S.212 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2019
This bill makes several revisions related to economic development for Native American communities.
Passed Senate (06/27/2019)
Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2019
The bill also requires coordination between Commerce, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of the Treasury to support economic development in Native American communities.
(Sec. 3) Specifically, the bill establishes duties for the Office of Native American Business Development, including (1) advising the Department of Commerce regarding the relationship between the United States and Indian tribes; and (2) serving as the point of contact for tribes, tribal organizations, and members of tribes regarding economic development and doing business in Indian lands.
The Government Accountability Office must conduct a study that assesses (1) current programs and services that assist Native American communities with business and economic development; (2) assistance provided to Native Americans pursuant to loan, bond, and tax incentive programs; and (3) alternative incentives for tribal governments to invest in a Native American community development investment fund or bank.
Under the bill, assistance from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund benefiting Native American institutions does not require matching funds.
(Sec. 5) Additionally, the bill authorizes the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to provide financial assistance to Native American community development financial institutions. ANA must give priority for financial assistance to applicants whose programs seek to develop (1) tribal codes and court systems relating to economic development, (2) tribal business structures, (3) community development financial institutions, or (4) tribal master plans for community and economic development and infrastructure.
(Sec. 4) The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use Native American labor and purchase Native American industry products, unless Interior or HHS determines it would be impracticable and unreasonable to do so. Among other requirements, HHS and Interior must conduct outreach to Indian industrial entities in the implementation of enterprise development.