a 
                        descendancy basis for purposes of distributing 
                        claims money, providing allotments, or other 
                        purposes.
                          (ii) State, Federal, or other official 
                        records or evidence identifying present members 
                        or ancestors of present members as being 
                        descendants of a historical tribe or combined 
                        tribes.
                          (iii) Church, school, and other similar 
                        enrollment records identifying present members 
                        or ancestors of present members as being 
                        descendants of a historical tribe or combined 
                        tribes.
                          (iv) Affidavits of recognition by tribal 
                        elders, leaders, or the tribal governing body 
                        identifying present members or ancestors of 
                        present members as being descendants of a 
                        historical tribe or combined tribes.
                          (v) Reports, research, or other like 
                        statements based upon first-hand experience of 
                        historians, anthropologists, and genealogists 
                        with established expertise on the petitioner or 
                        Indian entities in general identifying present 
                        members or ancestors of present members as 
                        being descendants of a historical tribe or 
                        combined tribes.
                  (C) A petitioner may also demonstrate this criterion 
                by other record of evidence identifying present members 
                or ancestors of present members as being descendants of 
                a historical tribe or combined tribes.
                  (D) The petitioner must provide an official 
                membership list, separately certified by the group's 
                governing body of all known current members of the 
                group. This list must include each member's full name 
                (including maiden name), date of birth, and current 
                residential address. The petitioner must also provide a 
                copy of each available former list of members based on 
                the group's own defined criteria, as well as a 
                statement describing the circumstances surrounding the 
                preparation of the current list and, insofar as 
                possible, the circumstances surrounding the preparation 
                of former lists.
          (6) The membership of the petitioning group is composed 
        principally of persons who are not members of any acknowledged 
        North American Indian tribe. However, under certain conditions 
        a petitioning group may be acknowledged even if its membership 
        is composed principally of persons whose names have appeared on 
        rolls of, or who have been otherwise associated with, an 
        acknowledged Indian tribe. The conditions are that the group 
        must establish that it has functioned since 1934 until the 
        present as a separate and autonomous Indian tribal entity, that 
        its members do not maintain a bilateral political relationship 
        with the acknowledged tribe, and that its members have provided 
        written confirmation of their membership in the petitioning 
        group.
    (c) Previous Acknowledgment.--
          (1) In general.--Evidence which demonstrates previous Federal 
        acknowledgment includes, but is not limited to--
                  (A) evidence that the group has had or is the 
                successor in interest to a tribe that has had treaty 
                relations with the United States;
                  (B) evidence that the group has been or is the 
                successor in interest to a tribe that has been 
                denominated a tribe by Act of Congress or Executive 
                order;
                  (C) evidence that the group has been or is the 
                successor in interest to a tribe that has been treated 
                by the Federal Government as having collective rights 
                in tribal lands or funds.
          (2) Presumption of continuousness.--A petitioner that can 
        demonstrate previous Federal acknowledgment by a preponderance 
        of the evidence shall be required to demonstrate the existence 
        of current political authority as defined by subsection (b)(3), 
        with a time depth limited to 10 years preceding the date of the 
        petition. Upon such demonstration, a presumption of continuous 
        existence since previous Federal acknowledgment shall arise. 
        Unless such presumption is rebutted by evidence offered by an 
        interested party proving by a preponderance of the evidence 
        that the previously recognized group has abandoned tribal 
        relations, such group shall be recognized.
    (d) Recognition of groups meeting criteria.--The Commission shall 
recognize as an Indian tribe a petitioning group that demonstrates the 
criteria set out in this section by a preponderance of the evidence. 
Such recognized tribes shall be entitled to the same privileges, 
immunities, rights, and benefits of other federally recognized tribes. 
Neither shall the Department of the Interior nor any other Federal 
agency purport to diminish, condition, or revoke the privileges, 
immunities, rights, and benefits of Indian tribes recognized by any 
means before the effective date of this Act or under the provisions of 
this Act.

SEC. 6. NOTICE OF RECEIPT OF PETITION AND LETTERS OF INTENT.

