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114th Congress }                                          { Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session    }                                          { 114-432

======================================================================
 
                     INDIAN TRUST ASSET REFORM ACT

                                _______
                                

 February 24, 2016.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 812]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 812) to provide for Indian trust asset 
management reform, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Indian Trust Asset 
Reform Act''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

              TITLE I--RECOGNITION OF TRUST RESPONSIBILITY

Sec. 101. Findings.
Sec. 102. Reaffirmation of policy.

     TITLE II--INDIAN TRUST ASSET MANAGEMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. Definitions.
Sec. 203. Establishment of demonstration project; selection of 
participating Indian Tribes.
Sec. 204. Indian trust asset management plan.
Sec. 205. Forest land management and surface leasing activities.
Sec. 206. Effect of title.

       TITLE III--IMPROVING EFFICIENCY AND STREAMLINING PROCESSES

Sec. 301. Purpose.
Sec. 302. Definitions.
Sec. 303. Under Secretary for Indian Affairs.
Sec. 304. Office of Special Trustee for American Indians.
Sec. 305. Appraisals and valuations.
Sec. 306. Cost savings.

              TITLE I--RECOGNITION OF TRUST RESPONSIBILITY

SEC. 101. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) there exists a unique relationship between the Government 
        of the United States and the governments of Indian tribes;
          (2) there exists a unique Federal responsibility to Indians;
          (3) through treaties, statutes, and historical relations with 
        Indian tribes, the United States has undertaken a unique trust 
        responsibility to protect and support Indian tribes and 
        Indians;
          (4) the fiduciary responsibilities of the United States to 
        Indians also are founded in part on specific commitments made 
        through written treaties and agreements securing peace, in 
        exchange for which Indians have surrendered claims to vast 
        tracts of land, which provided legal consideration for 
        permanent, ongoing performance of Federal trust duties; and
          (5) the foregoing historic Federal-tribal relations and 
        understandings have benefitted the people of the United States 
        as a whole for centuries and have established enduring and 
        enforceable Federal obligations to which the national honor has 
        been committed.

SEC. 102. REAFFIRMATION OF POLICY.

  Pursuant to the constitutionally vested authority of Congress over 
Indian affairs, Congress reaffirms that the responsibility of the 
United States to Indian tribes includes a duty to promote tribal self-
determination regarding governmental authority and economic 
development.

     TITLE II--INDIAN TRUST ASSET MANAGEMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Indian Trust Asset Management 
Demonstration Project Act of 2016''.

SEC. 202. DEFINITIONS.

  In this title:
          (1) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
        given the term in the Indian Self-Determination and Education 
        Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
          (2) Project.--The term ``Project'' means the Indian trust 
        asset management demonstration project established under 
        section 203(a).
          (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.

SEC. 203. ESTABLISHMENT OF DEMONSTRATION PROJECT; SELECTION OF 
                    PARTICIPATING INDIAN TRIBES.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish and carry out an 
Indian trust asset management demonstration project, in accordance with 
this title.
  (b) Selection of Participating Indian Tribes.--
          (1) In general.--An Indian tribe shall be eligible to 
        participate in the project if--
                  (A) the Indian tribe submits to the Secretary an 
                application under subsection (c); and
                  (B) the Secretary approves the application of the 
                Indian tribe.
          (2) Notice.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary shall provide a 
                written notice to each Indian tribe approved to 
                participate in the project.
                  (B) Contents.--A notice under subparagraph (A) shall 
                include--
                          (i) a statement that the application of the 
                        Indian tribe has been approved by the 
                        Secretary; and
                          (ii) a requirement that the Indian tribe 
                        shall submit to the Secretary a proposed Indian 
                        trust asset management plan in accordance with 
                        section 204.
  (c) Application.--
          (1) In general.--To be eligible to participate in the 
        project, an Indian tribe shall submit to the Secretary a 
        written application in accordance with paragraph (2).
          (2) Requirements.--The Secretary shall consider an 
        application under this subsection only if the application--
                  (A) includes a copy of a resolution or other 
                appropriate action by the governing body of the Indian 
                tribe, as determined by the Secretary, in support of or 
                authorizing the application;
                  (B) is received by the Secretary after the date of 
                enactment of this Act; and
                  (C) states that the Indian tribe is requesting to 
                participate in the project.
  (d) Duration.--The project--
          (1) shall remain in effect for a period of 10 years after the 
        date of enactment of this Act; but
          (2) may be extended at the discretion of the Secretary.

SEC. 204. INDIAN TRUST ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN.

