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Contact: David Host 202-225-4759

Pearce Hails Senate Passage of Pueblo of Isleta Settlement Legislation
Measure provides $40 million in compensation for mismanagement of tribal lands

Washington, D.C., Nov 13 -  

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce tonight hailed Senate action approving H.R. 5842, the "Pueblo of Isleta Settlement and Natural Resources Restoration Act of 2006," which Rep. Pearce introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation provides $40 million in compensation to the Pueblo of Isleta in settlement of its claims against the United States relating to the latter’s prior mismanagement of the Pueblo’s lands. The Senate passed H.R. 5842 early this evening.

"The Senate’s expeditious action on this legislation constitutes a major victory for the Pueblo and for all of New Mexico," Rep. Pearce said. "The enactment of this bill will prove that at a time of significant political change, we can still work together to achieve justice while protecting the American taxpayer from unnecessary, wasteful litigation.

"I once again wish to applaud Governor Robert Benavides of Isleta for his hard work and leadership on this settlement; and I also wish to thank Senator Pete Domenici and Senator Jeff Bingaman for their outstanding efforts in shepherding this important priority through the Senate."

H.R. 5842 now proceeds to President Bush for his signature. Upon becoming law, it will provide $32.8 million from the Department of Justice judgment fund, while authorizing the appropriation of an additional $7.2 million. This Pueblo will use this money to acquire, restore, improve, develop, and protect its natural and cultural resources, while investing $7.1 million of its own funds to improve agricultural drainage and to rehabilitate forest and range land.

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