Today, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, made the following statement on the unanimous Senate passage of the Bridgeport Indian Colony Land Trust, Health, and Economic Development Act of 2012 (H.R. 2467) and a bill to allow the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to determine the requirements for membership in that tribe (H.R. 3319), which passed the Senate late last night.
"H.R. 2467 calls for land in Mono County, California to be taken into trust for the Bridgeport Indian Colony. Access to land is essential for any community to be able to grow and flourish. The passage of this bill will allow the Bridgeport Indian Colony to provide more government services for their members.
"H.R. 3319will allow the Pascua YaquiTribe to determine its own membership requirements and will bring parity to them as the majority of federally recognized tribes that are not under such burdensome restrictions.
"I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives worked in a bi-partisan fashion to unanimously pass these important bills," said Chairman Akaka.
H.R. 2467 was passed by the House of Representatives on July 23, and was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on September 21. H.R. 3319 was passed by the House of Representatives on September 19. Both bills now head to the President for enactment.