[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 110 (Monday, July 23, 2012)]
[House]
[Pages H5088-H5096]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  INDIAN TRIBAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ACT OF 2011

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules 
and pass the bill (H.R. 2362) to facilitate economic development by 
Indian tribes and encourage investment by Turkish enterprises, as 
amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2362

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Indian 
     Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act of 
     2011''.
       (b) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (1) the public and private sectors in the Republic of 
     Turkey have demonstrated a unique interest in bolstering 
     cultural, political, and economic relationships with Indian 
     tribes and tribal members;
       (2) uneconomic regulatory, statutory, and policy barriers 
     are preventing more robust relationships between the Turkish 
     and Indian tribal communities; and
       (3) it is in the interest of Indian tribes, the United 
     States, and the United States-Turkey relationship to remove 
     or ameliorate these barriers through the establishment of an 
     Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project.
       (c) Purpose.--The purposes of this Act are--
       (1) to remove or ameliorate certain barriers to facilitate 
     trade and financial investment in Indian tribal economies;
       (2) to encourage increased levels of commerce and economic 
     investment by private entities incorporated in or emanating 
     from the Republic of Turkey or other World Trade Organization 
     member nations; and
       (3) to further the policy of Indian self-determination by 
     strengthening Indian tribal economies and political 
     institutions in order to raise the material standard of 
     living of Indians.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Applicant.--The term ``applicant'' means an Indian 
     tribe or a consortium of Indian tribes that submits an 
     application under this Act seeking participation in the 
     demonstration project.
       (2) Consortium.--The term ``consortium'' means an 
     organization of two or more entities, at least one of which 
     is an Indian tribe, that has the written consent of the 
     governing bodies of all Indian tribes participating in the 
     consortium pursuant to this Act.
       (3) Demonstration project.--The term ``demonstration 
     project'' means the trade and investment demonstration 
     project authorized by this Act.
       (4) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
     meaning given that term in section 102 of the Federally 
     Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a).
       (5) Organization.--The term ``organization'' means a 
     partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, or 
     other unincorporated association or entity that is 
     established in order to participate in the demonstration 
     project authorized by this Act.
       (6) Participating indian tribe.--The term ``participating 
     Indian tribe'' means an Indian tribe selected by the 
     Secretary from the applicant pool.
       (7) Project; activity.--The terms ``project'' and 
     ``activity'' mean a community, economic, or business 
     development undertaking that includes components that 
     contribute materially to carrying out a purpose or closely 
     related purposes that are proposed or approved for assistance 
     under more than one Federal program.
       (8) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of the Interior.

     SEC. 3. INDIAN TRIBAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEMONSTRATION 
                   PROJECT.

       (a) In General.--The Secretary shall authorize Indian 
     tribes or consortia selected under section 4 to participate 
     in a demonstration project under this Act, which shall be 
     known as the ``Indian Tribal Trade and Investment 
     Demonstration Project''.
       (b) Lead Agency.--The Department of the Interior shall be 
     the lead agency for purposes of carrying out the 
     demonstration project.
       (c) Tribal Approval of Leases.--Notwithstanding any other 
     provision of law, and in the discretion of a participating 
     Indian tribe or consortium, any lease of Indian land held in 
     trust by the United States for a participating Indian tribe 
     (or an Indian tribe in a consortium) entered into under this 
     Act to carry out a project or activity shall not require the 
     approval of the Secretary if the lease--
       (1) is entered into in furtherance of a commercial 
     partnership involving one or more private entities 
     incorporated in or emanating from the Republic of Turkey or 
     other World Trade Organization member nations;
       (2) is entered into not later than 3 years after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act;
       (3) is not for the exploration, development, or extraction 
     of any mineral resources;
       (4) does not include lease of land or an interest in land 
     held in trust for an individual Indian;
       (5) is executed under the tribal regulations approved by 
     the Secretary under this Act; and
       (6) has a term that does not exceed 25 years, except that 
     any such lease may include an option to renew for up to 2 
     additional terms, each of which may not exceed 25 years.
       (d) Activities To Be Conducted on Leased Lands.--Indian 
     land held in trust by the

[[Page H5089]]

     United States for the benefit of a participating Indian tribe 
     (or an Indian tribe in a consortium) may be leased for 
     activities consistent with the purposes of this Act, 
     including business and economic development, public, 
     educational, or residential purposes, including the 
     development or use of natural resources in connection with 
     operations under such leases, for grazing purposes, and for 
     those farming purposes which require the making of a 
     substantial investment in the improvement of the land for the 
     production of specialized crops as determined by the 
     Secretary.
       (e) Approval of Tribal Regulations.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary shall approve a tribal 
     regulation issued for the purposes of subsection (c)(4), if 
     the tribal regulation--
       (A) is consistent with regulations, if any, issued by the 
     Secretary pursuant to the Act of August 9, 1955 (25 U.S.C. 
     415(a)); and
       (B) provides for an environmental review process that 
     includes--
       (i) the identification and evaluation of any significant 
     effects of the proposed action on the environment; and
       (ii) a process for ensuring that--

       (I) the public is informed of, and has a reasonable 
     opportunity to comment on, any significant environmental 
     impacts of the proposed action identified by the 
     participating Indian tribe or consortium; and
       (II) the participating Indian tribe or consortium provides 
     responses to relevant and substantive public comments on 
     those impacts before the participating Indian tribe or 
     consortium approves the lease.

       (2) Secretarial review.--
       (A) In general.--Not later than 120 days after the date on 
     which the tribal regulations under this subsection are 
     submitted to the Secretary, the Secretary shall review and 
     approve or disapprove the regulations.
       (B) Written documentation.--If the Secretary disapproves 
     such tribal regulations, the Secretary shall include written 
     documentation with the disapproval notification that 
     describes the basis for the disapproval.
       (C) Extension.--The deadline described in subparagraph (A) 
     may be extended by the Secretary, after consultation with the 
     participating Indian tribe or consortium.
       (f) Federal Environmental Review.--Notwithstanding 
     subsection (e)(2), if a participating Indian tribe or 
     consortium carries out a project or activity funded by a 
     Federal agency, the participating Indian tribe or consortium 
     may rely on the environmental review process of the 
     applicable Federal agency rather than any tribal 
     environmental review process under this subsection.
       (g) Documentation.--If a participating Indian tribe or 
     consortium executes a lease pursuant to tribal regulations 
     approved under this section, the participating Indian tribe 
     or consortium shall provide the Secretary with--
       (1) a copy of the lease, including any amendments or 
     renewals to the lease; and
       (2) in the case of tribal regulations or a lease that 
     allows for lease payments to be made directly to the 
     participating Indian tribe or consortium, documentation of 
     the lease payments that are sufficient to enable the 
     Secretary to discharge the trust responsibility of the United 
     States under subsection (h).
       (h) Trust Responsibility.--
       (1) In general.--The United States shall not be liable for 
     losses sustained by any party to a lease executed under this 
     Act.
       (2) Authority of secretary.--Pursuant to the authority of 
     the Secretary to fulfill the trust obligation of the United 
     States to an Indian tribe under Federal law, including 
     regulations, the Secretary may, upon reasonable notice from 
     the Indian tribe and at the discretion of the Secretary, 
     enforce the provisions of, or cancel, any lease executed by a 
     participating Indian tribe or consortium under this Act.
       (i) Compliance.--
       (1) In general.--An interested party, after exhausting 
     applicable tribal remedies, may submit a petition to the 
     Secretary, at such time and in such form as the Secretary 
     determines to be appropriate, to review the compliance of a 
     participating Indian tribe or consortium with any tribal 
     regulations approved by the Secretary under this Act.
       (2) Violations.--If, after carrying out a review under 
     paragraph (1), the Secretary determines that the tribal 
     regulations were materially violated, the Secretary may take 
     any action the Secretary determines to be necessary to remedy 
     the violation, including rescinding the approval of the 
     tribal regulations and reassuming responsibility for the 
     approval of leases of Indian lands.
       (3) Documentation.--If the Secretary determines under this 
     paragraph that a violation of tribal regulations has occurred 
     and a remedy is necessary, the Secretary shall--
       (A) make a written determination with respect to the 
     regulations that have been violated;
       (B) provide the applicable participating Indian tribe or 
     consortium with a written notice of the alleged violation 
     together with such written determination; and
       (C) prior to the exercise of any remedy, the rescission of 
     the approval of the regulation involved, or the reassumption 
     of lease approval responsibilities, provide the applicable 
     participating Indian tribe or consortium with--
       (i) a hearing that is on the record; and
       (ii) a reasonable opportunity to cure the alleged 
     violation.