  (a) Proposed Plan.--
          (1) Submission.--After the date on which an Indian tribe 
        receives a notice from the Secretary under section 203(b)(2), 
        the Indian tribe shall submit to the Secretary a proposed 
        Indian trust asset management plan in accordance with paragraph 
        (2).
          (2) Contents.--A proposed Indian trust asset management plan 
        shall include provisions that--
                  (A) identify the trust assets that will be subject to 
                the plan;
                  (B) establish trust asset management objectives and 
                priorities for Indian trust assets that are located 
                within the reservation, or otherwise subject to the 
                jurisdiction, of the Indian tribe;
                  (C) allocate trust asset management funding that is 
                available for the Indian trust assets subject to the 
                plan in order to meet the trust asset management 
                objectives and priorities;
                  (D) if the Indian tribe has contracted or compacted 
                functions or activities under the Indian Self-
                Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 
                450 et seq.) relating to the management of trust 
                assets--
                          (i) identify the functions or activities that 
                        are being or will be performed by the Indian 
                        tribe under the contracts, compacts, or other 
                        agreements under that Act, which may include 
                        any of the surface leasing or forest land 
                        management activities authorized by the 
                        proposed plan pursuant to section 205(b); and
                          (ii) describe the practices and procedures 
                        that the Indian tribe will follow;
                  (E) establish procedures for nonbinding mediation or 
                resolution of any dispute between the Indian tribe and 
                the United States relating to the trust asset 
                management plan;
                  (F) include a process for the Indian tribe and the 
                Federal agencies affected by the trust asset management 
                plan to conduct evaluations to ensure that trust assets 
                are being managed in accordance with the plan; and
                  (G) identify any Federal regulations that will be 
                superseded by the plan.
          (3) Technical assistance and information.--On receipt of a 
        written request from an Indian tribe, the Secretary shall 
        provide to the Indian tribe any technical assistance and 
        information, including budgetary information, that the Indian 
        tribe determines to be necessary for preparation of a proposed 
        plan.
  (b) Approval and Disapproval of Proposed Plans.--
          (1) Approval.--
                  (A) In general.--Not later than 120 days after the 
                date on which an Indian tribe submits a proposed Indian 
                trust asset management plan under subsection (a), the 
                Secretary shall approve or disapprove the proposed 
                plan.
                  (B) Requirements for disapproval.--The Secretary 
                shall approve a proposed plan unless the Secretary 
                determines that--
                          (i) the proposed plan fails to address a 
                        requirement under subsection (a)(2);
                          (ii) the proposed plan includes 1 or more 
                        provisions that are inconsistent with 
                        subsection (c); or
                          (iii) the cost of implementing the proposed 
                        plan exceeds the amount of funding available 
                        for the management of trust assets that would 
                        be subject to the proposed plan.
          (2) Action on disapproval.--
                  (A) Notice.--If the Secretary disapproves a proposed 
                plan under paragraph (1)(B), the Secretary shall 
                provide to the Indian tribe a written notice of the 
                disapproval, including any reason why the proposed plan 
                was disapproved.
                  (B) Action by tribes.--If a proposed plan is 
                disapproved under paragraph (1)(B), the Indian tribe 
                may resubmit an amended proposed plan by not later than 
                90 days after the date on which the Indian tribe 
                receives the notice under subparagraph (A).
          (3) Failure to approve or disapprove.--If the Secretary fails 
        to approve or disapprove a proposed plan in accordance with 
        paragraph (1), the plan shall be considered to be approved.
          (4) Judicial review.--An Indian tribe may seek judicial 
        review of a determination of the Secretary under this 
        subsection in accordance with subchapter II of chapter 5, and 
        chapter 7, of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as 
        the ``Administrative Procedure Act''), if--
                  (A) the Secretary disapproves the proposed plan of 
                the Indian tribe under paragraph (1); and
                  (B) the Indian tribe has exhausted all other 
                administrative remedies available to the Indian tribe.
  (c) Applicable Laws.--Subject to section 205, an Indian trust asset 
management plan, and any activity carried out under the plan, shall not 
be approved unless the proposed plan is consistent with any treaties, 
statutes, and Executive orders that are applicable to the trust assets, 
or the management of the trust assets, identified in the plan.
  (d) Termination of Plan.--
          (1) In general.--An Indian tribe may terminate an Indian 
        trust asset management plan on any date after the date on which 
        a proposed Indian trust asset management plan is approved by 
        providing to the Secretary--
                  (A) a notice of the intent of the Indian tribe to 
                terminate the plan; and
                  (B) a resolution of the governing body of the Indian 
                tribe authorizing the termination of the plan.
          (2) Effective date.--A termination of an Indian trust asset 
        management plan under paragraph (1) takes effect on October 1 
        of the first fiscal year following the date on which a notice 
        is provided to the Secretary under paragraph (1)(A).

