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Bishop Introduces Tribal Recognition Act
Legislation Restores Proper Congressional Authority, Process Integrity and Transparency to Tribal Recognition

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 21, 2015 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 3764, the Tribal Recognition Act of 2015 and issued the following statement.

“The tribal recognition process has been a mess for decades. The authority to recognize tribes is one that belongs to Congress, not the executive branch. However, as far back as the Carter Administration, the executive branch has muddied the process and this Administration has made the problem worse.

“The Tribal Recognition Act of 2015 is historic legislation that solves a systematic problem caused by unelected bureaucrats inventing new procedures and standards for tribal recognition. H.R. 3764 brings legitimacy and transparency back to the process.  Most importantly, the legislation reasserts the critical role that Congress is tasked with under the Constitution in this important and historic realm of public policy.”

The Tribal Recognition Act of 2015 restores Congress as making the sole determination on whether to extend recognition to a group as an Indian tribe, and updates the current lengthy and inconsistent recognition process for the 21st century. The Department of the Interior (DOI) would play a supporting role in analyzing documents submitted by petitioners for tribal recognition.  

Under the legislation, the DOI’s controversial recognition rules, also known as Part 83, would have no force and effect. Tribes lawfully recognized before the date of enactment of the bill would be unaffected.


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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