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                                                       Calendar No. 105
                                                       
115th Congress    }                                        {   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                        {   115-85

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



 
          TO REPEAL CERTAIN OBSOLETE LAWS RELATING TO INDIANS

                                _______
                                

                  May 24, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Hoeven, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 343]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 343) to repeal certain obsolete laws relating to 
Indians, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 343 is to repeal certain obsolete laws 
relating to Indians.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The bill, S. 343, would repeal eleven laws relating to 
Indians that are obsolete, have not been enforced by the 
federal government for several decades and are inconsistent 
with current federal policy. Eleven laws are proposed to be 
repealed by S. 343, also known as the Repealing Existing 
Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes Act 
(RESPECT Act). This bill is intended to help mend relations and 
further respect between the federal and tribal governments.
    These laws are a sad reminder of the hostile aggression and 
overt racism displayed by the federal government to Native 
Americans during a period of time in federal Indian policy 
often referred to as the ``assimilation era''. In the late 
1800s to mid 1900s, during this era, the federal government 
attempted to assimilate the Native Americans by forcing them to 
live among the non-Indian society and by punishing them for 
practicing their culture and traditional practices. The laws to 
be repealed by the RESPECT Act are more than a century old and 
continue the stigma of subjugation and paternalism found during 
the assimilation era.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    115th Congress. On February 8, 2017, the bill, S. 343, was 
introduced by Senators Rounds and Lankford. This bill is 
identical to S. 2796, as amended, which was passed by the 
Committee in the 114th Congress. On March 29, 2017, the 
Committee passed S. 343 without amendment favorably and ordered 
the bill to be reported. At this time, there is no House 
companion bill.
    114th Congress. On April 13, 2016, Senator Rounds 
introduced S. 2796, the Repealing Existing Substandard 
Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes Act (RESPECT 
Act). Senator Lankford was added as a co-sponsor to the bill on 
April 27, 2016. A legislative hearing on S. 2796 was held by 
the Committee on June 29, 2016. The Committee passed S. 2796, 
with an amendment, and ordered the bill to be reported, on 
September 14, 2016. No further action was taken on S. 2796.
    The bill, S. 2796, as introduced, included twelve laws. 
After consulting with the tribes in South Dakota, it was 
determined that one of the twelve laws still benefitted Indian 
tribes, 25 U.S.C. 276, which authorized the Secretary of the 
Army to set aside vacant military posts or barracks to be 
transferred to an Indian tribe for the use of providing 
education to Indian students. One example of the current use of 
25 U.S.C. 276 is the United Tribes Technical College, a tribal 
college, is located on a former military site, Fort Abraham 
Lincoln, near Bismarck, North Dakota.
    The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association issued a 
letter in support of S. 2796.
    The House companion bill, H.R. 6028, was introduced by 
Representative Noem on September 14, 2016. This bill was 
referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources 
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs. No 
further action was taken on H.R. 6028.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 sets forth the short title of this bill as the 
``Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging 
Conciliation with Tribes Act''.

Section 2. Repeal of certain obsolete laws relating to Indians

    Section 2 repeals:
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 72, which authorizes the 
        President to abrogate treaties with tribes who are 
        hostile towards the United States;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 127, which authorizes the 
        withholding of treaty-stipulated payments if the tribe 
        acts in hostility to the United States;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 128, which mandates the 
        withholding of goods or payments while an Indian tribe 
        is at war with the United States;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 129, which authorizes the 
        Secretary of the Interior to withhold payments to 
        tribes who hold non-Indians as captives;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 130, which authorizes the 
        withholding of payments or goods while Indians are 
        under the influence of or have access to alcohol;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 137, which authorizes the 
        requirement that Indian males work before receiving 
        their treaty payments;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 138, which mandates that no 
        treaty payments be made if the chief has violated any 
        terms of the treaty;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 273, which authorizes the 
        Secretary of the Army to assign an army officer with 
        special duties related to Indian education;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 283, which authorizes the 
        Secretary of the Interior to withhold rations or 
        payments to any Indian family whose child failed to 
        attend school in the preceding year;
           25 U.S.C. Sec. 285, which authorizes the 
        Secretary of the Interior to withhold payments owed to 
        Osage children who failed to attend school in the 
        preceding year; and
           25 U.S.C Sec. 302, which authorizes the 
        Secretary to the Interior to place Indian children in 
        school without parental consent.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, dated April 13, 2017, was prepared 
for S. 343:

                                                    April 13, 2017.
Hon. John Hoeven,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 343, the RESPECT 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

S. 343--Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging 
        Conciliation with Tribes Act

    S. 343 would repeal several laws enacted between 1862 and 
1913 that stipulated situations in which the federal government 
could withhold funding from Indian tribes or tribal members. 
Such situations include, among others, a tribe being in open 
conflict with the United States, a Native American being under 
the influence of intoxicating liquors, and a tribe not having 
school-aged members attend school.
    The laws that would be repealed by S. 343 do not affect the 
current processes for providing funds to Indian tribes; 
therefore CBO estimates that implementing S. 343 would have no 
effect on the federal budget.
    Enacting S. 343 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 343 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Robert Reese. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

               REGULATORY AND PAPERWORK IMPACT STATEMENT

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 343 will 
have minimal impact of regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 343.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In accordance with Committee Rules, subsection 12 of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate is waived.