H.R. 4867, Economic Development through Tribal Land Exchange Act

H.R. 4867

Economic Development through Tribal Land Exchange Act

Sponsor
Rep. Raul Ruiz

Date
November 13, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Thursday, November 13, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 4867, the Economic Development Through Tribal Land Exchange Act, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 4867 was introduced on June 12, 2014 by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.  The bill was marked up on July 30, 2014 and was ordered reported, as amended, by unanimous consent.[1]

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[1] House Committee Report 113-606.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4867 authorizes a land exchange in California to benefit the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.  The exchange involves the Morongo tribe, the City of Banning, California, and landowner Lloyd Fields.  “The purpose of the exchange is to consolidate in tribal ownership a partially checker-boarded area within the Morongo Reservation containing land currently owned by Mr. Fields.  In exchange, the tribe shall convey to Fields a parcel of land on the edge of the reservation affording him suitable accessibility for economic and other uses.  Under the bill, several public easements will be provided to the City of Banning for various public purposes.”[2]

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[2] Id. at 2.

Background

The Morongo Reservation, which is located eighty miles east of Los Angeles, was established by executive order in the late 1800s.[3]  The Reservation comprises more than 30,000 acres and certain portions near the city of Banning are “checker-boarded” by other property.[4]  Years ago, private landowner Lloyd Fields acquired forty-one acres of land, which was subsequently surrounded by land acquired by the tribe.[5]  A dispute erupted among the Tribe, the city of Banning, and Fields when he sought to develop the property.[6]  The tribe limited Fields’ access by constructing a guard post on the only road that accessed the property, which Fields asserted was illegal.[7]  The City was uncertain about its authority to remove the post.[8]  The parties settled the dispute by agreeing to a land exchange.[9]  H.R. 4867 authorizes and implements the exchange.[10]

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[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Id.
[7] Id. at 2-3.
[8] Id. at 3.
[9] Id.
[10] Id.

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 4867 would not significantly impact the federal budget.  The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.