CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, the House will consider S. 986, the Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act, under suspension of the rules. S. 986 was introduced on April 16, 2015 by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and passed the Senate by unanimous consent on September 22, 2015. The House Committee on Natural Resources reported an identical bill (H.R. 1880) on September 30, 2015.
S. 986 requires the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to take into trust four parcels of federal land for the benefit of certain Indian Pueblos in New Mexico. The four tracts of land total slightly more than 11 acres and may be used by the Pueblos for educational, health, cultural, business, and economic development. The bill allows the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to continue to use the facilities on the land as they were used prior to enactment until the Secretary determines they are no longer needed by the BIA. The bill prohibits gaming on the affected lands.
The federal government closed the Albuquerque Indian School in 1979. The Pueblos have sought to have the former school’s federal parcels held in trust for their education, cultural, business, and economic development purposes. Other parcels already in trust for the Pueblos have been used for the collective benefit of the Pueblos and includes establishing the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and creating businesses and government offices.
 Senate Report 114-114 at 3.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing the legislation would have no significant effect on the federal budget.
For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.