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Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves five bills at meeting

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved five bills at a business meeting this afternoon.

Included was S.2188, a high-profile bill to fix the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The measure ensure that all tribes can follow the land-into-trust process regardless of the date of their federal recognition.

Tribes have been pushing Congress to pass a fix for the past five years. But efforts to address the ruling have been clouded by gaming and other controversies.

"To be clear, this issue isn't going away," Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the chairman of the committee, said at the meeting today.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the vice chairman, said he had "mixed feelings" about the bill. He didn't elaborate but offered an amendment to authorize a study of the impacts of the decision on tribes.

The committee approved Barrasso's amendment by a voice vote and approved S.2188 itself by a voice vote.

Four other bills were also approved after some minor changes. They were:
S.919, A bill to amend the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act to provide further self-governance by Indian tribes, and for other purposes. The committee held a hearing on January 29.
S.1447, A bill to make technical corrections to certain Native American water rights settlements in the State of New Mexico, and for other purposes. The committee held a hearing on Septmber 10, 2013.
S.1574, A bill to amend the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Demonstration Act of 1992 to facilitate the ability of Indian tribes to integrate the employment, training, and related services from diverse Federal sources, and for other purposes. The committee held a hearing on April 2.
S.2041, A bill to repeal the Act of May 31, 1918, and for other purposes. The committee held a hearing on May 7.

Committee Notice:
Business Meeting to consider the following legislation (June 11, 2014)

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