indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Senators, tribal leaders bash Bush's latest budget
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on President Bush's fiscal year 2007 budget, February 14, 2006.
Introductory Statements - 13.57 - 3.2MB
Panel I - 25:35 - 5.9MB | Q&A - 39:11 - 9MB
Panel II - 44:14 - 10.1MB | Q&A - 13:50 - 3.2MB
Witness List | Webcast
President Bush's latest budget came under fire at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, as senators and tribal leaders assailed the administration for proposing cuts to health care, education and other Indian programs.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, led the criticism of the fiscal year 2007 budget. He accused the White House of eliminating and reducing funds for Indian programs without providing an adequate justification for the cuts.

"I think some of these cuts clearly send out the wrong signal to Indian Country as to what our belief on our fulfillment of our obligation to Native Americans is all about," McCain said in his opening remarks.

A key concern that emerged during the hearing was the Bush administration's proposal to get rid of the $33 million urban Indian health program at the Indian Health Service. Even though 64 percent of Native Americans live in urban areas, the White House says it is putting the focus on reservation health care.

"The urban clinics in the western United States serve numerous Alaska Natives who have relocated to other parts of country, looking for employment, a better life, and so it's troubling when one considers that some of the clients served by these urban clinics were encouraged to leave their reservations," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said, referring to the federal government's policy in 1950s to relocate Native Americans to urban areas.

Kathy Kitcheyan, the chairwoman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona and a representative of the National Indian Health Board, spoke against the cut. She said urban Native Americans will be forced to turn to underfunded reservation health clinics, not to the community health centers as suggested in the budget.

"The government's assumption that American Indians and Alaska Natives will seek health care from community health centers is based on nothing," she testified. "There are no studies, no facts and no information."

Another health care cut that was criticized was the $20 million cut to construction of new facilities. This is the second year in a row that the administration has reduced the account, down from $38 million in 2006, and down from $89 million in 2005.

The 2006 cut was portrayed as a "pause" in construction by the administration. But Kitcheyan said the 2007 cut amounts to a virtual elimination of the program despite the need for new facilities in places like Arizona and Alaska.

Cuts in education funding were also a major concern. The budget seeks to reduce funding for construction and replacement of Bureau of Indian Affairs schools by $50 million, eliminate the $16 million Johnson 0'Malley program and maintain level funding for other Indian education programs.

When inflation is factored in, Ryan Wilson, the president of the National Indian Education Association, said the flat-lined budget amounts to a "de facto" decrease. "Inadequately funding Native education programs will diminish, if not undo, the progress that has been made," he told the committee.

Bush administration officials defended the budget, with IHS director Dr. Charles Grim, a member of the Cherokee Nation, pointing out that the agency's overall budget of $4 billion saw an increase. But Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) said Indian health care remains woefully underfunded.

"I know that 40 percent of the health care needs of Native Americans are unmet," Dorgan said. "It's a crisis. How many children today aren't going to get health care when they need it?"

Members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee are in a prime position to reverse the cuts, and they have worked to restore Indian program funds in the past. In addition to Dorgan, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico), Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota sit on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which handles all the federal funding bills. Domenici, Johnson, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) also sit on the Senate Budget Committee.

The next step for the Indian Affairs Committee will be to send a "views and estimates" letter to the Budget Committee. Last year, McCain and Dorgan asked their budget counterparts to reject Bush's cuts to Indian programs. When the budget finally made it through Congress, many of the cuts were indeed restored.

This time around, McCain said he expected the same to occur. "Sometimes we see these budgets come over, with cuts that they [executive branch officials] know are going to be restored by the Congress," he said. "It's a game as old as there is."

