House committee takes up self-governance bill
Opening Statements

Panel 1 | Q&A

Panel 2 | Q&A
Note: There are a couple of minor drop outs in the Opening Statements and in the Panel 2 testimony.
The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on Thursday on H.R.3994, the Department of the Interior Tribal Self-Governance Act.

The bill would expand self-governance to cover more programs at Interior beyond the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It makes it easier for tribes to take over federal functions.

The Bush administration opposes the bill, associate deputy secretary Jim Cason said. He said it "goes well beyond the principles of self-determination and self-governance" and could hurt federal programs.

A panel of five tribal leaders all spoke in favor of the bill. They said they have encountered resistance at Interior when they try to control programs at other agencies and bureaus.

The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says the bill would allow tribes to take over national parks and refuges. But Rep. Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia), the chairman of the committee, said that wouldn't be possible.

Get the Story:
Bill would let Wampanoag operate Seashore programs (The Cape Cod Times 11/9)

Committee Notice:
Full Committee Legislative Hearing: H.R. 3994 (November 8, 2007)

Get the Bill:
Department of the Interior Tribal Self-Governance Act (H.R.3994)

Relevant Links:
House Natural Resources Committee -

Related Stories:
House Resources hearing on self-governance bill (11/8)
Witness list for hearing on self-governance bill (11/7)
House Resources hearing on self-governance bill (11/5)