     SEC. 4. SELECTION OF PARTICIPATING INDIAN TRIBES.

       (a) Participants.--The Secretary may select not more than 
     12 Indian tribes or consortia from the applicant pool 
     described in subsection (b) to submit an application to be a 
     participating Indian tribe or consortium.
       (b) Applicant Pool.--The applicant pool described in this 
     subsection shall consist of each Indian tribe or consortium 
     that--
       (1) requests participation in the demonstration project 
     through a resolution or other official action of the tribal 
     governing body or, in the case of a consortium, a resolution 
     or other official action of each Indian tribe that is a 
     member of the consortium; and
       (2) demonstrates, for the 3 fiscal years immediately 
     preceding the fiscal year for which participation is 
     requested, financial stability and financial management 
     capability as demonstrated by a showing by the Indian tribe 
     or consortium that there were no material audit exceptions in 
     the required annual audit of the Indian Self-Determination 
     and Education Assistance Act contracts or Tribal Self 
     Governance Act compacts of the Indian tribe or consortium.

     SEC. 5. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS, REVIEW, AND APPROVAL.

       (a) Requirements.--An Indian tribe or consortium selected 
     under subsection (a) may submit to the Secretary an 
     application that--
       (1) identifies the activities to be conducted by the Indian 
     tribe or consortium;
       (2) describes the revenues, jobs, and related economic 
     benefits and other likely consequences to the Indian tribe or 
     consortium, its members, the investors, and the surrounding 
     communities to be generated as a result of the activities 
     identified in paragraph (1); and
       (3) is approved by the governing body of the Indian tribe 
     or consortium, including, in the case of an applicant that is 
     a consortium of Indian tribes, the governing body of each 
     affected member Indian tribe.
       (b) Review and Approval.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
     receipt of an application under subsection (a), the Secretary 
     shall inform the applicant, in writing, of the approval or 
     disapproval of the application.
       (2) Disapproval.--If an application is disapproved, the 
     written notice shall identify the reasons for the disapproval 
     and the applicant shall be provided an opportunity to amend 
     and resubmit the application to the Secretary.

     SEC. 6. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

       Not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress 
     a report that includes--
       (1) a description of the economic benefits and other 
     consequences to participating Indian tribes, their members, 
     and surrounding communities as a result of the economic 
     activities and financial investment engendered by the 
     demonstration project; and
       (2) observations drawn from the implementation of this Act 
     and recommendations reasonably designed to improve the 
     operation or consequences of the demonstration project.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Hastings) and the gentleman from the Northern Marianas 
(Mr. Sablan) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Washington.


                             General Leave

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Washington?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as 
I may consume.
  H.R. 2362 is authored by our colleague from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole).
  We continue to be reminded that it takes months and years for the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs to approve simple lease agreements. For years, 
many tribes have pleaded with Congress to let them manage their lands 
with less Federal supervision. The bureaucratic redtape is often cited 
as the main culprit for the lack of economic development on 
reservations.
  Last week, the Senate passed H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act. The HEARTH Act 
promotes greater tribal self-determination by allowing tribes to govern 
their own regulations governing certain leasing of their lands. H.R. 
2362, as amended, would give tribes additional options in attracting 
economic development. The Indian Tribal Trade and Investment 
Demonstration Project Act would allow any Federally recognized tribe to 
engage in business with companies of any World Trade Organization 
member country. It's a good start. It is something that we should be 
addressing more aggressively.

[[Page H5090]]

  With that, I urge adoption of this legislation, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone).
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I thank my ranking member.
  I rise to oppose H.R. 2362, the Indian Tribal Trade and Investment 
Demonstration Project Act. To put it quite simply, there is no good 
reason for passage of this legislation. In fact, there are a whole 
bunch of reasons why this legislation should fail today.
  First, I would like to say that I strongly support efforts to bring 
economic prosperity to Indian Country. I've been a longtime advocate of 
Indian Country's right and power to exercise their sovereignty and 
pursue economic development in the ways they choose. That is why I was 
glad to vote for H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act.
  The HEARTH Act permits all tribes, not just a select few, to engage 
in leasing activities without Federal oversight under certain 
circumstances. Under the HEARTH Act, tribes can engage in these 
activities with both domestic and foreign entities. Furthermore, the 
HEARTH Act enjoys strong bipartisan support and passed this body on May 
15 by a vote of 400-0. The bill then passed the Senate by unanimous 
consent, and it now only awaits the President's signature.
  In contrast, H.R. 2362 singles out the Republic of Turkey for 
preferential treatment. Anyone who questions this just needs to turn to 
the bill itself which states its purposes as ``to facilitate economic 
development by Indian tribes and encourage investment by Turkish 
enterprises.'' If this bill didn't give Turkey special preference, what 
would be the point? It would be entirely duplicative to what will be 
law in just a few days.
  The Republic of Turkey, Mr. Speaker, acts increasingly hostile to 
U.S. interests and has a long history of human rights violations. 
Turkey is not a country that should be receiving preferential treatment 
in any sense, and certainly not explicitly approved by this Congress. 
Turkey has yet to acknowledge the fact of the Armenian genocide and 
reconcile itself with its own history. The Armenian genocide is the 
first genocide of the 20th century. It's a dark chapter in history, but 
it must be remembered and reaffirmed. That's why we must not stand by 
as the Republic of Turkey continues their policy of denying the 20th 
century's first genocide.
  It is also very appropriate to remember that this past Friday marked 
the 38th anniversary of the illegal occupation of northern Cyprus by 
Turkey. On July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus in violation of 
international law, and at great cost to the citizens of Cyprus. Turkish 
troops continue to occupy Cyprus illegally, and the invasion forced 
nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots to flee their homes.
  The EU member Cypriot government has made strong efforts to bring 
this ongoing occupation to a peaceful settlement. However, the Turkish 
government from afar continues to push against such peace negotiations. 
In fact, Turkey has used its bases in northern Cyprus to harass Israeli 
merchant vessels peacefully engaged, in cooperation with the Cypriot 
Government, on oil and gas exploration. It has even threatened U.S. 
companies.
  I have just presented a couple of examples as to why Turkey's 
policies fly in the face of solid moral standing and threaten U.S. 
interests abroad. Legislating preferential treatment for Turkey would 
be a mistake and only signal that genocide denial, illegal occupation 
of U.S. allies, and other anti-U.S. policies will be tolerated.
  I'm proud to say that this Congress has passed legislation that gives 
tribes more flexibility in entering into lease agreements that will 
promote economic development and future vitality. Today's bill does not 
advance this cause. It would simply put Turkey on a pedestal, and I 
urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and vote ``no.''
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 5 
minutes to the author of this legislation, the gentleman from Oklahoma 
(Mr. Cole).
  Mr. COLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  H.R. 2362 is simply a bill to facilitate economic development in 
Indian Country and to expand the range of options open to some of the 
poorest and most disadvantaged of Americans, the first Americans.
  Currently, as my friend Mr. Hastings pointed out, economic 
development is often hampered in Indian Country by restrictive leasing 
practices on Indian reservations. H.R. 2362 directs the Secretary of 
the Interior to create a demonstration project for up to six tribes 
engaged in economic development with foreign companies and foreign 
countries. Tribes will develop the guidelines for their own economic 
activity with these entities, the Secretary will approve them, and we 
will over time learn how to do business between Indian tribes and 
foreign countries. Frankly, that is something we know comparatively 
little about. One of the things that comes out of this is a development 
by the Secretary of the Interior of recommendations and best practices, 
something which needs to be done in this area.
  We have tried in the course of this legislation to recognize the 
concerns raised by some people about it. There's no question that I was 
approached by the Turkish American Coalition, who have a deep interest 
in Turkey and American Indians. It has been for many hundreds of years. 
This goes back a long way. They're the only country that has actually 
sent a national delegation to an Indian economic development 
conference. There are scholarships for Native American students at the 
Istanbul Technical Institute. There's a constant movement of tribal 
citizens going back and forth. This interest, apart from these other 
disputes, is real and genuine and deep. We've accepted some of the 
concerns that were voiced in subcommittee. There is no preferential 
status for Turkey in this bill. All 155 World Trade Organization 
countries will have exactly the same opportunity.
  It's important to note, I think, that this bill is strongly supported 
in Indian Country. Maybe we should listen to Indians about what's best 
for their own economic development. The National Congress of American 
Indians supports this bill, the National American Indian Housing 
Council supports this bill, the National Center for American Indian 
Enterprise Development supports this bill. Numerous tribes support this 
bill. Perhaps they are the real experts here that we should be 
listening to.
  Passage of this bill would normally be a routine matter in this 
House. Frankly, due to the strong Turkish interest and support for the 
bill, we have a number of ethnic communities in the United States that 
have voiced objections. I think that's always legitimate and always 
appropriate. But sadly, as I pointed out, some of these objections 
don't have much merit. Again, this is not special legislation for 
Turkey. All 155 World Trade Organizations can participate. That 
includes the folks that are so concerned about this.

