The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: Support for the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2013 Pending in Congress
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, Indian nations and tribes were independent sovereign nations prior to the formation of the United States; and
WHEREAS, through the Commerce, Treaty, and Supremacy Clauses, the Constitution acknowledges Indian nations and tribes as sovereigns, with inherent authority over our territory and citizens; and
WHEREAS, through treaties, statutes, agreements, and executive orders, the United States established Indian reservations and lands as “permanent” homelands for our Indian nations and tribes; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the United States to support and promote Indian Self-Determination; and
WHEREAS, the IRS has been conducting audits and “governmental reviews” of tribal government programs and services in an inconsistent, burdensome and harassing manner that infringes on Indian sovereignty and denigrates tribal self-government; and
WHEREAS, the IRS has developed a draft bulletin that “presumes” that education, housing, elderly and child nutrition, and cultural activities are not to be included in income for Federal income tax purposes; and
WHEREAS, Reps. Devin Nunes, McCollum, Cole, [others] have introduced H.R. 3043 the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2013 in the House of Representatives to recognize the right of Indian nations and tribes to provide our tribal government services and programs for our tribal citizens within the General Welfare Exclusion from income taxation and without incurring income tax liability; and
WHEREAS, the Joint Committee on Taxation has scored H.R. 3043 at zero cost to the Federal Government; and
WHEREAS, Senators Heitkamp and Moran have introduced S. 1507 in the Senate as a companion bill to H.R. 3043; and
WHEREAS, Indian Self-Determination, Sovereignty and Self-Government cannot be left up to the Internal Revenue Service to decide and determine; and
WHEREAS, Indian nations and tribes have a government-to-government relationship to the United States, and Congress and the President should act to protect Indian Self-Determination, Sovereignty and Self-Government from unwarranted intrusion by the Federal bureaucracies.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI calls upon Congress and the President to enact H.R. 3043 and its companion bill S. 1507 into law because these measures are essential to long-term stability for Indian Self-Determination, Sovereignty and Self-Government and the ability of our Indian nations and tribes to provide tribal government programs and services for our tribal citizens without unwarranted intrusion and infringement by the IRS; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI calls upon the IRS to finalize its bulletin in accordance with the comments and suggestions received from tribal governments in its request for comments; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI calls upon its sister National and Regional Indian Organizations to continue to work for the enactment of H.R. 3043 and S. 1507; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2013 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Cox Business Center from October 13 - 18, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a quorum present.