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H.R. 146: Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act

Apr 16, 2018 at 6:55 p.m. ET. On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 146 (115th) in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

H.R. 146 takes specified lands and easements in Monroe County, Tennessee, into trust for the benefit of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. These lands include the Sequoyah Museum, the Chota Memorial, the Tanasi Memorial, and land to provide support for these properties and cultural programs. The TVA maintains its right to carry out river control and development on these lands, including temporarily and intermittently flooding certain lands. The bill specifies the structures that may be constructed with the TVA's consent on certain lands subject to flooding. The TVA must be compensated for lost hydropower capacity from future development of these lands, and gaming on these lands is prohibited.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a relatively small tribe located in the Great Smoky Mountains of westernmost North Carolina. The Tribe's reservation, which covers over 51,000 acres, is known as the Qualla Boundary and is headquartered in Cherokee, North Carolina. After the 1979 completion of the Tellico Dam in Loudon County, Tennessee, the Tribe continued in active communication with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on any areas impacted that the Tribe believed was of historical significance to the Tribe. The Tribe currently manages most of these properties as part of two permanent easements granted to the Tribe in 1984 and 1986. These easements were a result of informal agreements with TVA to address the Tribe's objections to TVA's construction of the Tellico Dam and Reservoir. Currently, the Tribe operates the Sequoyah Museum on one easement with TVA.

The Tribe believes that the original intent of both the Eastern Band leadership and TVA was to have the properties permanently transferred into trust status for the Tribe. H.R. 146 would place approximately 96 acres of TVA land in Monroe County, Tennessee, on the shores of Little Tennessee River/Tellico Reservoir into trust for the benefit of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Additionally, the bill provides that two permanent easements over TVA land be held in trust. Gaming pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) would be prohibited on the lands placed into trust.

Source: Republican Policy Committee

Totals

All Votes R D
Yea 99%
 
 
383
215
 
168
 
Nay 1%
 
 
2
2
 
0
 
Not Voting
 
 
44
19
 
25
 

Passed. 2/3 Required. Source: house.gov.

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