                              {time}  1610

  Second, the idea that passing the HEARTH bill--which, by the way, I 
strongly supported, cosponsored, came down here and argued for. I think 
it's a wonderful piece of legislation. It's largely silent, save for 
one phrase. On foreign investment, we do not have a lot of experience 
here. It would be helpful to have demonstration projects. It would be 
good to have the Secretary of the Interior involved more deeply.
  And third--and I hope this isn't the case. I have heard recently that 
there is even a sheet going around--perhaps not true; I hope not--that 
suggests this legislation will cost domestic manufacturing jobs. You've 
got to be kidding. Putting jobs on Indian reservations is going to take 
American jobs away? Who were the first Americans? So again, the 
arguments, I think, largely do not address the legislation.
  I understand something about historical grievances and controversies. 
I'm the only Native American in this House right now. My great-great-
grandfather, when he was 13 years old, was forced to move from 
Mississippi, where his people had lived for 500 years, to avoid being 
placed under State restriction. His lands were confiscated. They were 
guaranteed new land in Indian territory in the West. He arrived--
nothing. Started it up being, actually, the clerk of the Chickasaw 
supreme court. His son, my great-grandfather, was treasurer at the time 
of the Dawes Commission when--guess

[[Page H5091]]

what--those treaties that were going to last forever were revoked again 
by the United States Government. Indian territory was opened up, over 
the objection of the tribes, to white settlement, and Indian 
governments were ground down.
  My family has spent much of the time since that time working with 
other Chickasaws and other Native Americans to see tribal sovereignty 
restored and those rights given back. That's why I cochair the Native 
American Caucus. That's why, when the tribal law and order bill came to 
this floor, where there were concerns on our side about process, I got 
the Republican votes that were necessary to pass it. That is why I was 
the Republican lead sponsor of the Cobell settlement. That's why I've 
worked with this administration--which, by the way, has a great record 
on Native American affairs--on the Carcieri bill.
  So I understand grievances, and I understand the legitimacy of 
expressing them.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I yield the gentleman an additional 2 
minutes.
  Mr. COLE. I thank the gentleman.
  But legislation must be relevant to the historical experience that 
we're talking about, and we ought to look for opportunities to turn old 
enemies into new friends. I try to do that on this floor every day.
  This legislation has nothing to do with ancient or current disputes 
between Turkey and Armenia or Greece. This bill is about helping 
American Indians. We ought to put aside the disputes of the Old World 
and focus on helping the original inhabitants of the New World, which 
is exactly what this legislation will do.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time, may I inquire of the time 
remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from the Northern Mariana 
Islands has 16\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from American Samoa, a member of the committee.
  (Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Every word that's been spoken by the gentleman from 
Oklahoma, not only as the chief author and the sponsor of this 
legislation, but something that I think my colleagues in the House need 
to be reminded of, this has nothing to do with whatever current feuds 
are going on between Armenia and Turkey. That is totally irrelevant to 
the bill that we are discussing here this afternoon. If we talk about 
past criminalities and acts that were done against the American 
Indians, Mr. Speaker, I don't know if my colleagues realize that the 
Government of the United States of America signed 389 treaties with the 
American Indians. And guess what. We broke every one of those treaties. 
So let's talk about fairness.
  I rise in strong support of H.R. 2362, the Indian Tribal Trade and 
Investment Demonstration Project Act of 2011.
  First, I want to thank the gentleman from Washington, the chairman of 
our committee, and also the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey) 
for their support. And I especially want to thank my good friend, the 
only American Indian that we have in this body, a proud member of the 
Chickasaw Nation of the State of Oklahoma, my good friend and buddy, 
Tom Cole. Not only is he the cochair of our American Indian 
Congressional Caucus, but he is also a real gentleman that knows what 
he's talking about.
  Mr. Speaker, despite the recent success of some tribes in creating 
successful gaming enterprises, pursuant to the 1988 Indian Gaming 
Regulatory Act, to a large extent, Indian tribes still face extreme 
economic conditions. This is due in part to the perception by private 
lenders and investors that risky conditions prevail in Indian Country. 
Because of the Federal trust status, Indian lands and resources are 
perceived as risky for collateral, and even loans and burdensome 
regulations restrict and impede efforts to improve economic conditions 
on tribal lands.
  Mr. Speaker, we have unemployment as high as 80 percent among some of 
these tribes. In terms of any incentives given them to provide greater 
economic development, Mr. Speaker, this legislation solves this 
problem, and we need to give them these tools so that these tribes 
could better make economic improvements in their situation.
  Mr. Speaker, our Federal Government has a trust obligation to our 
Indian brothers and sisters. A couple of years ago, I was pleased to 
work with Senator Inouye, my good friend from Hawaii, on legislation 
that will give Indian tribes access to many tools such as development 
capital, loans to Indian enterprises, and a host of other authorized 
activities, with the purpose of creating an environment that is 
conducive to Indian Country economic development. Today I continue to 
remain steadfast in my support and am willing to work with my 
colleagues in Congress to make improvements in this area.
  Again, I commend my good friend Mr. Cole for his leadership. The bill 
before us today will create the Indian Tribal Trade and Investments 
Demonstration project within the Department of the Interior to include 
up to six Indian tribes for this pilot program. These tribes will be 
able to lease land currently held in trust by Federal land to conduct 
such activities including business and economic development; public, 
educational, or residential purposes; et cetera. Moreover, the bill 
will streamline the archaic and burdensome--you know, even just to get 
a lease agreement with the Federal Government, some of these tribes 
have had to wait for 10 years. They couldn't even get this done through 
the regulatory process. These are the problems that we're faced with.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues, pass this legislation. And again, I 
commend and thank my good friend, the gentleman from Oklahoma, for his 
leadership and bringing this legislation before us for consideration 
and approval.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 2362, the Indian Tribal Trade and 
Investment Demonstration Project Act of 2011. First, I want to thank 
the gentleman from the State of Oklahoma, and my good friend, Mr. Tom 
Cole, for his authorship of this important piece of legislation that 
will facilitate economic development by Indian tribes and encourage 
investment by foreign companies.
  Mr. Speaker, despite the recent success of some Indian tribes in 
creating successful gaming enterprises pursuant to the 1988 Indian 
Gaming Regulatory Act, to a large extent, Indian tribes still face 
extreme economic conditions. This is due in part to the perception by 
private lenders and investors that risky conditions prevail in Indian 
country. Because of the Federal Trust Status, Indian lands and 
resources are perceived as risky for collateral, and even loans and 
burdensome regulations restrict and impede efforts to improve economic 
conditions on tribal land.
  Mr. Speaker, according to recent statistics from the U.S. Department 
of Commerce, the overall poverty rate for American Indians/Alaska 
Natives, including children, is higher than that for the total U.S. 
population. The fact is, many of our Indian brothers and sisters remain 
stuck in poverty. With unemployment rates of up to 80-percent in some 
tribal communities, Indian tribes must find creative ways to foster 
economic growth and generate jobs and economic prosperity in these 
struggling communities.
  Mr. Speaker, our Federal Government has a trust obligation to our 
Indian brothers and sisters. A couple of years ago, I was pleased to 
work with the Senator from Hawaii, and my good friend, Senator Inouye 
on legislation that will give Indian tribes access to many tools, such 
as development capital, loans to Indian enterprises, and a host of 
other authorized activities, with the purpose of creating an 
environment that is conducive to Indian country economic development. 
Today, I continue to remain steadfast in my support and am willing to 
work with my colleagues in Congress, to ensure that our federal trust 
obligation to the Indian tribes is uphold.
  Again, I commend Mr. Tom Cole for his leadership. The bill before us 
today will create the Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration 
Project within the U.S. Department of the Interior to include up to six 
Indian tribes or consortia. These tribes will be able to lease land 
currently held in trust by the federal land to conduct such activities 
including business and economic development; public, educational, or 
residential purposes; development or use of natural resources in 
connection with operations under such leases; and grazing and farming 
activities.
  Moreover, the bill will streamline the archaic and burdensome federal 
regulations in place for leasing, to make it easier for Indian Tribes 
to partner with foreign companies that engage

