Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act Passes House and Senate >>

September 21st, 2014

Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act Passes House and Senate

On Tuesday, September 16th, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3043, the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act, by voice vote. The bill had 61 co-sponsors at the time of passage, showing strong bipartisan support for the legislation. Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Tom Reed (R-NY), and David Schweikert (R-AZ) made statements on the floor in support of the bill. After passage in the House, the bill then moved over to the Senate for consideration. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-SD) were instrumental in ushering the bill through the Senate quickly, where it passed by Unanimous Consent on Thursday, September 18th.

H.R. 3043 pushes back against IRS audits and examinations that violate tribal sovereignty and self-determination. The bill clarifies that a broad range of tribal government programs and services are not subject to federal income taxation, would force reforms of the IRS in Indian Country, and would establish a Tribal Advisory Committee to advise the Treasury Secretary on the application of federal tax laws to Indian Country, among other matters.

The tremendous outreach from Indian Country was the key to the bill’s passage. Twenty tribal organizations signed on to a joint letter of support, while tribal nations across the country sent resolutions and letters to their members pressing for the passage of H.R. 3043. The strong collective voice of tribes across the nation was instrumental in the bill’s success.

The final step for H.R. 3043 is for the bill to be signed into law by President Obama.

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