Sending Office: Honorable Norma J. Torres
Endorsing Organizations: National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, National Congress of American Indians, Native American Contractors Association, Native American Finance Officers Association, Native American
Financial Services Association, United and South Eastern Tribes, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes, Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, Coalition of Large Tribes
Co-Sponsors: Torres (D-CA), Cole (R-OK), Radewagen (R-AS), McCollum (D-MN), Kind (D-WI), Grijalva (D-AZ), O‘Halleran (D-AZ), Jackson Lee (D-TX), Moore (D-WI), Khanna (D-CA), Meeks (D-NY), Soto (D-FL), Gomez (D-CA)
Native Americans face barriers and challenges, such as lack of infrastructure and access to capital, which contribute to and compound the high rate of poverty and unemployment. Aggravating these problems is the lack of parity in treatment of Indian tribes
as governmental entities under federal tax and other regulatory laws which has impeded tribes’ ability to benefit from other investment incentives accorded to state and local governmental entities.
In order to support Indian Country’s ability to become more self-sufficient and tap into tribes’ entrepreneurial spirit, we have introduced the
Jobs for Tribes Act, a bill that will provide urgently needed business and economic development assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native communities, their enterprises, and Native businesses. The legislation also requires the development of
a strategy for the promotion and/or facilitation of increased commerce between Native American tribes and indigenous peoples of the Western hemisphere.
This legislation would create and enhance a variety of economic development tools and resources that include: elevating and funding the Department of Commerce’s Office of Native American Business Development; expanding the Buy Indian Act’s application; reauthorizing
the Native American Programs Act; promoting investments in Indian Country through federal loan guarantee programs and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s programs; directing Government Accountability Office studies and assessments; establishing
a grant program within the Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development to develop and operate business incubators that serve Native American communities and assist Native American entrepreneurs, and business startups and established
enterprises owned by tribal governments or individual Native Americans.
As the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs and Co-Chair of the Native American Congressional Caucus, we urge you to join us in cosponsoring the Jobs for Tribes Act. It’s time we provide Indian
Country the tools it needs to pursue increased self-sufficiency and economic prosperity.
For more information, to sign on as a cosponsor, or if you have any questions, please contact Rudy Soto at Rudy.Soto@mail.house.gov or at 225-6161.
Norma J. Torres
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs
Native American Congressional Caucus
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