[[Page H5092]]

in economic development on tribal lands. While H.R. 2362 was initially 
developed because of Turkey's interest in working with Indian tribes, I 
am pleased to know that all 155 World Trade Organization countries will 
have the same investment opportunities.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill embodies our federal government trust 
obligation to the economic condition of the Indian tribes and I urge my 
colleagues to support H.R. 2362.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 
minutes to the gentlelady from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx).
  Ms. FOXX. I thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding time.
  I want to associate myself with the words of my very capable and 
articulate colleague from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole), the author of this 
legislation. As he said, this should be a routine bill to be passed on 
suspension on the basis of his comments alone. However, some have 
chosen to try to divert, to take us away from the subject at hand of 
this bill.
  I support H.R. 2362, an important bill designed to bolster global 
economic cooperation by making it easier for Native American tribal 
communities to strengthen ties with foreign trading partners.
  Even though Native American communities suffer from the highest 
unemployment rate in the United States, economic development on tribal 
lands is stifled by a restrictive and archaic leasing system, requiring 
applicants to succumb to a multilayered review process, taking up to 6 
years to complete.
  These unnecessary hurdles have compromised important tribal economic 
development in the past. For example, the Round Valley Indian Housing 
Authority continues to wait, after 9 years, for the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs to process a lease for a large housing project. And in 2006, 
the Swinomish and Walmart agreed to build a store on the reservation 
while the BIA regional office stalled for 2 years before Walmart 
withdrew from the deal following the 2008 financial crisis.
  This bill helps correct these problems by authorizing select tribes 
to develop guidelines for leasing land and services to both foreign and 
domestic companies for economic development purposes. The bill further 
provides for only one approval of the land leasing guidelines by the 
Interior Secretary, thereby reducing current multilayer, prohibitive 
land leasing laws.
  Without imposing any new costs, these changes will promote tribal job 
growth and economic empowerment, encourage foreign and domestic 
investments in Indian Country, all the while, inviting foreign and 
domestic companies to explore commercial opportunities with tribes. 
It's for these reasons that I urge my colleagues to support this 
legislation.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I would like to inquire as to 
the time remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from the Northern Mariana 
Islands has 13 minutes remaining.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentlelady from New York (Mrs. Maloney).
  Mrs. MALONEY. I thank Congressman Sablan for yielding and for his 
hard work in so many areas and his leadership.
  I rise to express my opposition to the Indian Tribal Trade and 
Investment Demonstration Project Act, H.R. 2362.
  This bill is unnecessary and seeks to give special consideration to 
one country--Turkey.

                              {time}  1620

  As a country that has shown both negative and aggressive actions 
toward a number of our allies, Turkey should not be given investment 
preferences in Indian tribal lands through this bill. And they should 
not be given preference over 154 allies, members of the World Trade 
Organization. Nor should they be given preference over American 
businesses that wish to invest in Indian tribal lands. This bill would 
reward a country with a record of human rights and religious freedom 
violations. It has been on the U.S. Commission on International 
Religious Freedom's watch list for 3 consecutive years.
  Just this last Friday, many of us marked the 38th anniversary of 
Turkey's illegal occupation of the northern third of the island 
Republic of Cyprus. Throughout this occupation, Turkey actively seeks 
to alter the heritage and demographics of Cyprus. It has systematically 
destroyed the island's Christian heritage and colonized the area with 
more than 200,000 settlers and 40,000 troops.
  Furthermore, Turkey maintains an economic blockade against Armenia, 
sealing its borders to all trade, and continues to deny the Armenian 
genocide, during which over 1.5 million Armenians perished. I have with 
me the Armenian Assembly and the Armenian National Committee of 
America's letters in opposition to this legislation.
  Also, Turkey has challenged Israel by arguing against Israel's right 
to develop energy sources. Turkey has also threatened American 
businesses by saying it would use force to stop a Texas-based company, 
Noble Energy, from drilling for oil and gas off the shores of Cyprus. 
Turkey has said it will blacklist any business that assists Cyprus and 
Israel in their efforts to jointly develop their country's natural 
resources.
  The preferential treatment given to Turkey in H.R. 2362 is 
unnecessary given the previous passage of the HEARTH Act, which passed 
this body 400-0, passed the Senate, and is now awaiting the President's 
signature. That bill allows domestic and foreign companies to engage in 
leases for housing construction, clean energy, and business 
development. Unlike the HEARTH Act, the bill before us today does 
nothing to support these domestic businesses.
  Last November, the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Michael 
Black, testified before the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs 
Subcommittee, stating that the HEARTH Act ``fosters the same goals 
identified in this bill but on a broader, larger scale.'' Through the 
HEARTH Act, domestic and foreign entities have already been granted an 
expedited route to invest in Native American lands and help their 
economic development.
  Given the redundancies in the bill and the favored treatment it gives 
to one country that has shown threatening and discriminatory action 
toward a number of American allies, I urge my colleagues to join 
Ranking Member Berman and Ranking Member Markey and vote ``no'' on H.R. 
2362.