    (a) Petitioner.--Not later than 30 days after a petition is 
submitted or transferred to the Commission under section 5(a), the 
Commission shall send an acknowledgment of receipt in writing to the 
petitioner and shall have published in the Federal Register a notice of 
such receipt, including the name, location, and mailing address of the 
petitioner and such other information that will identify the entity who 
submitted the petition and the date the petition was received by the 
Commission. The notice shall also indicate where a copy of the petition 
may be examined.
    (b) Letters of Intent.--As to letters of intent, publish in the 
Federal Register a notice of such receipt, including the name, 
location, and mailing address of petitioner. A petitioner who has 
submitted a letter of intent or had a letter of intent transferred to 
the Commission under section 5(a) shall not be required to submit a 
documented petition within any time period.
    (c) Others.--The Commission shall also notify, in writing, the 
Governor and attorney general of, and each recognized Indian tribe 
within, any State in which a petitioner resides.
    (d) Publication; Opportunity for Supporting of Opposing 
Submissions.--The Commission shall publish the notice of receipt of the 
petition in a major newspaper of general circulation in the town or 
city nearest the location of the petitioner. The notice shall include, 
in addition to the information described in subsection (a), notice of 
opportunity for other parties to submit factual or legal arguments in 
support of or in opposition to, the petition. Such submissions shall be 
provided to the petitioner upon receipt by the Commission. The 
petitioner shall be provided an opportunity to respond to such 
submissions prior to a determination on the petition by the Commission.

SEC. 7. PROCESSING THE PETITION.

    (a) Review.--
          (1) In general.--Upon receipt of a documented petition, the 
        Commission shall conduct a review to determine whether the 
        petitioner is entitled to be recognized as an Indian tribe.
          (2) Consideration.--The review conducted under paragraph (1) 
        shall include consideration of the petition, supporting 
        evidence, and the factual statements contained in the petition.
          (3) Research.--The Commission may also initiate other 
        research for any purpose relative to analyzing the petition and 
        obtaining additional information about the petitioner's status 
        and my consider any evidence which may be submitted by other 
        parties.
          (4) Access to other federal resources.--Upon request by the 
        petitioner, the Library of Congress and the National Archives 
        shall each allow access to the petitioner to its resources, 
        records, and documents, for the purpose of conducting research 
        and preparing evidence concerning the status of the petitioner.
    (b) Consideration.--
          (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
        subsection, petitions shall be considered on a first come, 
        first served basis, determined by the date of the original 
        filing of the petition with the Commission, or the Department 
        if the petition is transferred to the Commission pursuant to 
        section 5(a). The Commission shall establish a priority 
        register including those petitions pending before the 
        Department on the date of enactment of this Act.
          (2) Priority.--Petitions that are submitted to the Commission 
        by Indian groups that meet 1 or more of the requirements set 
        forth in section 5(c) shall receive priority consideration over 
        petitions submitted by any other Indian group.

SEC. 8 PRELIMINARY HEARING.

    (a) In general.--Not later than 60 days after the receipt of a 
petition by the Commission, the Commission shall set a date for a 
preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the petitioner and any 
other concerned party may provide evidence concerning the status of the 
petitioner.
    (b) Determination.--
          (1) In general.--Within 30 days after the conclusion of the 
        preliminary hearing under subsection (a), the Commission shall 
        make a determination either--
                  (A) to extend acknowledgement to the petitioner; or
                  (B) that the petitioner proceed to an adjudicatory 
                hearing.
          (2) Published in federal register.--The Commission shall 
        publish the determination in the Federal Register.
    (c) Information To Be Provided Preparatory to an Adjudicatory 
Hearing.--
          (1) In general.--If the Commission determines under 
        subsection (b) that the petitioner proceed to an adjudicatory 
        hearing, the Commission shall--
                  (A) immediately make available to the petitioner all 
                records relied upon by the Commission and its staff in 
                making the preliminary determination to assist the 
                petitioner in preparing for the adjudicatory hearing, 
                and shall also include such guidance as the Commission 
                considers necessary or appropriate to assist the 
                petitioner in preparing for the hearing including 
                references to prior decisions of the Commission or to 
                recognition decisions made under regulations prescribed 
                by the Secretary that will provide direction in 
                preparing for the adjudicatory hearing; and if prior 
                recognition decisions are referred to, the Commission 
                will make all records relating to such decisions 
                available to the petitioner in a timely manner; and
                  (B) within 30 days after the conclusion of the 
                preliminary hearing under subsection (a), notify the 
                petitioner in writing, which notice shall include a 
                list of any deficiencies or omissions on which the 
                Commission relied in making its determination.
          (2) List of deficiencies.--The list of deficiencies and 
        omissions provided under paragraph (1)(B) shall be the subject 
        of the adjudicatory hearing. The Commission may not add to this 
        list once it is issued.

