Published on Dec 12, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. | Today, in a 369-47 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes a historic number of tribal provisions.
“NCAI applauds the work of the Conference Committee; Senate and House Agriculture Committee leadership Chairman Pat Roberts, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, Chairman Mike Conaway, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson; and Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman John Hoeven and Vice Chairman Tom Udall for their tireless commitment to the passage of this bill,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. “This legislation recognizes the governmental status of tribal nations and the role tribal growers and producers have in the food systems and resource management practices that affect the daily lives of all Americans. We look forward to President Trump’s swift signing into law of the 2018 Farm Bill.”
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the House comes on the heels of the U.S. Senate passing the bill in an 87-13 vote on Tuesday, which followed the release of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report by the House-Senate Conference Committee late on Monday.
Coordinating closely with tribal nations, the Native Farm Bill Coalition, tribal organizations, and other partners, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) worked to ensure that the voices of our tribal leaders, citizens, and communities were heard and recognized.
Below is a list of key provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill that will benefit Indian Country:
· Expansion of Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act contracting authority (638 authority) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
· Expansion of 638 authority for Tribal Forest Protection Act management activities at USDA and the U.S. Department of the Interior, as well as eligibility for tribal nations to exercise Good Neighbor authority for forest management agreements with USDA and states (both of these measures will help tribal nations prevent wildfires from spreading from federal lands to tribal forest lands);
· Establishment of a Tribal Advisory Committee at USDA to identify issues and make recommendations to the Secretary; and
· Recognition that the Office of Tribal Relations is an important function of USDA that should be within the Office of the Secretary.
The 2018 Farm Bill will now head to the President for his signature.
For more information about the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report, read the House and Senate Agriculture Committees’ full press release here and the full Farm Bill Conference Report here.
For more information about the individual tribal provisions, visit the Native Farm Bill Coalition website here.
About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.