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Public Statements

Mescalero Apache Tribe Leasing Authorization Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PEARCE. This bill is straightforward and simple. It allows the Mescalero Apache Indian Tribe to permit or lease or transfer their water rights for a term up to 99 years. The courts decided that they would have these rights back in 1993, but we need the legislation that would permit it. This effort is bipartisan. It's even pursued in both the House and the Senate--Senator Bingaman has a bill--so it's noncontroversial. It simply does the right thing. It's important. It allows the tribe self-determination and it also gives them economic opportunities. The leasing of the water rights will provide them with revenues that they desperately need.

It's for the best interest of all New Mexicans. During this current drought, water is of scarce supply in New Mexico, and this would allow the tribe to lease water to communities that are desperately needing water at this point. It's important to the tribes. It's important to New Mexico.

I recommend that all vote for H.R. 1461, and urge its passage.


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