     From: Andreas Akaras
     Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012, 1:13 a.m.
     To: Elizabeth Darnall
     Subject: H.R. 2362 Tribal Trade Bill (AHEPA email blast)
       On behalf of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive 
     Association (AHEPA), the largest and oldest membership-based 
     organization of American citizens of Greek heritage and 
     Philhellenes, we are outreaching to share AHEPA's position in 
     opposition to H.R. 2362, the Indian Tribal Trade and 
     Investment Demonstration Project Act. We understand H.R. 2362 
     is expected to come to the Floor under Suspension of the 
     Rules this week--perhaps on Monday.
       Position
       AHEPA is opposed to H.R. 2362 for the following reasons:
       1. Turkey's Recent Threats to U.S. Commercial Interests. 
     Why reward it?
       Turkey's has issued threats to the actions of U.S. firm 
     Noble Energy, which is lawfully conducting oil and gas 
     exploration off the coast of Cyprus, in Cyprus's Exclusive 
     Economic Zone (EEZ) in the eastern Mediteranean. Noble Energy 
     is based in Houston, Texas.
       During this same exploration, Turkey's threats have 
     directed at U.S. allies Cyprus and Israel as both countries 
     are working in cooperation via a signed agreement to develop 
     hydrocarbon reserves in their EEZs.
       In response to these threats, House Foreign Affairs 
     Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen stated, ``Turkey's decision to 
     escalate tensions by increasing its military presence in the 
     Mediterranean poses a clear threat to U.S. citizens and 
     interests in the region.''
       Moreover, Turkey has threatened to blacklist international 
     companies willing to work on this particular exploration 
     project off the coast of Cyprus. This would include any U.S. 
     companies.
       Why would the United States Congress facilitate the unique 
     opportunity for private entities from Turkey to engage in 
     trade and financial investment with Indian tribal economies 
     when U.S. private entities and citizens are threatened by 
     Turkey?
       2. Congress has already acted with the overwhelmingly 
     bipartisan-passed HEARTH Act.
       H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act, passed the House 400-0 and the 
     Senate by UC. It will be signed into law by President Obama.
       The HEARTH Act promotes trade and investment on Native 
     American lands without requiring the approval of the Bureau 
     of Indian Affairs.
       As the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mike 
     Black, testified before the House Committee on Natural 
     Resources in November 3, 2011, H.R. 205 ``foster[s] the same 
     goals identified in H.R. 2362 on a broader scale.''
       The HEARTH Act benefits all tribes; not a select few that 
     could benefit from H.R. 2362.

[[Page H5093]]

       Simply stated, passage of H.R. 205 renders H.R. 2362 
     unnecessary.
       3. Section 1(b) Findings (1)(2)(3) of H.R. 2362 displays 
     preferential treatment for the Republic of Turkey over other 
     WTO nations. Why?
       Proponents state that no particular country is granted a 
     commercial advantage under the bill, yet the bill's Findings 
     section clearly single-out and champion Turkey.
       If proponents were serious about amending H.R. 2362 to 
     provide all WTO countries with a level playing field, it 
     would not state ``Turkey and all other WTO countries.''
       4. Turkish Entities Under Investigation in the United 
     States.
       Mainstream U.S. media outlets have reported on the growth 
     of Turkish charter schools in America, as many as 120 of 
     them, and how the schools have come under federal 
     investigation for how they are administered.
       The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on March 20, 2011, ``But 
     federal agencies--including the FBI and the Departments of 
     Labor and Education--are investigating whether some charter 
     school employees are kicking back part of their salaries to a 
     Muslim movement founded by Gulen known as Hizmet, or Service, 
     according to knowledgeable sources.''
       In addition the New York Times in a June 6, 2011 article 
     raised the same concerns about how the schools spend taxpayer 
     money, ``And it raises questions about whether, ultimately, 
     the schools are using taxpayer dollars to benefit the Gulen 
     movement--by giving business to Gulen followers, or through 
     financial arrangements with local foundations that promote 
     Gulen teachings and Turkish culture.'' The article also 
     reports on federal investigations about abuse of a visa 
     program to bring in expatriate employees.
       5. Turkey's Treatment of Minority Populations.
       The U.S. House of Representatives must take into 
     consideration Turkey's treatment of minority populations.
       The United States Commission on International Religious 
     Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal 
     government commission established by the U.S. Congress, has 
     recommended Turkey be designated a ``country of particular 
     concern'' (CPC) in its 2012 annual report. Prior to this 
     designation, Turkey was placed on its ``Watch List'' for 
     three consecutive years (2009-2011).
       According to the Executive Summary of the 2011 U.S. State 
     Department Human Rights Report on Turkey, there is 
     ``inadequate protection of vulnerable populations'' within 
     Turkey.
       In addition to these reasons, AHEPA is dismayed the House 
     Committee on Foreign Affairs was not provided an opportunity 
     to vet H.R. 2362.
       We note a concern with Turkey's foreign policy direction 
     and history that conflicts with the best interests of the 
     United States, including: the aforementioned belligerent 
     posture toward Israel, its vote against a UN resolution to 
     impose sanctions against Iran with regard to that country's 
     nuclear weapons program, its 38-year illegal invasion and 
     subsequent illegal occupation of the Republic of Cyprus, a 
     member of the European Union and current holder of the EU 
     presidency; its continued violations of Greece's sovereignty 
     in the Aegean Sea, a staunch NATO ally; and its blockade of 
     Armenia.
       Hellenic Caucus Opposition
       We also thought you would be interested to learn of AHEPA's 
     position because the congressman is a member of the 
     Congressional Hellenic Caucus.
       The Congressional Hellenic Caucus is opposed to H.R. 2362 
     and has circulated a DC letter on the issue. Please contacts 
     Chairs U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis or Carolyn Maloney to sign 
     the DC letter.
       Thank you also for consideration of AHEPA's position. We 
     hope the congressman will take all of the points presented 
     into consideration and will oppose H.R. 2362.

                                            Andreas N. Akaras,

                                                          Advisor,
     Office of Congressman John Sarbanes.
                                  ____

     From: Andreas Akaras
     Monday, July 23, 2012 11:16 AM
     To: Elizabeth Darnall
     Subject: email blast from Armenian Assembly sent this morning
       On behalf of the Armenian Assembly of America, I am writing 
     to urge a ``NO'' vote on H.R. 2362, the Indian Tribal Trade 
     and Investment Demonstration Project Act of 2011 when it is 
     considered today.
       H.R. 2362 is not necessary as a more comprehensive measure, 
     H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act has already been adopted by the 
     House and Senate.
       The HEARTH Act unlike H.R. 2362 allows all Indian tribes, 
     not just a select few to engage in economic development 
     projects with foreign entities.
       H.R. 2362 undermines the HEARTH Act because it seeks to 
     endorse and offer special consideration to one country--
     Turkey--over every other WTO member country. With respect to 
     the WTO, numerous complaints ranging from restrictions on 
     imports of textile and clothing products to anti-dumping 
     duties on steel have been lodged against Turkey.
       The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has highlighted 
     several areas of concern regarding Turkey's trade policies 
     and practices in its 2012 National Trade Estimate Report on 
     Foreign Trade Barriers, including its import policies and 
     exports subsidies, yet H.R. 2362 specifically highlights 
     Turkey.
       Given Turkey's lack of respect for human rights its ongoing 
     blockade of landlocked Armenia and its illegal occupation of 
     the Republic of Cyprus, passage of H.R. 2362 would send the 
     wrong message to the international community that the United 
     States is not committed to human rights, democracy and the 
     rule of law.
       Examples of Turkey's record:
       The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in 
     its 2012 Annual Report has recommended that Turkey be 
     designated as a ``country of particular concern'' due to 
     ``the Turkish government's systematic and egregious 
     limitations on the freedom of religion . . .''
       According to the 2011 Freedom House report, ``Turkey 
     struggles with corruption in government and in daily life.'' 
     In addition, according to an April 2012 Freedom House 
     article, ``the number of journalists imprisoned in Turkey has 
     nearly doubled'' from 57 in 2011 to 95 journalists in 2012.
       Turkey also continues to deny the Armenian Genocide (New 
     York Times Op-Ed--July 19, 2012), while at the same time 
     accuses Israel of committing genocide and has defended the 
     genocidal regime of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir even 
     after Bashir's indictment (BBC News--November 6, 2009) for 
     war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
       For all of the aforementioned reasons, the Armenian 
     Assembly strongly opposes H.R. 2362 and urges a ``NO'' vote.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Bryan Ardouny,
     Executive Director.
                                  ____