SEC. 9. ADJUDICATORY HEARING.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the conclusion of 
the preliminary hearing, the Commission shall afford the petitioner 
described in section 8(b)(1)(B) an adjudicatory hearing. The hearing 
shall be on the list of deficiencies and omissions provided under 
section 8(c)(1)(B) and shall be conducted on the record pursuant to 
sections 554, 556, and 557 of title 5, United States Code.
    (b) Testimony From Staff of Commission.--The Commission shall 
require testimony from its acknowledgment and research staff that 
worked on the preliminary determination and that are assisting the 
Commission in the final determination under subsection (d) and may 
require the testimony of other witnesses. Any such testimony shall be 
subject to cross-examination by the petitioner.
    (c) Evidence by Petitioner.--The petitioner may provide such 
evidence as the petitioner deems appropriate.
    (d) Decision by Commission.--Within 60 days after the end of the 
hearing held under subsection (a), the Commission shall--
          (1) make a determination as to the extension or denial of 
        acknowledgement to the petitioner;
          (2) publish its determination under paragraph (1) in the 
        Federal Register; and
          (3) deliver a copy of the determination to the petitioner, 
        and to every other interested party.

SEC. 10. APPEALS.

    (a) In General.--Within 60 days after the date the Commission's 
decision is published under section 9(d), the petitioner may appeal the 
determination to the United States District Court for the District of 
Columbia.
    (b) Attorney Fees.--If the petitioner prevails in the appeal 
described in subsection (a), it shall be eligible for an award of 
reasonable attorney fees and costs under the provisions of section 504 
of title 5, United States Code, or section 2412 of title 28 of such 
Code, as the case may be.

SEC. 11. IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISIONS.

    (a) Eligibility for Services and Benefits.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), upon recognition 
        by the Commission that the petitioner is an Indian tribe, the 
        Indian tribe shall be eligible for the services and benefits 
        from the Federal Government that are available to other 
        federally recognized Indian tribes by virtue of their status as 
        Indian tribes with a government-to-government relationship with 
        the United States, as well as having the responsibilities and 
        obligations of such Indian tribes. Such recognition shall 
        subject the Indian tribes to the same authority of Congress and 
        the United States to which other federally recognized tribes 
        are subject.
          (2) Availability.--Recognition of the Indian tribe under this 
        Act does not create an immediate entitlement to existing 
        programs of the Bureau. Such programs shall become available 
        upon appropriation of funds by law. Requests for appropriations 
        shall follow a determination under subsection (b) of the needs 
        of the newly-recognized Indian tribe.
    (b) Needs Determination.--Within 6 months after an Indian tribe is 
recognized under this Act, the appropriate area offices of the Bureau 
and the Indian Health Service shall consult and develop in cooperation 
with the Indian tribe, and forward to the respective Secretary, a 
determination of the needs of the Indian tribe and a recommended budget 
required to serve the newly recognized Indian tribe. The recommended 
budget shall be considered along with recommendations by the 
appropriate Secretary in the budget-request process.

SEC. 12. ANNUAL REPORT CONCERNING COMMISSION'S ACTIVITIES.

