CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1834, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 1834 was introduced on April 1, 2009, by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ). The bill was incorporated into H.R. 2352, which passed the House on May 20, 2009, by a vote of 406-15.
H.R. 1834 authorizes $2 million in each of Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 for the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Native American Affairs. The bill also authorizes $15 million in Fiscal Year 2010 and $17 million in Fiscal Year 2011 for grants of up to $300,000 for tribal business information centers. These centers assist Native Americans to start and expand small businesses. Finally, H.R. 1834 authorizes $7 million in each of Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 for grants of up to $300,000 for SBDCs in States with populations made up of over 1 percent Indian tribe members.
Some Members may be concerned that the bill also provides funding to Native Hawaiians, a racial group which is not a tribe. Such financial assistance on the basis of race would likely be subject to "strict scrutiny" in federal courts and is presumptively unconstitutional.
A CBO score for H.R. 1834 is not yet available.