     From: petian7@gmail.com on behalf of Kate Nahapetian 
         [Kate@anca.org]
     Sent: Friday, July 20, 2012 4:09 PM
     To: Kate Nahapetian
     Subject: VOTE NO ON H.R. 2362
       On behalf of the Armenian National Committee of America, I 
     am writing to express our opposition to H.R. 2362, the Indian 
     Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act of 
     2011.
       1. H.R. 2362 is redundant and unnecessary
       The House and Senate have already passed the HEARTH Act 
     (H.R. 205), which has already accomplished the aims of H.R. 
     2362 to promote trade and investment on Native American lands 
     without requiring the approval of the Bureau of Indian 
     Affairs. As the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
     testified before the House in November 2011, H.R. 205 
     ``foster[s] the same goals identified in H.R. 2362 on a 
     broader scale.'' Turkey and other countries have already been 
     granted an expedited route to invest in Native American 
     lands. This bill will not create any new jobs or investment 
     opportunities that have not already been provided by H.R. 
     205.
       2. H.R. 2362 creates an implied preference for Turkey
       By singling out the Republic of Turkey in its findings 
     section, the bill will create confusion around the granting 
     of an actual preference for Turkey during the drafting of 
     regulations or their implementation, should this bill become 
     law. Other nations, including those, such as Canada, which 
     already have leases in place are not mentioned at all, which 
     leaves the impression that Turkey is somehow more deserving 
     of favorable treatment.
       3. This measure is morally wrong
       The U.S. Congress should not extend special economic 
     benefits to a country that remains an unrepentant perpetrator 
     of genocide against millions of its own indigenous 
     minorities, including Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and 
     others. At a time when Turkey continues to oppress its 
     indigenous minorities, confiscates Christian churches and 
     properties, denies the Armenian Genocide and threatens the 
     United States if we merely commemorate this crime, occupies 
     our ally Cyprus, and both threatens and excludes our ally 
     Israel from international initiatives, promoting Turkey in 
     the findings section is misplaced and does not reflect the 
     values of American citizens.
       Today, it is criminal to even discuss Turkey's genocidal 
     policies and these indigenous minorities continue to face 
     persecution in Turkey. The U.S. Commission for International 
     Religious Freedom has documented that the Turkish 
     government's continued limitations on religious freedom are 
     ``threatening the continued vitality and survival of minority 
     religious communities in Turkey.'' In its 2012 report, the 
     Commission recommended that, Turkey be designated as a 
     ``country of particular concern,'' along with Iran, Sudan, 
     and Saudi Arabia, due to ``the Turkish government's 
     systematic and egregious limitations on the freedom of 
     religion. . .'' Moreover, just r few weeks ago Turkey ordered 
     the expropriation Mor Gabriel, one of the oldest Christian 
     monasteries in the--world.
       As Nina Shea, a Commissioner, recently wrote:
       Turkey's Christian minorities struggle to find places in 
     which they can worship, are denied seminaries in which to 
     train future leaders, are barred from wearing clerical garb 
     in public, see the trials of the murderers of their prominent 
     members end with impunity, and, above all, lack the legal 
     right to be recognized as churches so that their members can 
     be assured of their rights to gather freely in sacred spaces 
     for religious marriages, funerals, and baptisms, and 
     otherwise carry out the full practice of their respective 
     religions.
       We do not believe providing trade preferences, even if just 
     implied, to a country that exhibits such a disdain for 
     religious freedom and its minorities, is a message that 
     reflects the values of our country.

[[Page H5094]]

       4. Turkey prohibits trade with Armenia, a U.S. ally which 
     has tripled its troop deployment to Afghanistan
       We should not be providing trade preferences to Turkey, a 
     country that has been blockading landlocked Armenia for 
     nearly twenty years. Close to a quarter of Armenia's 
     population--has been forced from their homeland over the past 
     decade, largely as a result of the economic dislocation 
     caused by Turkey's blockade, the last closed border of 
     Europe.
           Sincerely,
                                                  Kate Nahapetian,
     Government Affairs Director.
                                  ____

     Sent to Issue(s): Foreign Affairs, Natural Resources
     Subject: The Truth About H.R. 2362
     From: The Honorable Tom Cole
     Sent By: stratton.edwards@mail.house.gov
     Bill: H.R. 2362
     Date: 7/23/2012
       Dear Colleague, I want to highlight my responses below to 
     recent criticism of my legislation, H.R. 2362, which will be 
     considered under suspension of the rules this afternoon.
       1. H.R. 2362 is redundant and unnecessary
       Leasing on tribal lands is an overly complicated system 
     that requires extensive review and Secretarial approval. This 
     legislation may be operationally the same as the HEARTH Act, 
     which passed the House and Senate and is waiting for the 
     President's signature, but tribes want both programs to give 
     them the flexibility to address lease reforms using which 
     program best suits their needs, which is why the National 
     Congress of American Indians and the National American Indian 
     Housing Council strongly support this legislation in addition 
     the HEARTH Act.
       2. H.R. 2362 creates an implied preference for Turkey
       I authored H.R. 2352 in response to Turkish entities 
     expressing interest in doing business with American Indians. 
     The findings reflect that interest. Despite this, the 
     legislation gives no preference to Turkey over any of the 155 
     other WTO countries. This legislation does not alter any 
     leases already in place. I applaud our trading partners 
     engaged in economic development with Tribes and look forward 
     to this legislation encouraging expansion of those 
     partnerships.
       3. This measure is morally wrong
       American Indians across the United States face unimaginable 
     poverty. Unemployment on Indian reservations is unfathomably 
     high. Economic development on tribal lands is hampered 
     because of overly complicated and archaic regulations. It is 
     morally wrong not to do everything in our power to give 
     tribes, and American citizens, every opportunity to succeed. 
     While not as sweeping as the HEARTH Act, H.R. 2362 provides 
     tribes with additional tools they need to help them succeed.
       4. Turkey prohibits trade with Armenia, a U.S. ally which 
     has tripled its troop deployment to Afghanistan
       Turkey is a NATO ally and a critical and willing partner in 
     the War on Terror. Turkish troops have fought alongside 
     American soldiers as far back as the Korean Conflict. The 
     United States maintains Incirlik Air Force base in Turkey. 
     While Turkey and Armenia have a long history of conflict, 
     that history is irrelevant to this legislation. This 
     legislation will economically empower Indian tribes and help 
     the most disadvantaged Americans while providing no special 
     treatment for Turkey over any other WTO member country.
           Sincerely,
                                                         Tom Cole,
                                               Member of Congress.