SEC. 205. FOREST LAND MANAGEMENT AND SURFACE LEASING ACTIVITIES.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Forest land management activity.--The term ``forest land 
        management activity'' means any activity described in section 
        304(4) of the National Indian Forest Resources Management Act 
        (25 U.S.C. 3103(4)).
          (2) Interested party.--The term ``interested party'' means an 
        Indian or non-Indian individual, entity, or government the 
        interests of which could be adversely affected by a tribal 
        trust land leasing decision made by an applicable Indian tribe.
          (3) Surface leasing transaction.--The term ``surface leasing 
        transaction'' means a residential, business, agricultural, or 
        wind or solar resource lease of land the title to which is 
        held--
                  (A) in trust by the United States for the benefit of 
                an Indian tribe; or
                  (B) in fee by an Indian tribe, subject to 
                restrictions against alienation under Federal law.
  (b) Approval by Secretary.--The Secretary may approve an Indian trust 
asset management plan that includes a provision authorizing the Indian 
tribe to enter into, approve, and carry out a surface leasing 
transaction or forest land management activity without approval of the 
Secretary, regardless of whether the surface leasing transaction or 
forest land management activity would require such an approval under 
otherwise applicable law (including regulations), if--
          (1) the resolution or other action of the governing body of 
        the Indian tribe referred to in section 203(c)(2)(A) expressly 
        authorizes the inclusion of the provision in the Indian trust 
        asset management plan; and
          (2) the Indian tribe has adopted regulations expressly 
        incorporated by reference into the Indian trust asset 
        management plan that--
                  (A) with respect to a surface leasing transaction--
                          (i) have been approved by the Secretary 
                        pursuant to subsection (h)(4) of the first 
                        section of the Act of August 9, 1955 (25 U.S.C. 
                        415(h)(4)); or
                          (ii) have not yet been approved by the 
                        Secretary in accordance with clause (i), but 
                        that the Secretary determines at or prior to 
                        the time of approval under this paragraph meet 
                        the requirements of subsection (h)(3) of the 
                        first section of that Act (25 U.S.C. 
                        415(h)(3)); or
                  (B) with respect to forest land management 
                activities, the Secretary determines--
                          (i) are consistent with the regulations of 
                        the Secretary adopted under the National Indian 
                        Forest Resources Management Act (25 U.S.C. 3101 
                        et seq.); and
                          (ii) provide for an environmental review 
                        process that includes--
                                  (I) the identification and evaluation 
                                of any significant effects of the 
                                proposed action on the environment; and
                                  (II) a process consistent with the 
                                regulations referred to in clause (i) 
                                for ensuring that--
                                          (aa) the public is informed 
                                        of, and has a reasonable 
                                        opportunity to comment on, any 
                                        significant environmental 
                                        impacts of the proposed forest 
                                        land management activity 
                                        identified by the Indian tribe; 
                                        and
                                          (bb) the Indian tribe 
                                        provides responses to relevant 
                                        and substantive public comments 
                                        on any such impacts before the 
                                        Indian tribe approves the 
                                        forest land management 
                                        activity.
  (c) Types of Transactions.--
          (1) In general.--At the discretion of the Indian tribe, an 
        Indian trust asset management plan may authorize the Indian 
        tribe to carry out a surface leasing transaction, a forest land 
        management activity, or both.
          (2) Selection of specific transactions and activities.--At 
        the discretion of the Indian tribe, the Indian tribe may 
        include in the integrated resource management plan any 1 or 
        more of the transactions and activities authorized to be 
        included in the plan under subsection (b).
  (d) Technical Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may provide technical 
        assistance, on request of an Indian tribe, for development of a 
        regulatory environmental review process required under 
        subsection (b)(2)(B)(ii).
          (2) Indian self-determination and education assistance act.--
        The technical assistance to be provided by the Secretary 
        pursuant to paragraph (1) may be made available through 
        contracts, grants, or agreements entered into in accordance 
        with, and made available to entities eligible for, contracts, 
        grants, or agreements under the Indian Self-Determination and 
        Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.).
  (e) Federal Environmental Review.--Notwithstanding subsection (b), if 
an Indian tribe carries out a project or activity funded by a Federal 
agency, the Indian tribe shall have the authority to rely on the 
environmental review process of the applicable Federal agency, rather 
than any tribal environmental review process under this section.
  (f) Documentation.--If an Indian tribe executes a surface leasing 
transaction or forest land management activity, pursuant to tribal 
regulations under subsection (b)(2), the Indian tribe shall provide to 
the Secretary
          (1) a copy of the surface leasing transaction or forest land 
        management activity documents, including any amendments to, or 
        renewals of, the applicable transaction; and
          (2) in the case of tribal regulations, a surface leasing 
        transaction, or forest land management activities that allow 
        payments to be made directly to the Indian tribe, documentation 
        of the payments that is sufficient to enable the Secretary to 
        discharge the trust responsibility of the United States under 
        subsection (g).
  (g) Trust Responsibility.--
          (1) In general.--The United States shall not be liable for 
        losses sustained--
                  (A) by an Indian tribe as a result of the execution 
                of any forest land management activity pursuant to 
                tribal regulations under subsection (b); or
                  (B) by any party to a lease executed pursuant to 
                tribal regulations under subsection (b).
          (2) Authority of secretary.--Pursuant to the authority of the 
        Secretary to fulfill the trust obligation of the United States 
        to Indian tribes under Federal law (including regulations), the 
        Secretary may, on reasonable notice from the applicable Indian 
        tribe and at the discretion of the Secretary, enforce the 
        provisions of, or cancel, any lease executed by the Indian 
        tribe under this section.
  (h) Compliance.--
          (1) In general.--An interested party, after exhausting any 
        applicable tribal remedies, may submit to the Secretary a 
        petition, at such time and in such form as the Secretary 
        determines to be appropriate, to review the compliance of an 
        applicable Indian tribe with any tribal regulations approved by 
        the Secretary under this subsection.
          (2) Violations.--If the Secretary determines under paragraph 
        (1) that a violation of tribal regulations has occurred, the 
        Secretary may take any action the Secretary determines to be 
        necessary to remedy the violation, including rescinding the 
        approval of the tribal regulations and reassuming 
        responsibility for the approval of leases of tribal trust land.
          (3) Documentation.--If the Secretary determines under 
        paragraph (1) that a violation of tribal regulations has 
        occurred and a remedy is necessary, the Secretary shall--
                  (A) make a written determination with respect to the 
                regulations that have been violated;
                  (B) provide to the applicable Indian tribe a written 
                notice of the alleged violation, together with the 
                written determination; and
                  (C) prior to the exercise of any remedy, the 
                rescission of the approval of the regulation involved, 
                or the reassumption of the trust asset transaction 
                approval responsibilities, provide to the applicable 
                Indian tribe--
                          (i) a hearing on the record; and
                          (ii) a reasonable opportunity to cure the 
                        alleged violation.

