Press Releases

Issa Tribal Land Bill Passes House of Representatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) announced that his bipartisan legislation to facilitate the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ work to protect a sacred San Diego County site passed in the House of Representatives today.

H.R. 1975 – The Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act of 2021 – was authored by Congressman Issa and cosponsored by Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51). The legislation will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to transfer approximately 720 acres of land – which includes a sacred site known locally as Gregory Mountain – that was acquired by the Pala into trust for the benefit of the tribe and its members.

Rep. Issa said, “This bill enjoys broad and bipartisan support because it is the product of government and tribal communities working together to extend the reservation and ensure the culture and legacy of these lands are protected for future generations.” My thanks to my friend Rep. Vargas for his support in making this legislation a reality.

Rep. Vargas said, “I’m proud to join Rep. Issa to help protect the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ ancestral lands. Through H.R. 1975, we put these lands into a federal trust and ensure that Chokla, the sacred mountain to the Pala Band, is respected and protected for future traditions.”

Pala Chairman Robert Smith said, “The Pala Band of Mission Indians would like to express our gratitude to Congressman Darrell Issa for the work he has done to help us protect our sacred ancestral lands. We are also grateful to Congressman Juan Vargas for his long-standing partnership in our fight to protect Chokla, our sacred mountain. Putting these lands into federal trust through H.R. 1975 ensures that the people of Pala can continue to steward our lands and traditions as we have since time immemorial.

Darrell Issa is the Representative of California’s 50th Congressional District. The District encompasses the central and northeastern parts of San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County, including the communities of Fallbrook, San Marcos, Valley Center, Ramona, Escondido, Santee, Lakeside, El Cajon, Temecula, and the mountain and desert areas of the San Diego-Imperial County line. Issa served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2011-2015.