indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Dynamic Homes
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:
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes united against Keystone XL Pipeline (9/19)
Regina Brave: The earth that once was will soon be no more (9/19)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: A conversation about suicide (9/19)
Cobell settlement checks being cashed across Indian Country (9/19)
Congress passes measure for tribal general welfare programs (9/19)
Native Sun News: US Senate candidates debate Native issues (9/18)
Cobell settlement checks landing in Indian Country mailboxes (9/18)
Sen. Walsh welcomes arrival of last Cobell settlement payout (9/18)
Rep. Daines praises House action on tribal general welfare bill (9/18)
Winnebago attorney joins BIA as a deputy assistant secretary (9/18)
NWIFC schedules briefing on 'Treaty Rights 101' on Capitol Hill (9/18)
Norbert Hill: It's past time to drop the Washington NFL mascot (9/18)
Peter d'Errico: Connecting mascots to racism and termination (9/18)
Opinion: Eliminating NFL team's racist mascot is just the start (9/18)
Student newspaper punished over refusal to print the R-word (9/18)
Officer investigated for 'drunk uneducated animals' comment (9/18)
9th Circuit rules against Chemehuevi Tribe in land deed case (9/18)
Mashable: Oglala Sioux man still pushing MazaCoin currency (9/18)
City won't allow vote on Tohono O'odham Nation casino plan (9/18)
9th Circuit poses tough questions in Big Lagoon casino case (9/18)
North Fork Rancheria banks on voter approval of casino deal (9/18)
KBIC judge dismisses lawsuit challenging plan for new casino (9/18)
Oneida Nation concerned about location of commercial casino (9/18)
Mashantucket Tribe's gaming executive to resign next month (9/18)
Column: Time for Mohegan Tribe to show its hand over casino (9/18)
Native Sun News: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe honors veterans (9/17)
Mark Trahant: Is independence in the future for tribal nations? (9/17)
Audio: SCIA takes up bill to bar Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/17)
House approves bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/17)
House Natural Resources Committee sets markup on tribal bills (9/17)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on bill for Hualapai Tribe (9/17)
9th Circuit takes up Big Lagoon Rancheria gaming land dispute (9/17)
House passes bill to shield Gun Lake Tribe casino from litigation (9/17)
Andre Cramblit: Enjoying life at Dartmouth as a Native student (9/17)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tribes need to lead climate change reform (9/17)
Sarah Deer wins genius grant for work to protect Native women (9/17)
Tex Hall loses bid for another term as chair of North Dakota tribe (9/17)
Group starts dragging of river in search of missing Native women (9/17)
Appeal filed over Navajo language ability of presidential hopeful (9/17)
Trial delayed for leader of Muscogee Nation accused in theft case (9/17)
Editorial: Pass bill to extend federal recognition to Virginia tribes (9/17)
NLRB reaffirms jurisdiction over Little River Band gaming facility (9/17)
Chumash Tribe to use labor unions for all work on casino project (9/17)
Student arrested over theft at Saginaw Chippewa Tribe's casino (9/17)
Native Sun News: Homeless students find support in Rapid City (9/16)
Checks from final payment of Cobell settlement put in the mail (9/16)
DOI offers $9.4M for Cobell buy-backs on Umatilla Reservation (9/16)
House takes up bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/16)
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.