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Sen. Moran, U.S. Chamber Urge Senate Action on Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act

Calls Issued in Response to Supreme Court’s Tribal Sovereignty Ruling

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in urging Senate action on the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (S.248) following yesterday’s Supreme Court rulings in Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Government v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 15-1024) and Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 15-1034).

“The court’s refusal to review these cases underscores the importance of passing the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act this year,” said Sen. Moran. “It is imperative that tribal governments retain the right to make decisions free from federal encroachment. This legislation has broad support in Indian Country, which is reflected by the bipartisan support in Congress. It is far past time tribes be afforded the same treatment under the National Labor Relations Act received by other levels of government.”

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) sent a letter to members of the United States Senate requesting that the Senate act on S. 248 at its earliest opportunity.

“S. 248 would build upon a principle that is now well-understood in Indian Country,” wrote R. Bruce Josten, Chamber Executive Vice President of Government Affairs. “Where tribal sovereignty flows, economic success follows. S. 248 would prevent an unnecessary and unproductive overreach by the NLRB into the sovereign jurisdiction of tribal governments. By amending the NLRA to specifically exempt tribal governments, S. 248 would provide certainty and clarity to ensure that tribal governmental statutes concerning labor relations would remain intact.”

Sen. Moran introduced the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act in 2015. The bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in June 2015 and passed the House of Representatives by a 249-177 vote in November of the same year. The 13 sponsors of S. 248 include U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

Full text of the Chamber’s letter can be found here.