SEC. 206. EFFECT OF TITLE.

  (a) Liability.--Subject to section 205 and this section, nothing in 
this title or an Indian trust asset management plan approved under 
section 204 shall independently diminish, increase, create, or 
otherwise affect the liability of the United States or an Indian tribe 
participating in the project for any loss resulting from the management 
of an Indian trust asset under an Indian trust asset management plan.
  (b) Deviation From Standard Practices.--The United States shall not 
be liable to any party (including any Indian tribe) for any term of, or 
any loss resulting from the terms of, an Indian trust asset management 
plan that provides for management of a trust asset at a less-stringent 
standard than the Secretary would otherwise require or adhere to in 
absence of an Indian trust asset management plan.
  (c) Effect of Termination of Plan.--Subsection (b) applies to losses 
resulting from a transaction or activity described in that subsection 
even if the Indian trust asset management plan is terminated under 
section 204(d) or rescinded under section 205(h).
  (d) Effect on Other Laws.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in sections 204 and 205 
        and subsection (e), nothing in this title amends or otherwise 
        affects the application of any treaty, statute, regulation, or 
        Executive order that is applicable to Indian trust assets or 
        the management or administration of Indian trust assets.
          (2) Indian self-determination act.--Nothing in this title 
        limits or otherwise affects the authority of an Indian tribe, 
        including an Indian tribe participating in the project, to 
        enter into and carry out a contract, compact, or other 
        agreement under the Indian Self-Determination and Education 
        Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.) (including regulations).
  (e) Separate Approval.--An Indian tribe may submit to the Secretary 
tribal regulations described in section 205(b) governing forest land 
management activities for review and approval under this title if the 
Indian tribe does not submit or intend to submit an Indian trust asset 
management plan.
  (f) Trust Responsibility.--Nothing in this title enhances, 
diminishes, or otherwise affects the trust responsibility of the United 
States to Indian tribes or individual Indians.

       TITLE III--IMPROVING EFFICIENCY AND STREAMLINING PROCESSES

SEC. 301. PURPOSE.

  The purpose of this title is to ensure a more efficient and 
streamlined administration of duties of the Secretary of the Interior 
with respect to providing services and programs to Indians and Indian 
tribes, including the management of Indian trust resources.

SEC. 302. DEFINITIONS.

  In this title:
          (1) BIA.--The term ``BIA'' means the Bureau of Indian 
        Affairs.
          (2) Department.--The term ``Department'' means the Department 
        of the Interior.
          (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (4) Under secretary.--The term ``Under Secretary'' means the 
        Under Secretary for Indian Affairs established under section 
        303(a).

SEC. 303. UNDER SECRETARY FOR INDIAN AFFAIRS.

