S 61

1st Session

S. 61

To establish a Native American Economic Advisory Council, and for other purposes.


January 25 (legislative day, January 5), 2011

Mr. INOUYE (for himself, Ms. MURKOWSKI, and Mr. BEGICH) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs


To establish a Native American Economic Advisory Council, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Native American Economic Advisory Council Act of 2011'.


    Congress finds--

      (1) the United States has a special political and legal relationship and responsibility to promote the welfare of the Native American people of the United States;

      (2) evaluations of indicators and criteria of social well-being, education, health, unemployment, housing, income, rates of poverty, justice systems, and nutrition by agencies of government and others have consistently found that Native American communities rank below other groups of United States citizens and many are at or near the bottom in those evaluations;

      (3) Native Americans, like other people in the United States, have been hit hard by the deepest recession of the United States economy in over 50 years, causing a significant decline in employment and economic activity across the United States;

      (4) Native American communities have been described as `emerging economies' and consequently have been stalled in the efforts of the communities to build sustainable growing economies for the people of the communities and are being adversely affected faster than the rest of the United States;

      (5) economic stimulus programs to help Native American communities generate jobs and stronger economic performance will require United States financial and tax incentives to increase both local and expanded investment that is tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of Native American communities;

      (6) the impacts of the ongoing recession and the near collapse of the financial and banking systems require a review of assumptions about the future, the need for new growth strategies, and a focus on laying the groundwork for economic success in the 21st century;

      (7) there is a continuing need for direct economic stimulus, including needs for improving rural infrastructure and alternative energy in rural and Native American communities of the United States and providing Native Americans leaders with the tools to create jobs and improve economic conditions;

      (8) in light of the role of Native American communities as emerging markets within the United States, there are opportunities and needs that should be addressed, including consideration of United States support for the pooling of resources to create an Indigenous Sovereign Wealth Fund that is similar to those Funds created around the world to diversify revenue streams, attract more resources, invest more wisely, and create jobs;

      (9) Native Americans should be participants when major economic decisions are made that affect the property, lives, and future of Native Americans; and

      (10) Native Americans should fully participate in rebuilding Native American communities and have necessary tools and resources.


    The purpose of this Act is to authorize and establish a Native American Economic Advisory Council to consult, coordinate with, and make recommendations to the Executive Office of the President, Cabinet officers, and Federal agencies--

      (1) to improve the focus, effectiveness, and delivery of Federal economic aid and development programs to Native Americans and, as a result, improve substandard economic conditions in Native American communities;

      (2) to build and expand on the capacity of leaders in Native American organizations and communities to take positive and innovative steps--

        (A) to create jobs;

        (B) to establish stable and profitable business enterprises;

        (C) to enhance economic conditions; and

        (D) to use Native American-owned resources for the benefit of members; and

      (3) to achieve the long-term goal of improving the quality of Native American life and living conditions and access to basic public services to the levels enjoyed by the average citizen and community of the United States by the year 2025.


    (a) In General- There is established a Native American Economic Advisory Council (referred to in this Act as the `Council') to advise and assist the Executive Office of the President and Federal agencies to ensure that Native Americans (including Native American members, communities and organizations) have--

      (1) the means and capacity to generate and benefit from economic stimulus and growth; and

      (2) fair access to, and reasonable opportunities to participate in, Federal economic development and job growth programs.

    (b) Members-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Council shall consist of 5 members appointed by the President.

      (2) INITIAL APPOINTMENTS- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall appoint the initial members of the Council.

      (3) COMPOSITION- Of the members of the Council--

        (A) 1 member shall be an Alaska Native;

        (B) 1 member shall be a Hawaiian Native; and

        (C) 3 members shall represent American Native groups and organizations from other States.

      (4) CHAIRPERSON- The President shall designate 1 of the members of the Council to serve as Chairperson.

    (c) Experience- Each member of the Council shall be a Native American who, as a result of work experience, training, and attainment, is well qualified--

      (1) to identify, analyze, and understand the attributes and background of successful business enterprises and economic programs in Native American communities and cultures;

      (2) to appraise the economic development programs and activities of Federal agencies in the context of the goals and purposes of this Act; and

      (3) to recommend programs, policies, and needed program modifications to improve access to and effectiveness in the delivery of economic development programs in Native American communities.

