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Bishop Slams Department of the Interior Over Tribal Recognition Rulemaking Process

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 23, 2015 - On March 26, 2015, a bipartisan letter was sent to U.S.  Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Subcommittee Chairman Don Young (AK-at-large), Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), and Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT) to express concern with proposed regulations governing tribal recognition (Part 83 of Title 25 of the Code Federal Regulations). Yesterday evening, during a subcommittee oversight hearing on Part 83, the Department announced the rule had already been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review, despite the formal request from Members of Congress that the Department refrain from issuing final regulations until further oversight has been conducted on the proposed revisions.  

Chairman Bishop during the hearing addressed Interior Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn on the Department’s failure to consult with Congress. Click here to view the exchange.

Today, Chairman Bishop issued the following statement: 

“This is another slap in the face from this Administration that will not be tolerated.  Despite grave concerns from Republicans, Democrats, and a range of stakeholders that the proposed revisions to Part 83 will pose a direct threat to the integrity of tribal recognition procedures and the unique stature of existing tribes, we’ve been told these voices don’t matter. We requested that the Department engage with Congress and refrain from moving to finalize these regulations until this Committee has conducted appropriate oversight. This week, we find the Department has already sent the rule to OMB for final approval, which is unacceptable.  If the Department fails to address these concerns moving forward, I will use every tool at my disposal to block this deeply flawed regulation from being implemented. Mark my words.”  

Click here to view additional information on the hearing.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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