H.R. 1619 would affirm the status of approximately 17 acres of land in North Carolina that were taken into trust in 2020 by the Department of the Interior (DOI)for the benefit of the Catawba Indian Nation. The bill also would make gaming activities conducted on that land subject to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Using information provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, CBO estimates that the administrative costs to implement H.R. 1619 would not be significant; any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
H.R. 1619 would impose an intergovernmental mandate as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation, by restricting their existing right of action to pursue a case against DOI under the Administrative Procedures Act. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is challenging how the DOI applied its procedures to transfer land into trust for the Catawba Indian Tribe. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied the challenge motion, but the case is currently before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - D.C. Circuit. There are no costs associated with the mandate because there is no loss to be made whole by compensatory damages to the plaintiffs in the court of appeals.
H.R. 1619 does not contain private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.