Senate Passes Bill Aiming to Stimulate Economic Development in Indian Country
March 29, 2018
The Senate voted to pass the Indian Economic Enhancement Act of 2017 (S.1116). The bill, sponsored by the Senate Committee on Indian
Affairs (SCIA) Chairman John Hoeven (R-ND), aims to stimulate growth in Indian Country by improving access to capital, encouraging investment in tribal communities, and increasing opportunities for Native businesses. The bill will now head to the House, where Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) has introduced similar legislation (H.R. 4506).
Section 3: Native American Business Development, Trade Promotion, and Tourism Act of 2000
- Requires interagency
coordination between the secretaries of the Commerce, Interior, and Treasury
Departments to develop initiatives encouraging investment in Indian
- Elevates the director
for Indian programs in the Department of Commerce and authorizes operational
funding for up to $2,000,000 for each fiscal year.
- States that the
Department of Commerce must be accountable for consultation with Indian tribes
regarding policies, programs, assistance, and activities of the office and
Section 8: Indian Community Development Initiatives
- Makes permanent the
waiver of the requirement for Native community development financial
institutions (CDFIs) to provide a matching cost share for assistance received
from the Treasury CDFI.
- Requires consultation
with Indian tribes and with the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine
statutory or regulatory changes necessary to qualify an Indian tribe as an
- Calls for an economic
development feasibility study and initiatives that assess and quantify the
assistance provided to loan and bond guarantee programs and other programs
under the CDFI Fund.
- Develops initiatives
to identify legal or other barriers to increasing investment, business, and
economic development, including approving collateral structures.
Section 4: The Buy Indian Act
- Facilitates the use
of the Buy Indian Act by ensuring the BIA and the Indian Health Service
consider the act in procurement decisions by requiring agencies to make a
determination as long as it is practicable and reasonable.
Section 5: Native American Programs Act of 1974
- Reauthorizes the
Native American Programs Act.
- Prioritizes economic
development program applications and technical assistance for building tribal
court systems and code development for economic development, supporting CDFIs,
and developing master plans for community and economic development.
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