Lumbee Recognition Bill Reintroduced
Special Report - January 16, 2009
One of the first bills introduced in the 111th Session of the U.S. Congress would grant full federal recognition to the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina, and the measure contains a provision to prevent the tribe from gambling in the state. On January 6, 2009the first day of the new congressional sessionRep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) introduced H.R. 31Lumbee Recognition Act, a bill to formally acknowledge the Lumbee Tribe through an act of Congress and make the approximately 55,000 members of the tribe eligible to receive an estimated $460 million in federal funds for education, housing, health care and other services over the next five years. While full federal recognition typically carries with it the right of the tribe to negotiate a gambling agreement, or compact, with the state in which the tribe is located, H.R. 31 directs that, “The [Lumbee] tribe may not conduct gaming activities as a matter of claimed inherent authority or under the authority of any Federal law, including the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) or under any regulations thereunder promulgated by the Secretary or the National Indian Gaming Commission.” Last session, a virtually identical bill passed the U.S. House and a committee in the U.S. Senate but failed to garner the necessary support to gain approval by the full Senate.
“Our research indicates that an Indian gambling casino located along the I-95 corridor in Eastern North Carolina could become one of the largest gambling venues in the country, bringing with it a myriad of social and economic problems that would plague our state for years to come,” said John Rustin, director of government relations with the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “We are grateful that Rep. McIntryre has included a provision in H.R. 31 that expressly prohibits the Lumbee Tribe from engaging in gambling activities, should the Act be enacted into law.”
Click Here to dowload a copy of the letter the North Carolina Family Policy Council submitted to Rep. McIntyre in April 2007 requesting that the Lumbee Recognition Act be amended in order to avoid expanded Indian gambling in North Carolina.
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