    (a) List of Recognized Tribes.--Not later than 90 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, and annually on or before every 
January 30 thereafter, the Commission shall publish in the Federal 
Register a list of all Indian tribes which are recognized by the 
Federal Government and receiving services from the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs.
    (b) Annual Report.--Beginning 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Commission shall 
submit a report to the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives and to the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate a 
report on its activities, which shall include at a minimum the 
following:
          (1) The number of petitions pending at the beginning of the 
        year and the names of the petitioners.
          (2) The number of petitions received during the year and the 
        names of the petitioners.
          (3) The number of petitions the Commission approved for 
        acknowledgement and the names of the acknowledged petitioners.
          (4) The number of petitions the Commission denied for 
        acknowledge and the names of the petitioners.
          (5) The status of all pending petitions and the names of the 
        petitioners.

SEC. 13. ACTIONS BY PETITIONERS FOR ENFORCEMENT.

    Any petitioner may bring an action in the district court of the 
United States for the district in which the petitioner resides, or the 
United States District Court for the District of Columbia, to enforce 
the provisions of this Act, including any time limitations within which 
actions are required to be taken, or decisions made, under this Act and 
the district court shall issue such orders (including writs of 
mandamus) as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 14. REGULATIONS.

    The Commission is authorized to prescribe such regulations as may 
be necessary to carry out the provisions and purposes of this Act. All 
such regulations must be published in accordance with the provisions of 
title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 15. GUIDELINES AND ADVICE.

    (a) Guidelines.--Not later than 180 days after petitions and 
letters of intent have been transferred to the Commission by the 
Secretary under section 5(a)(4)(A), the Commission shall make available 
suggested guidelines for the format of petitions, including general 
suggestions and guidelines on where and how to research required 
information, but such examples shall not preclude the use of any other 
format.
    (b) Research Advice.--The Commission, upon request, is authorized 
to provide suggestions and advice to any petitioner for his research 
into the petitioner's historical background and Indian identity. The 
Commission shall not be responsible for the actual research on behalf 
of the petitioner.

SEC. 16. ASSISTANCE TO PETITIONERS.

    (a) Grants.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services 
        may award grants to Indian groups seeking Federal recognition 
        to enable the Indian groups to--
                  (a) conduct the research necessary to substantiate 
                petitions under this Act; and
                  (B) prepare documentation necessary for the 
                submission of a petition under this Act.
          (2) Other grants.--The grants made under this subsection 
        shall be in addition to any other grants the Secretary of 
        Health and Human Services is authorized to provide under any 
        other provision of law.
    (b) Competitive Award.--Grants provided under subsection (a) shall 
be awarded competitively based on objective criteria prescribed in 
regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

SEC. 17 SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any 
petitioner is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other 
provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without 
regard to the invalid provision or application, and to this end the 
provisions of this Act shall be severable.

