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Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Location: Washington DC



S. 2277. A bill to amend the Act of November 2, 1966 (80 Stat. 1112), to allow binding arbitration clauses to be included in all contracts affecting the land within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation; to the Committee on Indian Affairs.

Mr. MCCAIN. Mr. President, today I am introducing legislation to provide a technical correction that would once again allow binding arbitration clauses to be included in all contracts affecting the land within the Salt River Pima-Mariposa Indian Community (SRPMIC). A companion bill is being introduced today by Congressman HAYWORTH.

The SRPMIC located in Scottsdale, AZ, one of the most diversified economic development portfolios in Indian country. Blessed with a prime location in metropolitan Phoenix, the Tribe has nearly a dozen business enterprises including a sand and gravel operation, a cement company, two golf courses, and a shopping center. The tribe wants to continue diversifying their economy in the hopes of becoming economically self-sufficient. This legislation is intended to help them achieve this goal.

This bill would make technical corrections to title 2l5, U.S. Code, Section 416a© relating to "binding arbitration of disputes." Recently, in an effort to consolidate and streamline various rules, regulations, and laws, some sections of Title 25, U.S. Code, Section 81 were repealed that affected the Bureau of Indian Affairs. An unintended consequence of this consolidation was that the definition for leases, which included sublease, substitute lease, and master lease, was altered. Simply put, this legislation would reinstate the prior definition for leases on the reservation to include subleases, substitute leases, and master leases. Without this clarification, the tribe fears that potential tenants may be leery to invest on tribal land.

This legislation may seem minor, but it would go a long way toward helping the SRPMIC achieve the economic self-sufficiency it is working toward. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and work for its speedy passage.

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