News Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) – members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee – introduced legislation to repeal an outdated 1834 law that prohibits Native American tribes from building and operating distilleries on their tribal lands.

“The federal government should not be creating or maintaining barriers preventing Native Americans from pursuing business opportunities on their lands. Repealing this antiquated 1834 regulation is a sensible way to help Indian tribes create jobs and businesses and bolster their local economies. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this bipartisan, bicameral bill,” said Sen. Moran.

“Getting this outdated law off the books is an important step to supporting tribal self-determination and economic development in Indian Country. When Native American entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create businesses, they thrive and strengthen the communities around them,” said Sen. Cantwell.

"I am pleased that the Senate will consider this overdue legislation. It will allow the Chehalis Tribe to pursue its economic development efforts that have proven beneficial, not only to the Tribe and its members, but also to the surrounding non-Indian community. Congress has recently undertaken efforts to repeal many of the antiquated and paternalistic laws that impair development in Indian country and this legislation advances those efforts,” said Chehalis Tribe Chairman Harry Pickernell Sr.

Sens. Moran and Cantwell’s is also cosponsored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Don Young (R-AK), Denny Heck (D-WA), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Betty McCollum (D-MN) have introduced identical legislation in the House of Representatives. H.R. 5317 has received a hearing and mark-up before the House Natural Resources Committee. It now awaits a vote before the full House of Representatives.

The full text of the bill, S.3060, can be found here. 

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