SEC. 18. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) Commission.--There are authorized to be appropriated for the 
Commission for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act 
(other than section 16), $1,500,000 for fiscal year 1998 and $1,500,000 
for each of the 12 succeeding fiscal years.
    (b) Secretary of HHS.--There are authorized to be appropriated for 
the Administration for Native Americans of the Department of Health and 
Human Services for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of 
section 16, $3,000,000 for each fiscal year.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 1154 is to provide for administrative 
procedures to extend federal recognition to certain Indian 
Groups.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 1154, the Indian Federal Recognition Administrative 
Procedures Act of 1997, would simplify and update the existing 
procedures for extending federal recognition to Indian tribes. 
H.R. 1154 is identical to legislation introduced in the 104th 
Congress (H.R. 2591) and is similar to legislation which the 
House passed in the 103rd Congress.
    H.R. 1154 would revamp the federal recognition process for 
Indian groups that is now handled by the Branch of 
Acknowledgment and Review of the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
(BIA), Department of the Interior. A broad coalition of 
unrecognized Indian tribes has proposed reforming the 
recognition process. This coalition points out that: (a) the 
BIA is inherently biased against adding new tribes to its 
existing budget; (b) the recognition process is too expensive 
(costs per tribe range from $300,000 to $500,000); (c) the 
recognition process is too lengthy (the BIA completes an 
average of 1.3 petitions a year, meaning it will take more than 
a century to finish pending applications); (d) the recognition 
process does not provide petitioners with due process (i.e. 
cross examination, and an on-the-record hearing); and (e) the 
same experts who conduct research on a petitioner's case are 
also the judge and jury in the process. In a recent case, a 
federal court found that the BIA's procedures were ``marred by 
both lengthy delays and a pattern of serious procedural due 
process violations.''
    H.R. 1154 is intended to eliminate bias and conflict of 
interest by establishing an independent three member Commission 
outside of the Interior Department to review tribal recognition 
petitions. It also provides tribes with the opportunity for 
formal, on-the-record hearings. Records relied upon by the 
Commission would be made available in a timely manner to 
petitioners. In addition, H.R. 1154 affirms the precedential 
value of prior BIA recognition decisions and makes the records 
of those decisions readily available to petitioners. The bill 
also sets strict time lines for action by the new Commission on 
pending petitions.
    H.R. 1154 would also streamline federal recognition 
criteria by aligning them with the legal standards in place 
prior to 1978 when current criteria were implemented by the 
BIA. Among other things, H.R. 1154 would require a petitioning 
tribe to prove: (1) that it and its members have been 
identified as Indians since 1934; (2) that it has exercised 
political leadership over its members since 1934; (3) that it 
has a membership roll; and (4) that it now exists as a 
community.

Historical background

    It was not until 1979, 157 years after the establishment of 
the BIA, that there was a comprehensive list of exactly which 
Indian tribes are federally acknowledged and by exclusion from 
that list--which Indian groups are not.\1\ There had been some 
earlier lists created by the BIA to determine which tribes were 
under the ``wardship'' of the United States.\2\ Another list 
was codified by Indian Commissioner John Collier in 1934.\3\ 
The concept, however, of federal ``recognition'' of Indian 
tribes did not become a significant legal issue until the 
1970s.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ 44 Fed. Reg. 7235 (1979).
    \2\ The Department of the Interior, Census Office, Report on 
Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed in the United States at the 
Eleventh Census: 1890, at 34-43 (1894).
    \3\ 25 U.S.C. 461-497.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Several factors brought the recognition issue to the legal 
forefront. First, the final recommendations of the American 
Indian Policy Review Commission included a specific 
recommendation to establish ``definitional factors'' for 
determining the tribal status of unacknowledged Indian groups. 
Second, in United States v. Washington, 520 F.2d 676 (9th Cir. 
1975), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 1086 (1976), the Ninth Circuit 
Court of Appeals decided that Indian tribes exercising treaty 
fishing rights were entitled to half the commercial catch in 
the State of Washington, but eligibility was limited to treaty 
signatories and federally recognized Indian tribes. Third, the 
First Circuit Court of Appeals decided Joint Tribal Council of 
Passamaquoddy Tribe v. Morton, 528 F.2d 370 (1st Cir. 1975), 
where a federally unacknowledged tribe successfully claimed 
hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Maine which had been 
illegally transferred or ceded to the State. In the wake of 
these two decisions, the BIA began to receive more and more 
requests for federal acknowledgment from unacknowledged tribes. 
It was clear that an internal system for recognizing Indian 
tribes was needed. Hence, in 1978 the ``Procedures for 
Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian 
Tribe'' were established.