  (a) Establishment of Position.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
of law, the Secretary may establish in the Department the position of 
Under Secretary for Indian Affairs, who shall report directly to the 
Secretary.
  (b) Appointment.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the 
        Under Secretary shall be appointed by the President, by and 
        with the advice and consent of the Senate.
          (2) Exception.--The individual serving as the Assistant 
        Secretary for Indian Affairs on the date of enactment of this 
        Act may assume the position of Under Secretary without 
        appointment under paragraph (1), if--
                  (A) that individual was appointed as Assistant 
                Secretary for Indian Affairs by the President, by and 
                with the advice and consent of the Senate; and
                  (B) not later than 180 days after the date of 
                enactment of this Act, the Secretary approves the 
                assumption.
  (c) Duties.--In addition to any other duties directed by the 
Secretary, the Under Secretary shall--
          (1) coordinate with the Special Trustee for American Indians 
        to ensure an orderly transition of the functions of the Special 
        Trustee to one or more appropriate agencies, offices, or 
        bureaus within the Department, as determined by the Secretary;
          (2) to the maximum extent practicable, supervise and 
        coordinate activities and policies of the BIA with activities 
        and policies of--
                  (A) the Bureau of Reclamation;
                  (B) the Bureau of Land Management;
                  (C) the Office of Natural Resources Revenue;
                  (D) the National Park Service; and
                  (E) the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and
          (3) provide for regular consultation with Indians and Indian 
        tribes that own interests in trust resources and trust fund 
        accounts.
  (d) Personnel Provisions.--
          (1) Appointments.--The Under Secretary may appoint and fix 
        the compensation of such officers and employees as the Under 
        Secretary determines to be necessary to carry out any function 
        transferred under this section.
          (2) Requirements.--Except as otherwise provided by law--
                  (A) any officer or employee described in paragraph 
                (1) shall be appointed in accordance with the civil 
                service laws;
                  (B) the compensation of such an officer or employee 
                shall be fixed in accordance with title 5, United 
                States Code; and
                  (C) in appointing or otherwise hiring any employee, 
                the Under Secretary shall give preference to Indians in 
                accordance with section 12 of the Act of June 18, 1934 
                (25 U.S.C. 472).

SEC. 304. OFFICE OF SPECIAL TRUSTEE FOR AMERICAN INDIANS.

  (a) Report to Congress.--Notwithstanding sections 302 and 303 of the 
American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 
4042 and 4043), not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary shall prepare and, after consultation with 
Indian tribes and appropriate Indian organizations, submit to the 
Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate, and the Committees on 
Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report 
that includes--
          (1) an identification of all functions, other than the 
        collection, management, and investment of Indian trust funds, 
        that the Office of the Special Trustee performs independently 
        or in concert with the BIA or other Federal agencies, 
        specifically those functions that affect or relate to 
        management of nonmonetary trust resources;
          (2) a description of any functions of the Office of the 
        Special Trustee that will be transitioned to other bureaus or 
        agencies within the Department prior to the termination date of 
        the Office, as described in paragraph (3), together with the 
        timeframes for those transfers; and
          (3) a transition plan and timetable for the termination of 
        the Office of the Special Trustee, to occur not later than 2 
        years after the date of submission of the report, unless the 
        Secretary determines than an orderly transition cannot be 
        accomplished within 2 years, in which case the report shall 
        include--
                  (A) a statement of all reasons why the transition 
                cannot be effected within that time; and
                  (B) an alternative date for completing the 
                transition.
  (b) Fiduciary Trust Officers.--Subject to applicable law and 
regulations, the Secretary, at the request of an Indian tribe or a 
consortium of Indian tribes, shall include fiduciary trust officers in 
a contract, compact, or other agreement under the Indian Self-
Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.).
  (c) Effect of Section.--Nothing in this section or the report 
required by this section--
          (1) shall cause the Office of the Special Trustee to 
        terminate; or
          (2) affect the application of sections 302 and 303 of the 
        American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (25 
        U.S.C. 4042 and 4043).

SEC. 305. APPRAISALS AND VALUATIONS.

  (a) In General.--Notwithstanding section 304, not later than 18 
months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in 
consultation with Indian tribes and tribal organizations, shall ensure 
that appraisals and valuations of Indian trust property are 
administered by a single bureau, agency, or other administrative entity 
within the Department.
  (b) Minimum Qualifications.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish and publish in the 
Federal Register minimum qualifications for individuals to prepare 
appraisals and valuations of Indian trust property.
  (c) Secretarial Approval.--In any case in which an Indian tribe or 
Indian beneficiary submits to the Secretary an appraisal or valuation 
that satisfies the minimum qualifications described in subsection (b), 
and that submission acknowledges the intent of the Indian tribe or 
beneficiary to have the appraisal or valuation considered under this 
section, the appraisal or valuation--
          (1) shall not require any additional review or approval by 
        the Secretary; and
          (2) shall be considered to be final for purposes of 
        effectuating the transaction for which the appraisal or 
        valuation is required.

