Congress passed the Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act Wednesday. It will allow Oregon tribes including the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians to buy and sell their private lands just as other Americans do.
Under an older act, tribes were required to get federal approval to purchase, sell, convey, warrant or lease their privately owned land.
Oregon U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Reps. Greg Walden and Peter DeFazio hailed the vote as a victory.
"It's absurd that tribes were forced to get Congressional approval before they could develop property that they privately own," Merkley said in a written statement.
Other Oregon tribes impacted include the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, along with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon.
The legislation next goes to President Donald Trump for his consideration.