the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal

Today, the Senate passed H.R. 205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH Act).  This Act, which passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, authorizes long-term leasing of restricted Indian lands for residential, business, and other purposes without prior express approval from the Secretary of the Interior.  The President welcomes the passage of this legislation and looks forward to signing it into law. 

The HEARTH Act promotes greater tribal self-determination and will help create jobs in Indian Country.  Under the Act, federally recognized tribes can develop and implement their own regulations governing certain leasing on Indian lands.  Upon Secretarial approval of these tribal regulations, tribes would have the authority to process land leases without Bureau of Indian Affairs approval. This new authority has the potential to significantly reduce the time it takes to approve leases for homes and small businesses in Indian Country.