Need for legislation

    The need for legislation is reflected in various complaints 
which have come to the attention of the Committee over a period 
of several years. It is the collective opinion of many Indian 
bands which have been frustrated in their attempts to 
participate effectively in the existing recognition process 
that the process is unworkable. Numerous reasons are cited.
    The current recognition process is too expensive for Indian 
tribes. Experts estimate that the cost of producing an average 
petition ranges from $300,000 to $500,000. Over the past 16 
years, the BIA has spent more than $6 million to evaluate 
petitions.
    The current recognition process takes too long. Since 1978, 
when the BIA recognition regulations were put into place, only 
12 tribes have been acknowledged, and 14 have been denied. 
During the same period, the BIA has received over 160 petitions 
or letters of intent to petition. In 1978, there were already 
40 petitions pending. Bud Shapard, the former head of the 
Bureau of Acknowledgment and Research and primary author of the 
regulations testified before the Committee that ``the current 
process is impossibly slow. [The BIA's acknowledgment 
rate]works out statistically to be 1.3 cases a year. At that rate, it 
will take 110 years to complete the process.''
    The current recognition process is subjective, flawed, and 
has been applied in an uneven manner. The BIA's handling of the 
Samish case demonstrates the lack of fairness in the process. 
In the only appeal of a negative recognition decision to date, 
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Interior 
Department's own board of appeals found that the BIA's 
recognition process ``did not give [the tribe] due process'' 
and rejected the BIA's position ``as not being supported by the 
evidence.'' A federal judge recently rebuked the BIA and the 
Department of the Interior's Solicitor's office for attempting 
to alter an Interior Department judge's findings. To protect 
the recognition process from criticism, the BIA and the 
Solicitor's office attempted to hide from the public the 
judge's findings that the BIA's tribal purity test was flawed, 
that the BIA's research and methods were ``sloppy and 
unprofessional'' and that the BIA had ``prejudged'' the Samish 
case in violation of due process.
    The primary author of the BIA recognition regulations 
testified before Congress that, ``[b]ecause there is no clear 
definition of what the petitioners are attempting to prove and 
what the BIA is attempting to verify, the regulations require 
nonsensical levels of research and documentation. This results 
in regulations full of vague phrases requiring subjective 
interpretations. By my count the 1978 original regulations 
contained 35 phrases that required a subjective determination. 
The 1994 revised and streamlined regulations not only doubled 
the length of the regulations, they more than doubled the areas 
that required a subjective determination.''
    The current recognition process is a closed or hidden 
process. The current process does not allow a petitioning tribe 
to cross-examine evidence or the researchers, and does not 
allow the tribe to even review the evidence on which the 
determination was made until the end of the process.
    The current recognition process is inherently biased. The 
same Department responsible for deciding whether to recognize a 
tribe is also required to provide services to that tribe. An 
earlier House of Representatives report recognized that the BIA 
has an ``internal disincentive to recognize new tribes when it 
has difficulty serving existing tribes and more new tribes 
would increase the BIA workload.''