SEC. 306. COST SAVINGS.

  (a) In General.--For any program, function, service, or activity (or 
any portion of a program, function, service, or activity) of the Office 
of the Special Trustee that will not be operated or carried out as a 
result of a transfer of functions and personnel following enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary shall--
          (1) identify the amounts that the Secretary would otherwise 
        have expended to operate or carry out each program, function, 
        service, and activity (or portion of a program, function, 
        service, or activity); and
          (2) provide to the tribal representatives of the Tribal-
        Interior Budget Council or the representative of any other 
        appropriate entity that advises the Secretary on Indian program 
        budget or funding issues a list that describes--
                  (A) the programs, functions, services, and activities 
                (or any portion of a program, function, service, or 
                activity) identified under paragraph (1); and
                  (B) the amounts associated with each program, 
                function, service, and activity (or portion of a 
                program, function, service, or activity).
  (b) Tribal Recommendations.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
receipt of a list under subsection (a)(2), the tribal representatives 
of the Tribal-Interior Budget Council and the representatives of any 
other appropriate entities that advise the Secretary on Indian program 
budget or funding issues may provide recommendations regarding how any 
amounts or cost savings should be reallocated, incorporated into future 
budget requests, or appropriated to--
          (1) the Secretary;
          (2) the Office of Management and Budget;
          (3) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
        Representatives;
          (4) the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
        Representatives;
          (5) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
          (6) the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 812 is to provide for Indian trust fund 
management reform.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The term ``federal trust responsibility to Indians'' is 
frequently referenced to characterize the federal government's 
obligation to carry out terms of treaties and statutes in a 
just manner for the benefit of Indians. There is, however, no 
general statutory definition of ``trust responsibility.'' The 
term developed from early 19th century Supreme Court decisions 
holding that recognized Indian tribes are ``domestic dependent 
nations''\1\ over which Congress exercises exclusive and 
plenary power. Accordingly, tribes' lands and affairs were 
managed by the United States (first by the War Department and 
then by the Interior Department) ``under a highly paternalistic 
system where the presumptively knowledgeable Secretary protects 
incompetent wards.''\2\ The record of this historic system of 
comprehensive federal supervision over tribal affairs is one of 
exceptionally high rates of poverty, joblessness, health 
problems, and suicide across large segments of Indian Country. 
As a former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs has stated:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515 (1832).
    \2\Statement of David A. Mullon, Chief Counsel, NCAI, Prepared 
Statement on H.R. 409, the Indian Trust Asset Reform Act, before the 
Sub. Cmte. On Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, May 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        With these ideas as the foundation of the trust, it 
        grew into a stifling, paternalistic, and ultimately 
        ineffective system of managing Indian property. While 
        virtually all other areas of federal Indian policy have 
        undergone dramatic change, with a radical shifting of 
        authority from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to tribal 
        governments, the trust remains largely ineffective, 
        unenforceable, and immune from fundamental change.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Kevin Gover, ``An Indian Trust for the Twenty-First Century,'' 
Natural Resources Journal, Spring 2006, 46 Nat. Resources J. 317, p. 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The modern era of promoting tribal self-determination was 
launched by President Richard M. Nixon. In his Special Message 
on Indian Affairs (July 8, 1970), President Nixon argued, ``It 
is long past time that the Indian policies of the Federal 
government began to recognize and build upon the capacities and 
insights of the Indian people.'' He would later add, ``In place 
of policies which oscillate between the deadly extremes of 
forced termination and constant paternalism, we suggest a 
policy in which the Federal government and the Indian community 
play complementary roles.''
    Congress subsequently enacted the Indian Self-Determination 
and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA, 25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.), 
which authorizes tribes to deliver federal services and 
benefits to their members under negotiated contracts, compacts, 
or annual funding agreements with the government. In addition 
to authorizing these ``638 contracts,'' Congress in 
consultation with tribes has enacted a number of laws designed 
to increase the opportunity for tribes to assume greater 
degrees of administration over their assets.
    While tribes over the last 40 years have increased their 
capacity to administer federal funds and services, most of 
their lands and tribal funds continue to be held in trust by 
the Secretary of the Interior, an arrangement that is often a 
hindrance to Indian prosperity. Some statutes require the 
Secretary to perform comprehensive control over an Indian asset 
in a manner that exposes taxpayers to enormous liabilities if 
the Secretary mismanages trust assets. In these cases, the 
Secretary's primary concern is risk avoidance, which may 
benefit the taxpayer but not the tribe. Other statutes 
authorize the Secretary to perform merely basic administrative 
duties for Indians with no enforceable fiduciary standards. 
Accordingly, an Indian trust asset could be underutilized or 
even mismanaged with no meaningful remedy available to the 
beneficial owner of that asset.

