indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Senate bill restores funding for Indian programs
Thursday, June 9, 2005

Joining their counterparts in the House, Senate appropriators this week approved a $26.3 billion Interior budget bill that restores President Bush's cuts to Indian programs.

Back in February, White House reduced the Bureau of Indian Affairs by more than $100 million while boosting the Office of Special Trustee by nearly the same amount. Since then, lawmakers of both parties have rejected Bush's priorities as out of touch with the needs of Indian Country.

"We have circumstances on the reservation that are desperate," Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said after the budget was released.

With that in mind, the Senate Appropriations Committee finalized its version of the Interior Department's 2006 budget bill on Tuesday. Initial numbers show increases in the BIA budget while the OST request has been pared down.

According to the committee, the BIA will be funded with $2.27 billion in 2006. While this figure is $26.3 million below the 2005 enacted level, it is $81.9 million higher than the White House request.

Of the BIA budget, the bill restores money to tribal colleges, tribal priority allocations and school replacement and improvement. Each of these programs had been cut by the Bush administration.

As for the OST, the committee stripped the White House's request by nearly $78 million to arrive at $226.1 million. The reduction limits the amount being spent on historical accounting projects for individual Indians and tribal governments.

The figures for the Indian Health Service are even more positive. The committee is seeking $3.224 billion for IHS, or $83.3 million above the 2005 enacted level. Increases include an additional $118.1 million for clinical services, $26.7 million for contract health care and $17.0 for facilities construction, which had been cut by $86 million by the White House.

The Senate version of the bill still needs to pass the full Senate before being reconciled with the one passed by the House last month. Like the Senate, the House restored money to the BIA, cut funds for the OST and added money to the IHS but there are some differences that will have to be worked out.

Regardless of the outcome, tribes will still fare better once the final version is passed. This is the third year in a row that Congress has beefed up Indian programs in what appears to be increasing frustration with the White House.

The frustration is shared by tribal leaders who say their views are being ignored by the executive branch. "They bring us in and we talk about the budget and really nothing happens," Ed Thomas, the president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska, said at a hearing last month.

That could change under provisions adopted by the House last month. The bill calls for a major overhaul in the way the BIA and the OST budgets are developed in hopes of ensuring that tribes are adequately consulted.

The goal, according to the report accompanying the House bill, is to provide "full transparency" for tribal priority allocation (TPA) funds that tribes use for their daily operations and to "clearly" show how funds for the central and regional offices of the BIA are being used.

To make the process more open, the BIA is being directed to create a comprehensive website that contains all the relevant budget information. OST, whose budget has exploded since the start of the Bush administration, would be included in the site as well.

Fiscal year 2006 starts in October. In the past two years, Congress has never passed a budget on time, leading to the development of huge "omnibus" bills that contain funding for hundreds of federal agencies, including the BIA.

The Senate Appropriations Committee reported the following highlights with regard to Indian programs:

Bureau of Indian Affairs - $2.27 billion ($26.3 million below FY05, $81.9 million over the budget request)
• Funds Tribally Controlled Community Colleges at a total of ($13 million over the request level)
• Restores cuts of $6.4 million to Welfare Assistance and $8.8 million to Johnson-O’Malley Education Grants
• Funds Law Enforcement at $189.9 million ($12.2 million over the enacted level)
• Funds Replacement School Construction at $58.5 million ($15 million over the request level), Education Facilities Improvement and Repair at $138.4 million ($10 million over the request), and creates a $10 million program to repair and rehabilitate existing Indian irrigation systems.

Office of the Special Trustee - $226.1 million
• Includes $34.5 million to reduce fractionation.
• Includes $58 million for historical accounting activities.

Indian Health Service - $3.224 billion ($83.3 million over FY05)
• Includes $118.1 million increase Clinical Services
• Includes $26.7 million increase for Contract Health Care
• Includes $17.0 million increase over the request for facilities construction

2006 Interior Appropriations Bill:
H.R.2361 | House Report 109-080

FY 2006 Funding Levels:
Subcommittee Reports FY06 Interior Appropriations Bill (May 4, 2005) | Appropriations Subcommittee Reports FY 2006 Interior Spending Bill (June 7, 2005)

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Letter:
FY 2006 Views and Estimates (February 28, 2005)

Budget Documents:
DOI Budget in Brief | Trust Responsibilities | Tribal Communities | Bureau of Indian Affairs | Departmental Offices [includes Office of Special Trustee] | DOI [from White House]