Important provisions

    H.R. 1154 sets time lines for decision making. It requires 
a Commission on Indian Recognition to publish petitions for 
recognition in the Federal Register within 30 days of receipt. 
It requires the Commission, within 60 days of receipt of a 
recognition petition, to set a date for a preliminary hearing. 
It requires the Commission, within 30 days of the preliminary 
hearing, to decide whether to extend recognition or to hold an 
adjudicatory hearing. It requires the Commission to hold the 
adjudicatory hearing within 180 days of the preliminary hearing 
and make a decision within 60 days after the adjudicatory 
hearing.
    H.R. 1154 includes mandatory recognition criteria and 
aligns that criteria with the pre-1978 criteria. The bill 
requires a petitioning tribe to prove:
          that it and its members have been identified as 
        Indians since 1934;
          that it has exercised political leadership over its 
        members since 1934;
          that it has a membership roll; and
          that it exists as a community by showing at least one 
        of the following four items: (1) distinct social 
        boundaries; (2) the exercise of communal rights with 
        respect to resources or subsistence activities; (3) the 
        retention of a native language or other customs; or (4) 
        that it is state-recognized.
    The criteria in H.R. 1154 were originally drafted without 
regard to the structure and requirements of the Department of 
the Interior's existing acknowledgment regulations. The intent 
was to return to the more flexible and predictable pre-1978 
criteria because that criteria provided alternative ways for 
tribes to demonstrate tribal existence. The pre-1978 criteria 
was more predictable in outcome because it avoided subjective, 
judgmental factors in examining tribal existence. As a 
consequence, the criteria in H.R. 1154 as introduced contained 
three mandatory criteria, allowed petitioning tribes to 
demonstrate one of four additional criteria, and eliminated 
subjective determinations of community and other indicia of 
tribal existence.
    H.R. 1154 opens up the recognition process by allowing 
petitioning tribes to cross-examine the reviewers of their 
petitions in an adjudicatory proceeding. It is intended to 
remove bias by moving the decision process to an independent 
commission. This legislation also provides financial as well as 
information gathering assistance to petitioning tribes.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1154 was introduced on March 20, 1997, by Delegate Eni 
Faleomavaega (D-AS). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources. On May 20, 1998, the Full Resources Committee met to 
consider H.R. 1154. An amendment in the nature of a substitute 
was offered by Delegate Faleomavaega. After the introduction of 
H.R. 1154, the Administration informally indicated that it 
objected to the criteria included in the bill because it would 
amount to a dramatic departure from the criteria in existing 
acknowledgment regulations and that it would undermine the goal 
of consistency in policy in the acknowledgment area. As a 
result of extensive discussions with Administration officials, 
two sets of changes were made to the H.R. 1154 criteria which 
are reflected in the Faleomavaega amendment and which reflect 
an attempt to achieve reform without a complete break from 
existing regulations.
    The first set of changes relate to the structure of the 
criteria. Existing acknowledgment regulations contain seven 
mandatory criteria, while H.R. 1154, as introduced, contained 
fewer mandatory criteria and allowed petitioners options for 
proof as to some criteria. The amendment adopts the structure 
of existing regulations and thereby requires that tribes prove 
the same mandatory criteria that the present acknowledgment 
regulations require. The amendment uses the year 1934 as the 
starting point in time for the mandatory criteria.
    The second set of changes relate to the terms of the 
mandatory criteria. Since the goals of reform are to shorten 
the review process, make the process more open, and make the 
outcome of the process more predictable, it was necessary to 
tighten the criteria themselves and eliminate the need for 
subjective determinations. To that end, the criteria are 
redefined as follows in the amendment:
    1. Indian identity is defined substantially the same as in 
the acknowledgment regulations, with the exception that absence 
of evidence of Indian identity resulting from official acts or 
policy of the federal or relevant state government shall not be 
the basis for declining acknowledgment.
    2. A distinct community is defined substantially the same 
as in the acknowledgment regulations. This criterion did not 
appear in H.R. 1154 as introduced, but was added in the 
amendment so that the criteria track those of the 
acknowledgment regulations. Experience with this criterion 
under the regulations shows that it requires subjective 
determinations by staff, with results that appear inconsistent 
from one petitioner to the next. The amendment deals with this 
problem by adding quantifiable indicia that shall be deemed 
conclusive proof of community, such as measurable geographic 
proximity and in-marriage rates. In addition, community can be 
demonstrated in the substitute amendment by certain forms of 
proof of political influence, just as under the acknowledgment 
regulations. As a result, in some cases criteria 2 and 3 will 
merge into one.
    3. Political influence is defined substantially the same as 
in the acknowledgment regulations. As with community this 
criterion requires subjective determinations by staff. Again, 
the amendment deals with this problem by adding objective 
indicia that shall be deemed conclusive proof of community, 
such as a continuous line of leaders recognized by a state 
government.
    4. A copy of the group's governing document is defined 
substantially the same as in the acknowledgment regulations.
    5. Descent from historic tribe(s) is defined substantially 
the same as in the acknowledgment regulations. This criterion 
has been troublesome in application since it essentially 
requires a petitioner to demonstrate tribal existence from the 
time of first sustained European contact, even though the other 
criteria expressly require proof of each only since 1900. The 
substitute amendment deals with this problem by establishing a 
presumption of continuous existence that arises from proof of 
descent from an Indian entity since 1934. In addition, the 
substitute amendment lists types of evidence that are 
acceptable for proof of descent, evidence that includes first-
hand professional research or reports about the group in 
addition to genealogical records.
    6. Petitioner's members are not members of other tribes is 
defined substantially the same as in the acknowledgment 
regulations.
    7. Proof that the tribe has not been terminated by Congress 
appears as the seventh mandatory criterion in the 
acknowledgment regulations. This requirement does not appear as 
a mandatory criterion in the amendment. However, the amendment 
expressly excludes terminated tribes from the Act.
    The net effect of changes made to the criteria in the 
amendment are twofold. First, it utilizes the basic framework 
of the acknowledgment regulations by requiring that petitioners 
demonstrate the same mandatory criteria. This provides for some 
consistency in policy with the last 20 years administration 
under the acknowledgment regulations. Second, it limits the 
time period for which petitioners must demonstrate the criteria 
and minimizes the need for subjective evaluation of data by 
staff. This provides for a speedier process and one that 
produces consistent results from one petitioner to the other. 
Finally, the substitute amendment includes new provisions that 
more accurately reflect the historic experience of non-
federally recognized tribes and insure that tribes will not pay 
the cost for federal and state efforts to suppress or outlaw 
tribalism at various times in history.
    The Faleomavaega amendment was adopted by voice vote. The 
bill as amended was then ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by voice vote.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee on Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                  FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    The functions of the proposed advisory committee authorized 
in this bill are not currently being nor could they be 
performed by one or more agencies, an advisory committee 
already in existence or by enlarging the mandate of an existing 
advisory committee.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 1154.

