by Andrew Walden
US House Resolution 3764 is on the move. The bill reaffirms that only Congress, not the Executive Branch, may recognize Indian Tribes.
Now awaiting a House vote, the bill passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources, September 8, by a 23-13 party-line vote. Supporters included Republican Committee members and independent Rep Kilili Sablan of the Northern Marianas Islands. An amendment provides for recognition of six Virginia Indian tribes and one in Montana.
Introduced in January, the bill sat dormant until the sudden flurry of committee action. Two weeks after the Committee vote, the Obama Administration published its “final rule” bypassing Congress with administrative recognition of a fake Hawaiian Indian tribe. In response, HR3764 introducer, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, explained:
"This rule is unconstitutional and the executive branch is making up the rules as they go.
"It's another example of this administration exerting power they were never given in the first place. Congress needs to put an end to this executive abuse by establishing a consistent and transparent framework for the recognition of native groups."
The “Plenary Power Doctrine” holds that only Congress may recognize Indian tribes. The US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, provides: “The Congress shall have power to … regulate commerce with … the Indian Tribes.”
GovTrack,org gives HR3764 a 21% of becoming law.