Why I voted Yes on H.R. 205
I voted Yes on H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act.
This bill would allow Indian tribes to lease certain lands held in trust without explicit approval from the Secretary of the Interior, as long the lease is conducted under regulations that have already been approved by the Secretary through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Under current law, leases on Indian lands that are held in trust by the U.S. government must be approved by the Secretary. Importantly, under this bill taxpayers would not be liable for any loss sustained by a party to a tribal lease executed approved leasing regulations. Interested parties could additionally petition the Secretary to review compliance with tribal regulations and if a regulation were violated, the Secretary would be able to take action necessary to remedy the violation.
The bill was approved by a vote of 400 – 0.