Related Stories:
Bill calls for tribal consultation on BIA budget (05/31)
Interior budget bill orders land-into-trust study (5/27)
House panel acts to restore Bush budget cuts (05/05)
Editorial: Cuts in BIA budget 'unacceptable' (04/06)
Editorial: Burns has chance to restore Indian funds (03/31)
Budget blueprints leave Bush's Indian cuts intact (03/28)
Chief Gray: Very little tribes can do on BIA budget (3/25)
Bush budget test inconsistent on Indian programs (3/16)
Panel rejects President Bush's budget priorities (3/8)
McCain lays out Indian agenda for 109th Congress (3/7)
Senator angles for better 'defense' on Bush budget (02/24)
Senators blast budget cuts to Indian programs (2/17)
School construction fared poorly on White House test (02/14)
Indian education funds reduced by Bush budget (2/10)
Official cites 'tight' budget for Indian housing (2/9)
BIA budget cut by $110M for fiscal year 2006 (2/8)
IHS escapes Bush administration's chopping block (2/8)
New Bush administration budget slashes programs (2/7)
Bush administration rolls out fiscal year 2006 budget (2/7)
State of Indian Nations address lays out broad agenda (2/4)
Bush to shift housing grant programs to Commerce (2/4)
Congress kicks into gear for 109th session (1/25)
Johnson expects tough times for Indian initiatives (01/18)
Bush administration to cut major HUD program (01/14)
Study shows impact of gaming in Indian Country (01/10)
Pombo cites achievements in 108th Congress (12/16)
Big changes in store for 109th Congress (12/14)
Indian advocates urge cooperation in Washington DC (11/05)
Data shows little change in economic status under Bush (08/27)
Bush says housing program he's cutting is 'working' (08/12)
Indian housing funds face cuts in Bush budget (04/14)
Tribes tackle budget woes under Bush administration (4/14)
Budget resolution barely clears House vote (03/26)
Tribal leaders denounce BIA budget plans as reckless (03/24)
BIA education programs taking $79 million hit (3/23)
Cuts run deep for tribal programs at BIA (03/09)
Senate panel shares criticism of Bush budget (02/12)
Tribal leaders pressing Congress on funding (02/11)
BIA programs barely survive White House test (02/10)
BIA budget staying the same under Bush request (2/3)

Copyright © 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Lakota Country Times: Not guilty verdict after Lakota 57 trial (9/1)
President Obama meets Native leaders after landing in Alaska (9/1)
Rhonda Pitka: Alaska Natives put priority on subsistence rights (9/1)
Transcript: Obama remarks following Native leaders roundtable (9/1)
94-year-old Alaska Native elder greets Obama with Denali song (9/1)
Politicians in Ohio oppose return of Alaska Native name for peak (9/1)
Passamaquoddy Tribe takes a step toward marijuana cultivation (9/1)
Center for Native American Youth seeks new executive director (9/1)
Supreme Court takes up petition in Kialegee Tribal Town dispute (9/1)
NCAI pushes for court rehearing in tribal labor sovereignty case (9/1)
Education Department awards $50.4M in grants to tribal colleges (9/1)
Native Sun News: Teens attacked on Rosebud Sioux Reservation (9/1)
Clara Caufield: Cheyenne brothers and sisters share language (9/1)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Shutting down a new generation of hate (9/1)
Jennifer Fielder: Tribes struggling to break free from bondage (9/1)
Brian Pierson: Big decision in Seminole Tribe's taxation case (9/1)
Navajo Nation hires firm to pursue Gold King Mine spill lawsuit (9/1)
Young tribal members cited for wild rice harvest in Minnesota (9/1)
Lake named for war secretary who pushed for removal of tribes (9/1)
Tribal college students participate in NASA challenge in Virginia (9/1)
La Jolla Band welcomes visitors to longest zip line in California (9/1)
Chukchansi Tribe still aiming for reopening of casino this month (9/1)
Cherokee Nation contributed $11M to upgrade road near casino (9/1)
President Obama restores Alaska Native name of highest peak (8/31)
BIA announces $1.75M in grants fot tribal education programs (8/31)
Multiple Capitol Hill hearings set into disaster at Gold King Mine (8/31)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux counselor combats youth suicide (8/31)
Native Sun News: Lakota 57 parents seek counseling for incident (8/31)
Ernestine Chasing Hawk: I remember I am alive and a survivor (8/31)
Mary Annette Pember: Native women betrayed in violence fight (8/31)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Blood quantum used to judge Indian people (8/31)
Sally Jewell: Native youth serve as Ambassadors for the Arctic (8/31)
Turtle Talk Poll: The enduring legacy of Supreme Court decision (8/31)
First Native woman Ashley Callingbull wins Mrs. Universe title (8/31)
Native boy lands role as son of Leonardo DiCaprio in new film (8/31)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe considers petition to legalize hemp (8/31)
Spirit Lake Nation declares state of emergency to fight drugs (8/31)
Mississippi Choctaws pick Phyllis Anderson as chief once again (8/31)
Former Pokagon Band leader to leave Michigan civil rights post (8/31)
More executives targeted in Chippewa Cree Tribe criminal probe (8/31)
Pueblo water system held hostage by county in trespassing spat (8/31)
Kootenai Tribe to create recovery plan for last wild caribou herd (8/31)
Chair of Duwamish Tribe presses Secretary Jewell on recognition (8/31)
Opinion: Islamic extremists are making inroads on reservations (8/31)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.