House panel OKs bill to change how tribes get federal recognition


WASHINGTON – A House committee Thursday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would give Congress greater control over which Native American tribes are granted federal recognition.

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, was approved 23-13 on a largely party-line vote by the House Natural Resources Committee, despite objections from Democrats that the measure would just make the process even more cumbersome and erode tribal rights.

But supporters said the bill is aimed at streamlining what they call cumbersome Bureau of Indian Affairs guidelines for tribal recognition that were updated in 2015, and to restore control of the process to Congress, where supporters say that authority should lie.


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