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Senator Lankford, Rep. Mullin Introduce Bill to Remove Economic Barriers for Local Tribe

WASHINGTON, DC— Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) today introduced legislation in the Senate and House to remove an outdated charter that limits business and economic development opportunities for the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

“Outdated laws and regulations hold communities back all around Oklahoma,” said Lankford. “This federal corporate charter is unused by the Tribe, and yet its existence raises concerns for prospective business partners due to restrictive conditions within the charter. Taking the federal charter off the books eliminates uncertainty for these partners and ensures that the Tribe is free to pursue new opportunities that will benefit the community now and for years to come.”

The Tribe has said that their corporate charter imposes restrictions on the operation of business activities that were unrealistic even when it was written. Additionally, the Tribe has full constitutional authority to manage business affairs and adopt tribal law. However, removing this outdated charter requires congressional action.

Mullin said he was approached by the Tribe and at their request authored the legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives passed this legislation (H.R. 4002) in June of last year by voice vote, but the U.S. Senate did not take it up.

“This dated charter creates hurdles for the Tribe’s investors, business partners, and potential customers,” said Mullin. “Removing this obsolete charter from the books will eliminate uncertainty facing the Tribe’s partners, leading to additional growth opportunities for the communities the Tribe operates.”

The bills have been referred to their respective U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives committees for consideration. Lankford and Mullin are committed to working closely with committee leadership to ensure that the issue is addressed during the 114th Congress.