[Senate Report 111-359]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                       Calendar No. 683
111th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     111-359

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  AMENDING THE YSLETA DEL SUR PUEBLO AND ALABAMA AND COUSHATTA INDIAN 
  TRIBES OF TEXAS RESTORATION ACT TO ALLOW THE YSLETA DEL SUR PUEBLO 
  TRIBE TO DETERMINE BLOOD QUANTUM REQUIREMENT FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THAT 
                                 TRIBE

                                _______
                                

                December 9, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

           Mr. Dorgan, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5811]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill, H.R. 5811, to amend the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama 
and Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act to allow 
the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe to determine blood quantum 
requirement for membership in that Tribe, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon, without amendment, and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of H.R. 5811 is to amend the Ysleta del Sur 
Pueblo and Alabama and Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas 
Restoration Act to allow the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe of 
Texas to determine blood quantum requirement for membership in 
that Tribe.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Congress passed the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama and 
Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act in 1987 
((Restoration Act), Public Law 100-89). That Act restored 
federal recognition to the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo of Texas and 
the Alabama and Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas. The 
Restoration Act also contained a tribal membership provision 
for the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (Tigua) Tribe which required 
members to (1) have 1/8th degree or more of Tigua Indian blood 
and (2) be enrolled by the tribe.
    The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe has approximately 1,300 
enrolled members. Due to the blood quantum restrictions in the 
Restoration Act, it is believed that the Tribe will see a 
significant decline in tribal membership over the next 50 
years. A number of individuals have already been removed from 
tribal membership as it was determined that they no longer 
satisfied the blood quantum requirement, as currently 
authorized under the Restoration Act.
    Under the Restoration Act, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is one 
of the few federally recognized tribes that have their 
membership criteria prescribed by the federal government. One 
of the most recognized aspects of tribal sovereignty is the 
ability of a tribe to determine its own membership. The United 
States Supreme Court acknowledged the authority of Indian 
tribes to determine their own membership in Santa Clara Pueblo 
v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49 (1978).
    H.R. 5811 would amend the Restoration Act by authorizing 
the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo to determine its own blood quantum 
requirement, similar to most other federally-recognized Indian 
tribes in the United States.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 5811 was introduced on July 21, 2010, by Congressman 
Silvestre Reyes (TX), and was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources in the House of Representatives. On September 
22, 2010, the House of Representatives considered and passed 
H.R. 5811 by voice vote. On September 23, 2010, H.R. 5811 was 
received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on 
Indian Affairs. On November 18, 2010, the Committee on Indian 
Affairs held an open business meeting and approved H.R. 5811 by 
unanimous voice vote without amendment.
    In the 110th Congress, Representative Reyes introduced H.R. 
1696, which was almost identical to the current bill. It was 
introduced on March 26, 2007 and was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources in the House of Representatives. On July 
18, 2007, the bill was reported favorably without amendment to 
the full House of Representatives. On July 30, 2007, the House 
of Representatives passed H.R. 1696 by unanimous consent, 
however, no further action was taken on the bill.
    Similar bills to H.R. 5811 were also introduced from the 
105th to the 109th Congresses. Unlike the current bill, each of 
the bills between the 105th and 109th Congresses specifically 
lowered the blood quantum requirement from \1/8\ to \1/16\, as 
opposed to removing the blood quantum requirement entirely. 
With the exception of H.R. 1460 in the 106th Congress, each of 
these bills saw no action beyond being referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources in the House of Representatives. 
In the 106th Congress, H.R. 1460 passed the House of 
Representatives, but was not taken up by the Senate.

                    Section-by-Section of H.R. 5811

    Section 1. Blood Quantum Requirement Determined by Tribe. 
This section removes the 1/8th blood quantum requirement for 
tribal membership from federal law, which would allow the tribe 
to determine its own blood quantum criteria for tribal 
membership.

            Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Vote

    In an open business session on November 18, 2010, the 
Committee on Indian Affairs, by a unanimous voice vote, adopted 
H.R. 5811, without amendment, and ordered the bill reported to 
the Senate, with the recommendation that the Senate do pass the 
bill.

                    Cost and Budgetary Consideration

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, dated December 7, 2010, was 
prepared for H.R. 5811. The Congressional Budget Office 
estimated that implementing H.R. 5811 would cost the federal 
government $7 million over the 2011-2015 period.

H.R. 5811--An act to amend the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama and 
        Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act to allow the 
        Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe to determine blood quantum 
        requirement for membership in that tribe

    H.R. 5811 would amend the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama 
and Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act to 
eliminate the requirement that individuals have a blood quantum 
level of at least one-eighth to qualify for tribal membership. 
This legislation would allow the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo tribe to 
establish its own blood quantum requirement for determining 
membership. Based on information from the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) and assuming appropriation of the necessary 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5811 would cost 
$7 million over the 2011-2015 period. Enacting the legislation 
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 5811 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. 
Enacting this legislation would benefit the Ysleta del Sur 
Pueblo tribe.
    Based on information from the BIA and the Ysleta del Sur 
Pueblo tribe, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5811 would lead 
to an increase in the tribal population of about 700 members in 
2011. Those additional members of the tribe would be eligible 
for services from the Indian Health Service (IHS) and BIA. Such 
services are available to members of federally recognized 
Indian tribes.
    Based on information from IHS, CBO estimates that about 55 
percent of new tribal members--or about 400 people--would 
receive benefits each year. CBO expects that the cost to serve 
those individuals would be similar to that for current 
beneficiaries--about $2,800 per person in 2010. In addition, 
based on information provided by BIA, CBO expects that 
additional costs for services provided by that agency would 
total about $1 million over the 2011-2015 period. In total, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 5811 would cost between $1 
million and $2 million a year over that period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Jeff LaFave 
(for BIA programs) and Robert Stewart (for IHS programs). This 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Executive Communications

    The Committee has received no Executive communications 
regarding H.R. 5811.

               Regulatory and Paperwork Impact Statement

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill evaluate 
the regulatory paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that H.R. 5811 
will have de minimis regulatory or paperwork impact.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes the following 
changes in existing law (existing law proposed to be omitted is 
enclosed in black brackets, new matter printed in italic):

25 U.S.C. 1300g-7(a)

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    (a) In General.--The membership of the tribe shall consist 
of--
          (1) the individuals listed on the Tribal Membership 
        Roll approved by the tribe's Resolution No. TC-5-84 
        approved December 18, 1984, and approved by the Texas 
        Indian Commission's Resolution No. TIC-85-005 adopted 
        on January 16, 1985; and
          [(2) a descendant of an individual listed on that 
        Roll if the descendant--
                  (i) has \1/8\ or more of Tigua-Ysleta del Sur 
                Pueblo Indian blood, and
                  (ii) is enrolled by the tribe.]
          (2) any person of Tigua Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Indian 
        blood enrolled by the tribe.

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