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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 17, 2017.
Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2017
(Sec. 3) This bill amends the Native American Business Development, Trade Promotion, and Tourism Act of 2000 to establish duties for the Office of Native American Business Development (ONABD), including: (1) advising the Department of Commerce regarding the relationship between the United States and Indian tribes; and (2) serving as the point of contact for tribes, tribal organizations, and members of tribes regarding economic development and doing business in Indian lands.
Commerce, Interior, and the Department of the Treasury must coordinate to support economic development in Native American communities.
The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund assistance benefiting Native American community development financial institutions does not require matching funds.
The Government Accountability Office must conduct a study that assesses: (1) current programs and services that assist Native American communities with business and economic development; (2) assistance provided to Native Americans pursuant to loan, bond, and tax incentive programs; and (3) alternative incentives for tribal governments to invest in a Native American community development investment fund or bank.
(Sec. 4) This bill amends the Buy Indian Act, including to require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use Native American labor and purchase Native American industry products, unless Interior or HHS determines it would be impracticable and unreasonable to do so.
(Sec. 5) This bill amends the Native American Programs Act of 1974 to permit the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to provide financial assistance to certain Native American community development financial institutions.
Under the economic opportunity program, ANA must give priority to applicants whose programs seek to develop: (1) tribal codes and court systems relating to economic development, (2) tribal business structures, (3) community development financial institutions, or (4) tribal master plans for community and economic development and infrastructure. When providing technical assistance, ANA must also prioritize those applicants.
In addition, the bill reauthorizes through FY2022 certain programs under the Act.