• April 10, 2021
 Reps. Escobar, Gonzales announce introduction of  ‘Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Act’

The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Tribe’s Speaking Rock Entertainment Center | Photo courtesy Google

Reps. Escobar, Gonzales announce introduction of ‘Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Act’

On Thursday, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23) announced the introduction of H.R. 2208, the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Act.

“I am grateful to Representatives Escobar and Gonzales for their leadership to re-introduce this critically important bill, which will provide us with true tribal sovereignty and the ability to best take care of our people, especially our elders and our children,” said Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Governor E. Michael Silvas.

“Equally important, this legislation will allow us to foster economic development and job growth for El Paso and West Texas. We hope the House of Representatives and Senate will soon send this bill to the President to sign.”

According to the office of Representative Escobar, the legislation would ensure the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta tribes are covered by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) providing both Native American communities a critical economic lifeline and opportunity to recover from the coronavirus health and economic crisis.

The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Act would also create parity with the only other federally recognized tribe in Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas.

“The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas is grateful to Congresswoman Escobar for providing the leadership we need to deliver fairness for our Tribal citizens and economic opportunity for our fellow Texans,” said Nita Battise, Chair of the Tribal Council for the Albama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.

“This legislation has proven to have bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives and we look forward to again working with members of both parties to protect the nearly 2,000 Texas jobs that Congresswoman Escobar’s legislation would save.”

“I am proud to introduce the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Act to protect our Native American tribes’ sovereignty and ensure they have the ability to recover from the coronavirus crisis and rebuild their economies,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “Very simply, this bipartisan bill seeks parity. It will create long-overdue opportunity for our tribes and communities and I will do everything possible to ensure it gets to the President’s desk for his signature.”

“I’m honored to support this bill as it will allow for the Tigua Pueblo to not only recover and rebuild from the pandemic but grow and expand their economy,” said Congressman Gonzales.

The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Act:

  • Ensures that the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribes are covered by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and creates parity with the only other federally recognized Tribe in Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas.
  • Would not expand gaming in Texas but would allow the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe to offer electronic bingo on their reservations, something the only other federally recognized Tribe in Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, has been doing since 1996 without interference from Texas.

The full text of the legislation is available here and a fact sheet here.

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