United States: American Indian Law And Policy: 10 Things You Need To Know—December 2017

Congress returned from the Thanksgiving holiday with an intense workload that must be completed by the end of the year. Tax reform remains a focus, and the Republicancontrolled Congress is still committed to getting a final bill passed and sent to the President by the end of December. National tribal organizations are opposing both the Senate and House versions of the bill because they fail to include any meaningful tribal provisions that can spur economic development in Indian Country.

While tax reform cornered Congress's attention in November, time will need to be spent on funding for the federal government in December. Current government funding expires on December 8, and it is clear that Congress will need to pass another stopgap spending bill—the only question is for how long. The optimistic view is that Congress will pass a shortterm spending bill to fund the government through December with the hope of passing an omnibus appropriations bill by year's end that would fund the government and programs through September 2018. The pessimistic view is that Congress will pass a Continuing Resolution through the first quarter of 2018 and spend the next few months debating spending levels.

Although President Trump's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 included significant cuts to tribal programs, both the House and Senate versions of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bills protect funding for tribal programs and provide some increases. In addition to tax reform and funding, Congress has a backlog of legislative priorities that it needs to tackle over the next weeks and months. The Trump administration also has a number of regulatory priorities and political vacancies that need to be focused on. Here are a few key issues that impact Indian Country:

  1. TribalSpecific Provisions Generally Left Out of Key Tax Reform Proposals
  2. Senate Revives Threats to Repeal Portions of the Affordable Care Act; Special Diabetes Program for Indians Passes House
  3. Efforts to Revise the FeetoTrust Regulations
  4. Indian Trader Regulation Comments In; Prospects for a Final Regulation Dim
  5. U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Patchak 2.0 Case
  6. Latest News in Tribal Water
  7. A Future for Tribal Coal?
  8. No Longer Home Alone at the Department of the Interior, but Still Waiting for Important Political Appointees to Arrive
  9. Democrats and Republicans Leaving the D.C. Scene; Latest Retirement Announcements
  10. Overview of Bills Pending in Congress that Impact Indian Country

TribalSpecific Provisions Generally Left Out of Key Tax Reform Proposals

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee considered major tax reform legislation, achieving a step forward toward President Trump's goal of passing tax reform by the end of the year. Both the House and Senate proposals focused on individual and corporate tax rate cuts. On Thursday, November 16, the House passed H.R.1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a 227205 vote. On Saturday, December 2, the Senate passed H.R.1 with amendments by a 5149 vote. The House and Senate will now go to conference to resolve differences between the two bills.

Both the House and Senate proposals fail to include any provisions advocated by tribal organizations for the purpose of helping stimulate tribal economic growth. The House bill included only one provision related to Indians: a provision that would exclude from an individual's income repayment of the person's loans pursuant to the Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program. The Senate proposal includes only two provisions related to Indians: one provision adding Indian tribes to state qualified plans under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and another modifying the tax treatment of Alaska Native Corporations and Settlement Trusts.

Given the lack of tribal provisions included in the congressional tax proposals, both the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) issued a   joint press release in opposition to the proposals and called on members of Congress to vote against both proposals until more tribal provisions are included. The additional provisions that the national tribal organizations would like to see included in the larger tax reform proposals are from H.R. 3138, the Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act, which can be found here, and the companion bill in the Senate, S.1935, which can be found here.

Projections from the Joint Committee on Taxation indicate that the House and Senate tax proposals could add approximately $1.5 trillion over 10 years to the annual budget deficit. It will be important for Indian Country to pay attention to the tax proposals because of the impact the increased deficit could have on federally funded tribal programs. Congress's focus on enacting tax reform by the end of the year has diverted its attention from focusing on passing the fiscal year 2018 spending bills. Thus, Congress will be pressed for time as it attempts to pass the spending bills before the continuing resolution expires on December 8. On Saturday, December 2, the House Republicans released the text of a shortterm continuing resolution to fund the government through December 22. Congress will have to agree to an extension, or there could be a federal government shutdown.

Senate Revives Threats to Repeal Portions of the Affordable Care Act; Special Diabetes Program for Indians Passes House Threats to Repeal Portions of the Affordable Care Act;

The Senate version of tax reform includes a provision to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate in an attempt to help offset the deficit increases from the rest of the bill by more than $380 billion. Although previous efforts to repeal the mandate have failed, repeal now appears more likely, given that the Senate passed the tax bill with the mandate repeal included. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repeal of the mandate will cause more than 13 million individuals to lose their health care insurance.

A twoyear extension to the Special Diabetes Program for Indians passed the House earlier this month. H.R.3922, the Championing Healthy Kids Act,includes an extension for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The bill passed the House on November 3 and is now being considered by the Senate Finance Committee.

On November 8, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) held a legislative hearing to receive testimony on S.465, the Independent Outside Audit of the Indian Health Service Act of 2017. This bill was introduced back in February in an attempt to improve the agency's budget, staffing and management. On November 9, the SCIA also hosted a roundtable on "Confronting the Crisis: the Opioid Epidemic in Indian Country." The roundtable was not recorded, but testimony from the hearing on S. 465 is available here.

To view the full newsletter please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions