Week in Brief

Welcome to the Powers’ “Washington Week in Review,” a weekly newsletter that provides updates on recent activities in Congress and federal agencies, as well as a look ahead at upcoming events and looming regulatory deadlines.


Tuesday, June 12

Indian Policy Legislation: The House Committee on Natural Resources advanced a number of  Indian tribal bills, including the “Tribal Recognition Act of 2017” (H.R.3744), the “Restoring Accountability in the Indian Health Service Act of 2018” (H.R.5874), and the “Stigler Act Amendments of 2017” (H.R.2606).

Interior Appropriations: The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations bill to fund the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other agencies.

Wednesday, June 13

Farm Bill: The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry passed the 2018 Farm Bill by a 20-1 vote.  The bill includes provisions that facilitate tribal management of various USDA programs and expands the Tribal Promise Zone initiative established in the tax reform law Congress enacted last year.

Alcohol Production on Indian Lands: Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced legislation to repeal an 1834 ban on alcohol distilleries on tribal lands.

Thursday, June 14

Senate Interior Appropriations: The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Appropriations bill by a unanimous vote.  The bill largely rejects cuts to Indian programs proposed in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request and will be considered on the Senate floor next.

Friday, June 15

House Labor-HHS Appropriations: The House Appropriations Subcommittee approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations bill on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.  The bill includes a provision that prevents the National Labor Relations Board from exercising jurisdiction over Indian tribes.


The Department of the Interior began tribal consultations this week on the Department’s reorganization initiative, which will continue through August.

Secretary Zinke and Montana’s Blackfeet Nation Chairman signed a contract implementing the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement of 2016 and Water Compact.


House Committee on Natural Resources
Full Committee Markup on “Removing Barriers to Energy Independence Act” (H.R.6087), “Streamlining Permitting Efficiency in Energy Development Act” or “SPEED Act” (H.R.6088), “Common Sense Permitting Act” (H.R.6106), and “Ending Duplicative Permitting Act” (H.R.6107). The meeting will take place on June 20, 2018, at 10:15 a.m., in room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Oversight Hearing on “Keep What You Catch: Promoting Traditional Subsistence Activities in Native Communities.” The hearing will take place on June 20, 2018, at 2:30 p.m., in room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

House Committee on Natural Resources
Legislative Hearing on “Federal Land Management Bills,” to take place on June 21, 2018, at 10:00 a.m., in room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building.

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Tribal Consultation on the Proposed Reorganization of the Department of the Interior
June through September, 2018.


Fee-to-Trust Regulations
Written comments on the Department of the Interior’s proposal to revise the fee-to-trust regulations must be submitted by June 30, 2018.

Department of the Interior Reorganization
Written comments on the Department’s reorganization proposal must be submitted by August 15, 2018.

Washington Week in Review: Developments Affecting Tribal Communities is a weekly update of the top news impacting tribal communities and organizations compiled by the Powers Indian Tribal Governments Practice. For more information, contact Noor Adhoob at 202-349-4265.

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