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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     112-451

======================================================================



 
  INDIAN TRIBAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

 April 19, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                    ADDITIONAL AND DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 2362]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2362) to facilitate economic development by 
Indian tribes and encourage investment by Turkish enterprises, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2362 is to facilitate economic 
development by Indian tribes and encourage investment by 
Turkish enterprises.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Economic development on tribal lands is hampered by 
restrictive laws and regulations regarding the way tribes lease 
their lands. For example, simple leases can take a tribe 
several years to complete, in contrast to a simple lease on 
private land that can take as little as a week. A lengthier 
discussion on tribal leasing problems is contained in the 
Committee report accompanying H.R. 205, a similar bill 
concerning the lease of tribal lands for non-mineral purposes.
    To aid economic growth in Indian Country, like H.R. 205, 
H.R. 2362 simplifies tribal leasing. Specifically, the bill 
allows up to six Indian tribes or a consortia of tribes to 
participate in an Indian Tribal Trade and Investment 
Demonstration Project with Turkish private companies. 
Specifically, participating tribes would be allowed to lease 
land held in trust for them by the federal government without 
the Secretary of the Interior's approval if the lease: (1) 
furthers economic, community, or business development with a 
Turkish entity; (2) is entered into within 1 year of this Act's 
enactment; (3) is not for mineral exploration, development, or 
extraction; (4) does not include land held in trust for an 
individual Indian; (5) is executed under tribal regulations 
approved by the Secretary; and (6) has a term that does not 
exceed 25 years (but can be renewed for up to two terms). 
Furthermore, before the Secretary signs off on any tribal 
demonstration program, an adequate environmental review process 
will be required from the tribe.
    During a hearing on the bill held in the Subcommittee on 
Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, a tribal witness explained 
that Turkey has a long track record of promoting good relations 
and trade between its private business community and Indian 
tribes in the United States. The intent of the bill is to 
further such relations to increase private business development 
in Indian Country where economic diversification is greatly 
needed.
    During the full Committee markup of H.R. 2362, concerns and 
objections were raised by several Minority members because of 
the focus on Turkish companies. Much of the debate concerned 
the foreign policy of the United States and its relations with 
Turkey, a subject more appropriate for the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs to consider. The Natural Resources Committee is 
primarily concerned with proposals to increase business 
opportunities on impoverished Indian reservation communities in 
the United States. Because H.R. 2362 advances this goal, the 
bipartisan bill was ordered reported favorably to the full 
House.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2362 was introduced on June 24, 2011, by Congressman 
Tom Cole (R-OK). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. On November 3, 2011, the 
Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On November 17, 2011, 
the Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs was discharged 
by unanimous consent. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) offered 
amendment designated .020 to the bill; the amendment was ruled 
out of order. The bill, as amended, was then ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by a record vote of 
27-15, as follows:



            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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 this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
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 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII 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 this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 2362--Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act 
        of 2011

    H.R. 2362 would allow up to six tribes to enter into 
certain leases of trust lands without approval of the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs (BIA).\1\ Based on information provided by the 
Department of the Interior, CBO estimates that implementing the 
bill would have no significant impact on the federal budget. 
Enacting H.R. 2362 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Trust lands are tribally owned lands that are legally held by 
the federal government for the benefit of tribal governments or 
individual tribal members.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under current law, most tribes can lease trust lands to 
certain entities for up to 25 years, subject to the approval of 
BIA. Under the bill, up to six tribes would be authorized to 
enter into leases with Turkish businesses without BIA approval 
if those leases were subject to certain tribal regulations 
approved by the agency. Any lease involving the exploration for 
or extraction of natural resources would still require approval 
from BIA. CBO estimates that the legislation would have a 
negligible impact on BIA's workload.
    H.R. 2362 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. Based on 
information provided by the Department of the Interior, CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant 
impact on the federal budget.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to facilitate economic development by 
Indian tribes and encourage investment by Turkish enterprises.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates as defined under 
Public Law 104-4.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

