TITLE: To Request Legislation to Permit Elected Tribal Government Officials to Contribute to and Receive Social Security Benefits
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, previous NCAI resolution DEN-07-091 only includes tribal council members and this current resolution includes all elected tribal officials; and
WHEREAS, there has been no action on previous NCAI resolution DEN-07-091 and we demand action now; and
WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service has determined that under the existing law and regulations amounts paid to elected tribal government officials do not constitute “wages” for the purpose of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, although such amounts are considered taxable income under section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code; and
WHEREAS, wages received by elected tribal governmental officials are not considered in determining eligibility for Social Security benefits; and
WHEREAS, elected tribal government officials therefore may find themselves receiving reduced social security benefits or in some cases ineligible to receive Social Security benefits; and
WHEREAS, the inability to contribute to Social Security and to receive Social Security benefits based on wages received for service as an elected tribal government official is a disincentive for talented Indian people to serve as tribal government officials.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI requests that Congress amend the Social Security Act to permit elected tribal government officials to contribute to the social security system and receive benefits based on such contributions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.