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 
minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran).
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this Indian Tribal Trade 
and Investment Demonstration Project Act.
  Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate on American Indian reservations 
averages between 40-50 percent, and it is intergenerational. Income, 
employment, and educational attainment are all well below the American 
average. As a member of the Interior Appropriations Committee, I am 
very much aware of that, as Mr. Cole is. But the fact is every Member 
of this body should be as intensely aware as Mr. Cole and those 
supporting this legislation are, of the immense needs in Indian country 
and the serious shortfall the Federal Government confronts in meeting 
its obligations to Native Americans and Native Alaskans.
  Some have suggested that private enterprise on reservations may help 
substantially in alleviating that poverty. And with rising income, many 
of the social and health-related ills that Native Americans confront in 
disproportionate numbers will decline. That ought to be a national 
responsibility, and, really, an obligation. The fact is that this act 
would test the theory by enabling foreign investors to partner with 
Native Americans on reservations to create new businesses and generate 
income where little to none exists today.
  The legislation complements other legislation that Congress has 
already passed, allowing tribes to simplify leasing arrangements to 
address their housing needs. Go to a reservation and see the housing 
needs. This bill will bring new capital into reservations and simplify 
the arrangements under which long-term leases with private investors 
can be executed. While the proposal may initially have focused on 
foreign investment from one country, Turkey, it has been amended to 
include all 155 World Trade Organization countries.
  I applaud the government of Turkey for coming up with this original 
proposal and for what is a genuine offer of assistance and friendship.
  I understand the objections that have been raised that really have 
very little to do with this legislation.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I yield the gentleman from Virginia an 
additional 1 minute.
  Mr. MORAN. I thank the gentleman very much. I appreciate the 
additional time to make a further point.
  Turkey and Israel have long enjoyed amicable relations. Turkey was 
the first Muslim country to recognize the State of Israel. The two 
states remain active trade partners. Their bilateral trade volume is 
almost $3 billion. It is Israel's sixth-largest trading partner. Israel 
exports chemicals, agriculture products, and high-tech manufacturing 
machinery to Turkey. And Turkey exports textiles and transport 
equipment to Israel. Israel needs Turkey as a trading partner.
  The fact is that, according to the Israel-Turkey Business Council, 
bilateral trade between the two nations increased 35 percent between 
2010 and 2011 despite the diplomatic tensions that emerged in 2009. The 
reality is that they are working together. They want to work together 
and transcend politics. Bilateral trade is in the interest of both 
nations.
  This is in the interest of the Native American nations. Gosh sakes, 
they deserve this kind of help after we turned our back on one treaty 
after another, as has already been said. This is a unique opportunity. 
We ought to seize it.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Sarbanes).
  Mr. SARBANES. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I rise in 
opposition to H.R. 2362 because I don't believe that the preferential 
consideration which it gives to the interest of one country, Turkey, 
can be justified.
  There is no dispute over what many of our colleagues have said today, 
which is that there are tremendous needs on the part of Native American 
tribes, and a desire I think shared widely here for economic 
development opportunities on tribal lands. We all know the statistics. 
But that goal of achieving enhanced economic development on tribal 
lands has been achieved through the HEARTH Act. As Congresswoman 
Maloney just indicated a minute ago, Michael Black, director of the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs, testified that the HEARTH Act ``fosters the 
same goals identified in H.R. 2362 on a broader scale.'' We don't need 
this legislation to accomplish all of the important things that have 
been articulated here.
  I have tremendous respect for Congressman Cole, and he just gave a 
very powerful articulation of the legacy that he carries in his DNA and 
why he is so passionate about these issues, and we share his 
perspective on the important need to develop tribal lands, but this 
particular piece of legislation is redundant at best, and it gives this 
unjustified preference to Turkish interests.
  This presents a number of issues. First of all, there are some 
concerns on the trade front. Now, I understand the bill was amended 
because originally it would have given exclusive opportunity to Turkish 
enterprises without regard to the rest of the WTO nations. Now that's 
been changed so other the WTO nations can participate.

                              {time}  1630

  But if you look at the bill, Turkey's interests are discussed all 
through it. It's infused with language about Turkey. The findings 
section is about Turkey. And frankly, a Turkish enterprise could take 
this bill, once it passed, and

[[Page H5095]]

use it as a passport to get preferential consideration with respect to 
these economic opportunities. So I think it does present some continued 
concern with respect to trade concerns.
  But on the foreign policy front, even if you felt it were important 
to give preferential consideration for purposes of a demonstration 
project or a pilot project to one nation's interest over others, why 
would you select the country of Turkey given its record? That's why 
Ranking Member Berman has sent a Dear Colleague letter around urging 
opposition to this bill, because he knows from a foreign policy 
standpoint the record of Turkey.
  I have to mention a few of these things because they're compelling. 
Increasingly, Turkey has become hostile to our ally, Israel, recently 
threatening to mobilize its air and naval assets to escort ships to 
Gaza and to stop Israel from developing energy sources in its Exclusive 
Economic Zone in the eastern Mediterranean.
  Secondly, in June of 2010, NATO member Turkey voted against the 
United Nations resolution imposing sanctions against Iran to thwart its 
nuclear weapons program.
  Thirdly, Turkey has just now been put on the U.S. Commission on 
International and Religious Freedom watch list for its widespread 
discrimination of minority religious communities.
  Fourthly, Turkey has threatened the use of force to stop Texas-based 
Noble Energy--this is an American company--from drilling for oil and 
gas off the shores of Cyprus and Israel and to blacklist any businesses 
that work with Cyprus or Israel for natural resource extraction.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. SABLAN. I yield the gentleman 1 additional minute.
  Mr. SARBANES. We've heard the discussion of how Turkey has 
continually denied the Armenian genocide of 1915 to 1923 during which 
1.5 million Armenians perished and since 1993 has maintained a 
destabilizing blockade of Armenia.
  Now some would say these are irrelevant issues. They're very 
relevant. If you're going to choose a country to which you're going to 
extend some preferential consideration, these kinds of activities and 
this kind of legacy ought to be part of your consideration.
  Finally, for more than 38 years, Turkey has illegally occupied the 
northern third of the island Republic of Cyprus, which is a member of 
the European Union. In fact, as of July 1, Cyprus assumed the 
presidency of the European Union, but Turkey refuses to recognize this.
  These are all relevant to the question of whether a preferential 
consideration ought to be extended to one country. It's not justified, 
and it's not warranted. I join Ranking Member Markey and Ranking Member 
Berman in urging opposition to H.R. 2362.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield the remainder of my 
time to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Boren).
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Oklahoma is recognized 
for 4 minutes.
  Mr. BOREN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong--very strong--support 
of H.R. 2362, the Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration 
Project Act of 2011.
  In an effort to reduce unemployment and incentivize investment, H.R. 
2362 allows--again, we have said this all along the debate--all 155 
World Trade Organization countries to participate in a trial trade 
program directly with sovereign Native American tribes in the United 
States. Specifically, it would authorize the Secretary of the Interior 
to select up to six tribes to participate in a program that would allow 
them to use their land for economic development.
  In addition to creating jobs, H.R. 2362 would provide a path for 
economic empowerment of tribes and encourages foreign and domestic 
investment in Indian Country. With this bill, we can give tribes the 
means and the authority to address specific issues plaguing Indian 
Country.
  I want to also, as Mr. Moran and many other members on our side of 
the aisle have done, commend my good friend, Mr. Cole, for his 
diligence on this issue, for his persistence and for all that he has 
done for Indian Country. Mr. Cole mentioned in his debate earlier that 
there are a lot of different organizations that are supporting this 
legislation. He talked about NCAI and a whole list of others.
  Again, if you ask Indian Country, ``Do you support this bill?'' 
they're saying, ``Yes.'' The other people that are saying, well, we're 
opposed to it, it's not coming from Indian Country. It's not coming 
from places like my home State of Oklahoma.
  So I ask my colleagues that are watching this debate to give their 
deepest consideration and to support this legislation. Again, I want to 
say ``thank you'' to Mr. Cole, to the chairman and to all the other 
Members who are supporting this legislation.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 
minutes again to the author of this legislation, the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Cole).
  Mr. COLE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I want to thank my friends on the other side of the aisle for 
participating in the debate. I understand the passions here are high, 
and I actually respect that a great deal even when I disagree with the 
policy conclusions that may have led some of my colleagues to.
  I do ask you to stop and think, there is a sort of a contradiction in 
your argument: It's both redundant and yet gives special preferences. 
Both those things can't be true. It suggests to me the real argument is 
fundamentally different from those two points. The reality is it gives 
no one special preferences. We tried to listen to that point.
  I wish other countries were beating down my door to want to go do 
work on Indian reservations and to want to partner with Indians. They 
aren't. I know of one country that has really cared enough to do this.
  Now, there are a range of disputes in other areas. Those are 
legitimate disputes, and those are matters that ought to be the subject 
of serious discussion and debate on the floor, but have nothing to do 
with this bill. They have nothing to do with this bill. They're about 
ancient and current acrimonies and differences that ought to be settled 
in other forums on other issues but not on this bill, and certainly not 
at the expense of the least advantaged, frankly, the most disadvantaged 
part of our own population. I wish I could get more American companies 
that wanted to go on reservations and sit down and work with people 
about creating jobs. That's all this bill is about.
  To those of you that have other concerns, I recognize the legitimacy 
of those concerns. But I just ask you to focus on the nature of the 
legislation. The New World is supposed to be able to put some of the 
Old World's controversies behind us, and certainly on a topic like 
this.
  So for those of you, again, that have a different opinion, I respect 
it. But I also point out that Turkey is an ally of the United States. 
It has been for decades and decades. It's an important regional partner 
for the United States. This strengthens that relationship, as well, and 
the interest and the commitment in this area is genuine.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I yield the gentleman 1 additional 
minute.
  Mr. COLE. The interest in this area is genuine and real. Shouldn't 
that be something we should take and build on and try and add to and 
encourage? There needs to be a competition here. Let's build a 
competition to help Indian Country. Other countries can step up. 
Foreign companies can step up. Let's get a blueprint on how to do it. 
It is more complex than we would like to admit or acknowledge. That's 
one of the reasons why there's not American investments in these 
places.
  I can take you to some of the Indian reservations in North and South 
Dakota where the unemployment rate is 80 percent and the State 
unemployment is under 5. Should that tell you how serious the problem 
is? I'd like to get anybody interested in helping and doing it 
legitimately.
  We now have a level playing field for everybody. There are no 
preferences in this bill. Let's encourage other people to join the 
competition. Have them come in, and maybe they've got a better idea and 
a better way. But in the