H.R. 2362: INDIAN TRIBAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ACT

    H.R. 2362 specifically designates the Republic of Turkey as 
the sole foreign entity to engage in demonstration projects 
with tribes. Considering historic and recent action on the part 
of the Republic of Turkey there is great reason not to give the 
country any type of preferential treatment. There are many 
examples of how Turkey's policies are in conflict with American 
interests and values.
    Turkey continues to deny the first genocide of the 
twentieth century, the Armenian Genocide. Between 1915 and 
1923, 1.5 million Armenians were systematically and 
deliberately killed by the Ottoman Turks. The Armenian Genocide 
is a dark day in history, and we must not allow the Republic of 
Turkey to continue their policy of denial and pretend that this 
century's first genocide never happened.
    On July 20th 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus in violation of 
international law and at great cost to the citizens of Cyprus. 
The invasion forced nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots to flee their 
homes--making one-third of the Cypriot population refugees in 
their own country. Today, Turkey continues to illegally occupy 
northern Cyprus with a force of approximately 43,000 troops.
    Recently, Turkey threatened important U.S. allies. After 
signing an agreement to cooperate on natural resource 
development in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), Cyprus and 
Israel became targets of Turkish aggression. Further, a U.S. 
based company which has entered into an agreement to carry out 
development of these natural resources has also been subject to 
threats from the Turkish government. The Natural Resources 
Committee should be particularly troubled by a foreign nation 
using aggressive action and threats in an attempt to dictate 
how a nation pursues the development of their natural 
resources.
    Finally, while enhancing tribal sovereignty and promoting 
economic development and vitality on tribal lands should be a 
priority of the committee, these objectives would be more 
effectively accomplished through passage of H.R. 205: the 
HEARTH Act (Heinrich, D-NM). H.R. 205 would permit all tribes, 
not just a select few, to engage in leasing activities without 
federal oversight under certain circumstances. H.R. 205 does 
not discriminate which countries would be able to participate 
in the demonstration projects and would allow tribes to pursue 
agreements on a more open basis that is to their benefit.

                                   Frank Pallone, Jr.
                                   Niki Tsongas.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

H.R. 2362: INDIAN TRIBAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ACT

    Nothing in H.R. 2362 could not be accomplished by passage 
of H.R. 205: the HEARTH Act (Heinrich, D-NM), which permits all 
tribes, not a select few on a demonstration project basis, to 
engage in leasing activities without federal oversight under 
certain circumstances. The HEARTH Act, unlike H.R. 2362, has 
the overwhelming support of Indian Country and has been the 
subject of two legislative hearings since first being 
introduced in the 110th Congress. There is simply no reason to 
enact H.R. 2362 for the benefit of a select few when all tribes 
would benefit equally under H.R. 205.
    In addition to its duplicative nature, H.R. 2362 
specifically authorizes the Republic of Turkey, above any other 
country in the world, to engage in economic development 
activities on tribal lands. The need for such special treatment 
was not clearly addressed in a hearing on the bill and the 
precise industries that may be targeted for development through 
Turkish-tribal ventures went similarly undetermined. Equally 
unclear are the purposes for which tribes may engage in leasing 
activities with the Republic. As written, the bill states that 
any lease should simply be connected with a project or activity 
``related'' to a purpose for which a participating tribe 
receives funding from two or more federal programs. Such 
``related'' purposes remain unspecified except in the most 
general terms; at a hearing on the bill, Turkish and Tribal 
witnesses stated that ``construction'' and the ``leather 
industry'' would be targeted. Legislation purporting to free 
tribes from federal oversight of leasing activity on a 
demonstration project basis must be more specific. This is 
especially important when the United States disclaims all 
liability for losses the participating tribes might suffer 
under such leases as it does in this legislation.
    In addition, the bill strictly, and unnecessarily, limits 
the applicant pool for the demonstration project. The applicant 
pool of tribes that may be selected to participate in the 
demonstration project is limited to only those tribes or tribal 
consortia that currently participate in self-determination 
contracting under the Indian Self-Determination and Education 
Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 450 et seq. Tribes without 
self-determination contracts in place are automatically 
prevented from participating in the demonstration project. The 
bill thus eliminates a large category of tribes and as a result 
creates classes of tribes based on their eligibility to conduct 
business--not their need. A broader, more inclusive authority 
for tribes to engage in business development leasing on their 
tribal lands without Secretarial oversight, like that which is 
reflected in H.R. 205 is better policy.
    Finally, there is the matter of the bill's workability: 
unless H.R. 2362 addresses some unstated prearranged program, 
it is unlikely that a tribe would be able to draft leasing 
regulations, get them approved by the Secretary, and enter into 
a lease with a Turkish entity in connection with a program or 
activity related to a purpose for which the tribe is already 
receiving federal funds within one year.
    We fully support enhancing tribal authorities to engage in 
business development on tribal lands with any entity, foreign 
or domestic. However, H.R. 2362 presents too many unanswered 
questions relating to scope, purpose, need and workability. 
H.R. 205 is the better legislative vehicle under which tribes 
may fully engage in economic development activities through 
leasing of tribal lands. H.R. 2362 should be rejected by the 
House.

                                   Edward J. Markey.
                                   Rush Holt.
                                   Grace F. Napolitano.
                                   Niki Tsongas.
                                   John P. Sarbanes.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.