Law360 Publishes Akin Gump Article on Policy Concerns for American Indian Tribes

Law360 has published the article “10 Things To Know About Native American Policy” by Akin Gump American Indian law partners Donald Pongrace, Allison Binney and Michael Rossetti as a two-part series.

The first part begins by reporting that national tribal organizations are opposed to the Republican tax bill because it fails to include “any meaningful tribal provisions that can spur economic development in Indian Country.” It also notes there were significant cuts to tribal programs included in President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, though both the House and Senate versions of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bills protect funding for tribal programs and provide some increases.

With this in mind, the authors outline several key issues they feel will impact Indian Country. They include:

  • tribal-specific provisions generally omitted from key tax reform proposals
  • efforts to revise the fee-to-trust regulations
  • the Supreme Court hearing arguments in the second version of the Patchak v. Zinke

In the second part of the article, the authors cover developments in tribal water issues, including the confirmation of Brenda Burman as the first woman to serve as the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation Commission, and present the latest news on pending tribal water rights bills in Congress.

The authors also look at the future of tribal coal, using the Navajo Generating Station as a case study, as well as discuss key vacancies and nominations at Interior. They also report on relevant members of Congress who will be leaving Capitol Hill and present an overview of bill pending in Congress that impact Indian Country.

To read the first part of the article, please click here.

To read the second part, please click here.