Powers Principal Brian Gunn recently authored an article for Law360 about changes to the U.S. Department of Interior under the Trump administration and was quoted in another discussing new DOI leadership. 

In the opinion piece titled, “Trump Should Establish Undersecretary For Indian Affairs,” Brian discusses the possibility of the new administration implementing section 303 of the bipartisan Indian Trust Asset Reform Act and establishing an undersecretary for Indian affairs within the U.S. Department of the Interior.

If implemented as Congress intended, the undersecretary would correct a power imbalance within the department, Brian writes in the article. In this scenario, an Indian policy official would be able to give direction and guidance on Indian issues to the non-Indian agencies and bureaus within the department, and those agencies and bureaus would be obliged to comply.

To read the full article, click here.

Brian was also quoted in the article titled, “4 Top Tribal Concerns As Zinke Takes Charge Of DOI,” in which he discussed how former Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke – who recently was confirmed and sworn in as the 52nd Secretary of the Interior – could help to shape specific environmental regulations through the U.S. Department of Interior’s advisory role to the EPA on tribal issues.

Additionally, Brian discussed how Zinke’s role in the U.S. Department of Interior could include having to protect tribal programs from being trimmed or cut entirely as the Trump administration focuses on reducing government spending on certain programs. Brian said Zinke is “in a good position to be able to protect or insulate Indian Country from some of those cuts and hopefully find those cuts elsewhere outside of Indian Affairs.”

To read the full article, click here.

For more information about the LAW360 articles or the state of Indian affairs under the Trump administration, contact Powers Principal Brian Gunn at Brian.Gunn@PowersLaw.com or 202-872-6747.


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