Tester introduces bill cutting ‘inefficient bureaucracy’ from tribal land leases
Senator cosponsors legislation removing ‘middlemen’ to save time, resources
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester introduced legislation today to cut federal bureaucracy out of the tribal land lease process and save valuable time and resources.
Under current law, American Indian tribes wishing to lease their own land must first get approval from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The process is currently backlogged and lease approval can take up to two years. Private entities can achieve the same result within 24-48 hours.
Tester today joined several of his Senate colleagues to introduce the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act. The bill would cut the federal government out of the leasing process and allow each tribe to develop its own land leasing regulations.
“With this bill, we’re killing two birds with one stone,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “We’re eliminating a prime example of government red tape and inefficient bureaucracy, which will save a lot of time and money. And we’re strengthening the rights of folks on our Indian reservations to manage their own land.”
The bill now goes to the Indian Affairs Committee.