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Public Statements

On the Introduction of Legislation to Facilitate Business and Agricultural Leasing of Navajo Nation Lands

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LUJÁN. Madam Speaker, I rise today to introduce legislation to enable Navajo Nation
to enter into 99-year commercial leases for economic development purposes.

Navajo Nation is the largest tribe in the United States. It's comprised of over 250,000 members and extends over 27,000 square miles of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

Today's Navajo Nation has worked to provide economic development opportunities and partnerships with individuals, small business owners, and large commercial establishments. With successful initiatives including the Diné Power Authority and the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, the Nation has been at the forefront of economic development on tribal lands.

Today I am introducing legislation that I hope will enable the Nation to develop new projects and exercise their tribal sovereignty. This bill will authorize the Navajo Nation to enter into commercial leases of up to 99 years on their tribal lands. This simple revision of current law will level the playing field for the Nation by allowing it to enter into the same terms that commercial leases are typically offered.

It is my hope that the offering of 99-year leases will trigger additional economic growth on the Navajo Nation. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this necessary legislation.

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