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Published On: Mon, Jul 30th, 2012

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly Thanks President Obama for Signing HEARTH Act

By: Jared King  @nnwodc Guest Contributor | July 30 | The Navajo Post

WASHINGTON—Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly applauded President Obama signing the HEARTH Act into law today.

“The bill provides that Indian tribes will have the ability to create businesses and agricultural leases up to 25 years without the Secretary of the Interior approval,” President Shelly said.

The Senate passed HR 205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act. The bill previously passed the House May 16, 2012.

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The Navajo Nation already possesses similar authority, as the current legislation was crafted upon previous legislation that was applicable to the Navajo Nation.

Previously, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed its version of the HEARTH Act, S 676, which included the Carcieri fix bill. The Carcieri fix amendment reaffirms the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take lands into trust for all federally recognized Indian tribes, and not just those recognized prior to the enactment of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. HR 205 was a stand-alone bill that did not contain the Carcieri fix.

U.S Representative Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., originally sponsored HR 205. Other tribes, similar to Navajo, can now exercise their leasing authority to improve upon their economic development

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Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly Thanks President Obama for Signing HEARTH Act