Need for Legislation

    Because the current paradigm of the trust responsibility as 
conceived and implemented by the government has, in the view of 
at least one prominent Indian critic, ``wreak[ed] all manner of 
harm on tribal communities,''\4\ H.R. 812 sets forth a process 
by which a tribe may opt to assume direct control over its 
trust assets, providing the United States taxpayer is not held 
financially liable by any party for losses incurred as a 
result. Title I sets forth Congressional findings and a 
reaffirmation of policy concerning the United States' trust 
responsibilities to Indians. Title II authorizes a 
demonstration project in which an Indian tribe may be 
authorized to negotiate to assume management and control of its 
non-mineral trust assets under a plan approved by the Secretary 
of the Interior. Title III elevates the status of Indian 
Affairs responsibilities by granting the Secretary of the 
Interior the option to create a new Under Secretary for Indian 
Affairs, who would work directly with the Special Trustee for 
American Indians to ensure an orderly transition of Office of 
the Special Trustee functions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Gover, supra, at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF H.R. 812, AS ORDERED REPORTED

              TITLE I--RECOGNITION OF TRUST RESPONSIBILITY

    Sec. 101. Findings. Sets forth Congressional findings 
regarding the United States' unique relationship with Indian 
tribes and the United States' responsibility to protect and 
support Indian tribes and Indians.
    Sec. 102. Reaffirmation of Policy. Sets forth that Congress 
reaffirms the United States' duty to promote tribal self-
determination regarding governmental authority and economic 
development.

     TITLE II--INDIAN TRUST ASSET MANAGEMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

    Sec. 201. Short Title. Provides that this title may be 
cited as the ``Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration 
Project Act of 2016.''
    Sec. 202. Definitions. Provides definitions for this title.
    Sec. 203. Establishment of Demonstration Project; Selection 
of Participating Indian Tribes. Directs the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish and carry out an Indian trust asset 
management demonstration project. Provides that Indian tribes 
desiring to participate in the project must submit, and the 
Secretary approve, a written application. The demonstration 
project shall remain in effect for ten (10) years after 
enactment but may be extended at the discretion of the 
Secretary.
    Sec. 204. Indian Trust Asset Management Plan. Provides that 
an Indian tribe shall, after receiving notice from the 
Secretary that it is eligible to participate in the 
demonstration project, submit to the Secretary a proposed 
Indian trust asset management plan. The Secretary may not 
approve a proposed plan unless it is consistent with federal 
treaties, statutes, and executive orders applicable to the 
trust assets or the management of the trust assets. After a 
tribe submits a proposed plan, the Secretary shall approve or 
disapprove it within 120 days.
    Sec. 205. Forest Land Management and Surface Leasing 
Activities. Under this section, the Secretary may approve an 
Indian trust asset management plan that authorizes the Indian 
tribe to enter into, approve, and carry out a surface leasing 
transaction or forest land management activity without approval 
of the Secretary, regardless of whether the surface leasing 
transaction or forest land management activity would require 
such an approval under otherwise applicable law, including 
regulations. Most of this section is adopted verbatim from the 
Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership 
of 2012 (HEARTH Act, Public Law 112-151).
    Sec. 206. Effect of Title. Provides that nothing in this 
title or in a trust asset management plan shall affect the 
liability of the United States or an Indian tribe participating 
in the project. Provides that nothing in this title shall 
affect application of any treaty, statute, executive order 
applicable to the trust assets or the management of the trust 
assets subject to the plan. Provides that nothing in this title 
diminishes or affects the trust responsibility of the United 
States to Indian tribes or individual Indians. Subsection 
206(d) clarifies that title II does not preclude Indian tribes 
from performing activities in a trust asset management plan 
under the ISDEAA. Section 206(e) clarifies that an Indian tribe 
may submit tribal regulations that provide for HEARTH Act 
treatment for forest management activities for review and 
approval without submitting them as part of a trust asset 
management plan.