[[Page H5096]]

meantime, we should pass this bill, we should get about the business of 
putting Americans to work--the first Americans--and certainly Americans 
on Indian reservations that have every obstacle in the world against 
them. This bill will give one more tool in the toolbox. It's not a 
panacea, but it's a tool they ought to have.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I would like to inquire if the 
other side has any additional speakers.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I would tell my friend I 
have no more requests for time, and I am prepared to close if the 
gentleman is.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, then, at this time, I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, once again, I urge adoption 
of this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Native American 
Caucus and co-sponsor, I rise today in support of H.R. 2362, ``The 
Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstrations Project Act of 
2011.'' This bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to select up 
to six Indian tribes or consortia of Indian tribes to participate in an 
Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project that 
facilitates trade and financial investment in Indian tribal economies 
by private entities from Turkey.
  Tribes selected for the program are to develop their own guidelines 
for leasing land and services to both foreign and domestic companies 
for economic development purposes. This act requires that the Secretary 
of Interior approve land leasing guidelines only once, reducing current 
multi-layer prohibitive land leasing laws. H.R. 2362 is a demonstration 
project, and if successful it would be expanded. This bill has been 
amended to expand the period of the demonstration project from one to 
three years to allow reasonable time for Tribes to draft leasing 
regulations, attain approval by the Secretary of Interior, and enter 
into a lease.
  Economic development on tribal lands is hampered by a restrictive and 
archaic leasing system that requires applications to go through 
multiple levels of review and can sometimes take up to six years. 
Examples of projects delayed by this application process: Round Valley 
Indian Housing Authority has been waiting for nine years for BIA to 
process a lease for a large housing project. In 2006, the Swinomish 
made a deal with Wal-Mart to build a store on the reservation. The BIA 
regional office sat on the lease for two years and Wal-Mart pulled out 
of the deal after the 2008 financial crisis.
  During a hearing on the bill held in the Subcommittee on Indian and 
Alaska Native Affairs, a tribal witness explained that Turkey has a 
long track record of promoting good relations and trade between its 
private business community and Indian tribes in the United States. The 
intent of the bill is to further such relations to increase private 
business development in Indian Country where economic diversification 
is greatly needed. This bill also allows all 155 members of the World 
Trade Organization (WTO) an equal opportunity to invest in Indian 
tribal economies.
  Mr. Speaker, the major purpose and dominant aim of this bill is to 
promote economic development is Indian Country and not to reward or 
show favoritism to Turkey. The reason Turkey is directly recognized in 
this legislation is to acknowledge its helpful role in developing this 
bill.
  Mr. Speaker, Native Americans suffer from the highest unemployment 
and social illness rates reported in the United States. This 
legislation will be the first step to ameliorating those ailments and 
begin to diversify Indian Country.
  That is why this legislation is strongly supported by the National 
Congress of American Indians and the National American Indian Housing 
Council two of the nation's leading advocacy organizations on behalf of 
Native Americans. I will continue support legislation that invests in 
our economy and our Indian tribes. I urge my colleagues to support this 
demonstration so that we can expand this much needed project.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, nothing in H.R. 2362 can't be accomplished 
by H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act, which passed the House unanimously in May 
and was just last week passed by the Senate without change. The 
President is expected to sign H.R. 205 into law any day now.
  Unlike H.R. 2362, the HEARTH Act authorizes all tribes to engage in 
leasing activities with any nation--foreign or domestic--for economic 
development purposes on tribal lands. It does not discriminate based on 
world geography, or benefit a select few tribes who qualify under 
strict requirements for a time-limited demonstration project.
  In light of H.R. 205, there is simply no need for H.R. 2362. It is 
redundant and unnecessary and should be rejected by the House on this 
basis alone.
  But there are serious reasons to oppose H.R. 2362.
  By acknowledging Turkey's ``unique interest'' in developing tribal 
economies and in building ``robust'' relationships between it and 
tribal communities, this legislation rewards a country with a terrible 
history of human rights and religious freedom violations, threats to 
U.S. commercial interests in Cyprus, and--most importantly--its refusal 
to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide which resulted in the deaths of 
1.5 million people.
  The manager's amendment to include WTO countries does not change the 
fact that Turkey is singled out for preferential treatment and will 
benefit through increased investment opportunities in Indian country.
  Congress should not be in the business of rewarding countries with 
appalling records on human rights to develop economic ties to Indian 
country on a preferential basis.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Washington (Mr. Hastings) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 2362, as amended.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

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