WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Representative Dan Boren worked-out an agreement last week to prevent attempts to remove the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma from funding provided under programs established by H.R. 2895.
The agreement was reached during the House Financial Services Committee mark-up of H.R. 2895, known as the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act.
The proponents of measures to remove tribal funding agreed with Boren that the court system should be allowed to complete its review of the Cherokee Freedman issue before Congressional action is taken.
“It is more appropriate to discuss legislation on the Cherokee Freedman issue after the current process in the court system is complete,” Boren said. “At this point measures to withhold funding from the entire tribe, will also eliminate opportunities and assistance to the Freedman they seek to help.”
Boren advised the committee that, currently, a court-ordered stay has re-instated full tribal benefits and rights to the Cherokee Freedman. If H.R. 2895 was amended to exclude the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Freedman would lose the benefits as well. Proponents of eliminating the tribe's federal recognition and funding have made several recent attempts in committee hearings to amend legislation to exclude the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma.
The National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act provides for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of decent, safe, and affordable housing for low-income families. According to a formula established under the act, tribes, states, and local jurisdictions receive allocations from the fund each fiscal year.
“Programs like these increase homeownership to an underserved population and are crucial to thousands of citizens in eastern Oklahoma,” Boren said. “With the 10th poorest congressional district in the Nation, I am committed to making sure my constituency receives these important opportunities for economic stability.