                        COST OF THE LEGISLATION

    Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 1154. However, clause 7(d) of that rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XI

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R. 
1154 does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 1154.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
1154 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 18, 1998.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1154, the Indian 
Federal Recognition Administrative Procedures Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kristen 
Layman.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1154--Indian Federal Recognition Administrative Procedures Act of 
        1998

    H.R. 1154 would establish the Commission on Indian 
Recognition and would authorize annual appropriations of $1.5 
million for 1998 and the 12 succeeding fiscal years for the 
commission's activities. The commission would be authorized to 
accept petitions for recognition by Indian groups and 
communities and to determine the status of the petitioners. In 
addition, the bill would authorize annual appropriations of $3 
million for 1998 and the 12 succeeding fiscal years for the 
Administration for Native Americans of the Department of Health 
and Human Services to provide grant assistance to petitioners.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 1154 would result in 
additional discretionary spending of approximately $4.5 million 
in each of the next 12 fiscal years (beginning with 1999). For 
the purposes of this estimate, we assume that the bill would be 
enacted late in fiscal year 1998, and as a result we expect 
that there would be no budgetary impact this year. Enacting 
H.R. 1154 would not affect direct spending or receipts; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. H.R. 1154 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would have no 
significant impact on the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    In addition to the authorized spending of $4.5 million a 
year, implementing H.R. 1154 could have other effects on 
discretionary spending. The proposed commission would replace 
the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research within the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs (BIA). The branch is currently responsible for 
the review of petitions for tribal recognition, so enacting the 
bill may result in discretionary savings of up to $1 million 
each year--the amount that the branch spends under current law.
    H.R. 1154 may lead to an increase in the number of tribes 
that are recognized, which in turn may result in an increase in 
discretionary spending. The recognition of Indian tribes under 
H.R. 1154 would not create an entitlement to existing BIA 
programs; any assistance provided to newly recognized tribes 
would be subject to future appropriation action. In addition, 
H.R. 1154 would make tribes eligible to receive compensation 
for attorney fees and costs if a tribe is denied recognition by 
the commission and subsequently granted recognition after a 
court appeal. This compensation would be paid by the Commission 
on Indian Recognition from funds made available in annual 
appropriations. CBO has no basis for predicting the extent to 
which additional tribes would be recognized or the amount of 
any court costs that might have to be paid.
    The CBO staff contact is Kristen Layman. This estimate was 
approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                    compliance with public law 104-4

    H.R. 1154 contains no unfunded mandates.

                        changes in existing law

    If enacted, H.R. 1154 would make no changes in existing 
law.