    (d) Vacancies- A vacancy on the Council--

      (1) shall not affect the authority of the Commission; and

      (2) shall be filled in the same manner as the initial appointments to the Council.

    (e) Expenses- Each Member of the Council shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at the rate authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the homes or regular places of business of the employees in the performance of services for the Council.

    (f) Staff-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Council may, without regard to the civil service laws (including regulations), appoint and terminate an executive director and such other staff as are necessary to enable the Council to perform the duties required under this Act.


        (A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), the Council may fix the compensation of the executive director and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates.

        (B) MAXIMUM AMOUNT- The rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel of the Council shall not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.

    (g) Detail of Employees-

      (1) IN GENERAL- An employee of the Federal Government may be detailed to the Council without reimbursement.

      (2) CIVIL SERVICE STATUS- The detail of an employee shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

    (h) Temporary Services- The Council may procure temporary and intermittent services in accordance with section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

    (i) Administrative Services- The Secretary of Commerce shall provide necessary office space and administrative services for the Council (including staff of the Council).


    (a) In General- The Council shall advise and make recommendations to Federal agencies on--

      (1) proposing sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction policies in a manner that promotes self-determination, self-sufficiency, and independence in urban and remote Native American communities while preserving the traditional cultural values of those communities;

      (2) ensuring that Native Americans (including Native American communities and organizations) have equal access to Federal economic aid, training, and assistance programs;

      (3) developing economic growth strategies, finance, and tax policies that will enable Native American organizations to stimulate the local economies of Native Americans and create meaningful new jobs in Native American communities;

      (4) increasing the effectiveness of Federal programs to address the economic, employment, medical, and social needs of Native American communities;

      (5) administering Federal economic development assistance programs with an understanding of the unique needs of Native American communities with the objectives of--

        (A) making Native American leaders knowledgeable about best business practices and successful economic and job growth strategies;

        (B) promoting investment and economic growth and reducing unemployment and poverty in Native American communities;

        (C) enhancing governance, entrepreneurship, and self-determination in Native American communities; and

        (D) fostering demonstrations of transformational changes in economic conditions in remote Native American communities through the use of innovative technology, targeted investments, and the use of Native American-owned natural and scenic resources;

      (6) improving the effectiveness of economic development assistance programs through the integration and coordination of assistance to Native American communities;

      (7) recommending educational and business training programs for Native Americans that increase the capacity of Native Americans for economic well-being and to further the purposes of this Act; and

      (8) initiating proposals, as needed, for fellowship and mentoring programs to meet the economic development needs of Native American communities.

    (b) Additional Duties- The Council shall--

      (1) prepare a compilation of successful business enterprises and joint ventures conducted by Native American organizations, including tribal enterprises and the commercial ventures of Native Corporations (as defined in section 102 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3102)) in the State of Alaska; and

      (2) periodically sponsor and arrange conferences and training workshops on Native American business activities, including providing mentors, resource people, and speakers to address financing, management, marketing, resource development, and best business practices in Native American business enterprises.


    In preparing and communicating the comments and recommendations of the President on proposed legislation to committees and leadership of Congress, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the head of a Federal agency shall include an assessment of the impacts of the proposed legislation on the economic and employment prospects and opportunities provided in the proposed legislation to improve the quality of living conditions of Native American communities, organizations, and members to the levels enjoyed by most people of the United States.


    The Council shall--

      (1) prepare periodic reports on the activities of the Council; and

      (2) make the reports available to--

        (A) Native American communities, organizations, and members;

        (B) the General Services Administration;

        (C) the Office of Management and Budget;

        (D) the Domestic Policy Council;

        (E) the National Economic Council;

        (F) the Council of Economic Advisers;

        (G) the Secretary of the Treasury;

        (H) the Secretary of Commerce;

        (I) the Secretary of Labor;

        (J) the Secretary of the Interior;

        (K) the Secretary of Energy; and

        (L) members of the public.


    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as are necessary.