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First Gov  

October 5, 1998

H.R. 1833 - Tribal Self-Governance Amendments of 1998
(Rep. Miller (D) CA and four cosponsors)

The Administration has no objection to House passage of H.R. 1833, as amended by the Committee Substitute, which would make permanent the authority for Indian and Alaska Native tribes to contract for the operation and control of various Indian Health Service activities. The Administration, however, will work with the Senate to address certain concerns with H.R. 1833. Most importantly, the Administration would urge the Senate to:
  • Delete the definition of the term "inherent Federal function" contained in Section 502 (a)(3) of H.R. 1833. The definition would be at a variance with the interpretation of the term as used by the Department of the Interior in carrying out its Self-Governance program under Title IV of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Act. Currently, decisions concerning what constitute an inherent Federal function are made on a case-by-case basis. H.R. 1833 would seriously limit the Secretary of the Interior's discretion to determine those Federal functions that must be performed by Federal employees.

  • Amend H.R. 1833 to include language that would make it clear that the bill would apply only to the unique circumstances of the Indian Health Service, and would not amend Title IV of the Indian Self-Determination Act or Title I of the Act as it applies to the Department of the Interior. This is necessary to avoid serious problems affecting the Department of the Interior's current negotiations with tribal representatives regarding implementation of Tribal Self-Governance regulations under Title IV of the Act.