       TITLE III--IMPROVING EFFICIENCY AND STREAMLINING PROCESSES

    Sec. 301. Purpose. Provides that the purpose of this title 
is to ensure efficient and streamlined administration of duties 
of the Secretary with respect to providing services and 
programs to Indian tribes and Indians, including the management 
of Indian trust resources.
    Sec. 302. Definitions. Provides definitions for this title.
    Sec. 303. Under Secretary for Indian Affairs. Authorizes 
the Secretary, at the Secretary's discretion, to establish the 
position of Under Secretary for Indian Affairs, who would 
report directly to the Secretary. In addition to other 
enumerated duties, the Under Secretary would coordinate the 
Office of the Special Trustee to ensure an orderly transition 
of the functions of the Special Trustee to the appropriate 
agencies, offices, or bureaus with the Department. This 
subsection also allows for the Under Secretary to provide 
regular consultation with Indian tribes and Indians that own 
interests in trust resources and trust fund accounts. Lastly, 
Section 303(b) provides that the Assistant Secretary for Indian 
Affairs within the Department of the Interior may assume the 
position of Under Secretary without appointment if the 
Secretary was appointed by the President and confirmed by the 
Senate, and the assumption shall not occur later than 180 days 
after enactment of the Act.
    Sec. 304. Office of Special Trustee for American Indians. 
Directs the Secretary to submit to Congress within one year of 
enactment, among other things, information on a transition plan 
for the Office of the Special Trustee (OST) to terminate within 
two years of the date of the submission. Directs the Secretary 
to consult with Indian tribes and tribal organizations on the 
information to be submitted to Congressional authorizing and 
appropriations committees. The Act does not require the 
Secretary to implement or execute the transition plan. Section 
304(b) authorizes Indian tribes or a consortium of Indian 
tribes to include certain OST employees known as fiduciary 
trust officers in contracts, compacts, or cooperative 
agreements under the ISDEAA.
    Sec. 305. Appraisals and Valuations. Section 305(a) 
requires the Secretary, within 18 months of enactment, in 
consultation with Indian tribes and tribal organizations, to 
ensure that appraisals and valuations of Indian trust property 
are administered by a single bureau, agency or other 
administrative entity within the Department. Sections 305(b) 
and (c) establish a process whereby the Secretary establishes 
minimum qualifications for persons to prepare appraisals and 
valuations of Indian trust property. When an Indian tribe or 
Indian beneficiary submits an appraisal or valuation to the 
Secretary that satisfies those minimum qualifications--and the 
submission acknowledges the tribe or beneficiary's intent to 
have the appraisal or valuation considered under this new 
subsection--the appraisal or valuation will not require any 
further Secretarial review or approval and will be considered 
final for purposes of effectuating the applicable transaction, 
regardless of the length of time required to obtain other 
approvals that may be necessary to complete the underlying 
transaction.
    Sec. 306. Cost Savings. Provides that for any function or 
activity of OST which will not be carried out as a result of 
any transfer of functions or personnel under this title, the 
Secretary shall identify any resulting cost savings and provide 
this information to the Tribal-Interior Budget Council (TBIC) 
within 60 days, or other appropriate advisory committee. Within 
90 days of receiving this information, the tribal 
representatives of the TBIC or other advisory committee may 
provide recommendations to the Secretary on how any cost 
savings should be reallocated, incorporated into future budget 
requests or appropriated.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 812 was introduced on February 9, 2015, by Congressman 
Michael K. Simpson (R-ID). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs. On 
April 14, 2015, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On 
February 2, 2016, the Natural Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. The Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous 
consent. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) offered an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute. The amendment was adopted by unanimous 
consent. The bill, as amended, was ordered favorably reported 
to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent on 
February 3, 2016.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
    Under current law, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is 
responsible for managing financial assets held in trust by the 
federal government for the benefit of Indian tribes. H.R. 812 
would amend current law to give tribes more authority to manage 
their own assets. The bill also would expand tribes' authority 
to enter into leases for certain services and activities on 
tribal land--particularly related to management of tribally 
owned natural resources--without DOI's approval.
    CBO does not expect that implementing H.R. 812 would affect 
the federal government's overall costs to provide services and 
other assistance to tribes. Under current law, some of those 
costs are incurred directly by DOI; in other cases, the 
department provides financial support for tribes to perform 
such work. In the latter case, DOI typically retains a role in 
approving and overseeing contracts and other agreements entered 
into by the tribe for such activities.
    Under the bill, to the extent that tribes shift toward 
hiring nonfederal contractors to manage financial assets, DOI 
might face increased costs to review and approve such 
contracts. At the same time, CBO expects that expanding tribes' 
authority to use certain leases to procure services related to 
natural resources owned by the tribe would reduce the 
department's administrative workload Taken as a whole, CBO 
estimates that any net change in federal costs--which would be 
subject to appropriation--would be insignificant in any given 
year.
    Because enacting H.R. 812 would not affect direct spending 
or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 812 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    H.R. 812 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Any 
costs incurred by tribes as a result of using additional 
authority granted by the bill would be incurred voluntarily.
    On January 29, 2016, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
383, the Indian Trust Asset Reform Act, as ordered reported by 
the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on July 29, 2015. H.R. 
812 is similar to S. 383 and CBO's estimates of the budgetary 
effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. The Congressional 
Budget Office estimates that implementing this bill would not 
``affect the federal government's overall costs to provide 
services and other assistance to tribes'' and ``that any net 
change in federal costs--which would be subject to 
appropriation--would be insignificant in any given year.''
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to provide for Indian trust fund 
management reform.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.

                                  [all]