FY2007 BIA Budget Request:
Bureau of Indian Affairs Budget | Departmental Offices [includes Office of Special Trustee]

FY2007 DOI Budget Documents:
Fulfilling Trust Responsibilities | Serving Tribal Communities | Protecting Lives, Resources, and Property [includes Safety in Indian Country] | Budget in Brief | Interior Department [from the White House]

FY2007 IHS Budget in Brief:
HTML | PDF

White House OMB Report:
Major Savings and Reforms in the President's 2007 Budget (February 2006)

Relevant Links:
White House Office of Management and Budget- http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb

Related Stories:
Listening Lounge: Hearing on FY2007 budget request (2/14)
Bush budget details Indian program cuts (2/10)
Budget includes money for DOI Indian museums (2/9)
Johnson calls Bush's Indian budget inadequate (2/8)
BIA budget suffers cut for yet another year (2/7)
IHS gets another boost under Bush budget (2/7)
Tom Cole blasts Interior for cutting BIA funds (2/6)
Cuts to Indian programs feared as Bush rolls out budget (2/6)
Garcia turns to Four Directions to guide Indian Country (02/03)
Bush punishes BIA budget to pay for Cobell (02/02)
BIA contract funds lost to Iraq, Afghanistan wars (06/28)
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)
Bush to seek $70B more for Iraq, Afghanistan (10/26)
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)
Cuts run deep for tribal programs at BIA (03/09)

Copyright 2000-2006 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Choctaw Nation Trial:
Choctaw Nation releases statement after guilty verdict in case (11/21)
Former Choctaw Nation employee found guilty after lengthy trial (11/21)
Trial on Choctaw Nation fraud winds down with final testimony (11/21)
Leader of Choctaw Nation faces tough questions in fraud trial (11/21)
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux youth to join White House meet (11/21)
Obamas welcome youth from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to DC (11/21)
Chaske Spencer: Changing the narrative for our Native youth (11/21)
Winona LaDuke: No one believes in the 'black snake' pipeline (11/21)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tax disparities remain in Indian Country (11/21)
ICT interview with DOI deputy secretary on Cobell buy-backs (11/21)
Oglala Sioux Tribe rounds up dogs after deadly attack on girl (11/21)
North Dakota tribe in negotiations for pipeline to curb flaring (11/21)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe passes language to new generation (11/21)
Blog: Play-by-play of election controversy on Navajo Nation (11/21)
Column: Theories link Thanksgiving to 1637 Pequot massacre (11/21)
Editorial: Work with Burns Paiute Tribe on land-into-trust bid (11/21)
BIA publishes notice of Karuk Tribe Class III gaming compact (11/21)
Oklahoma reports drop in gaming exclusivity fees from tribes (11/21)
Pala Band gears up for official launch of Internet gaming site (11/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux woman shot and killed by police (11/20)
Mark Trahant: Lakota honor song wasn't out of place in Senate (11/20)
Dog attack blamed for death of eight-year-old girl at Pine Ridge (11/20)
DOI issues status report on Cobell land consolidation program (11/20)
Greg Grey Cloud explains Lakota honor song after Senate vote (11/20)
Steven Newcomb: Disestablishing the doctrines of domination (11/20)
Sen. Mark Begich: Moving forward for the first people of Alaska (11/20)
Bill Richardson: Indian Country feels effects of climate change (11/20)
Smithsonian: Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 won't be forgotten (11/20)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe sues South Dakota over sales tax (11/20)
Morongo Band distributes 10K turkeys for Thanksgiving meals (11/20)
GAO report looks at tribal implementation of Adam Walsh Act (11/20)
FBI opens background check database to tribal law agencies (11/20)
Survey shows most Americans wouldn't use R-word in person (11/20)
USDA Blog: Youth from Angoon Tribe carry on their traditions (11/20)
Editorial: County and critics must stop fighting Chumash Tribe (11/20)
Editorial: Oklahoma Indian museum benefits the entire state (11/20)
Muscogee Nation finally starts work on $365M gaming project (11/20)
Two tribes making push for off-reservation casino in California (11/20)
Mashantucket Tribe hires new executive for gaming operation (11/20)
Opinion: Catawba Nation makes a sneak attack with casino bid (11/20)
Opinion: Poarch Creek gaming deal won't help state's economy (11/20)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne activists push for change (11/19)
Mark Trahant: Historic election in Alaska with Native candidate (11/19)
Audio: Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on child trauma (11/19)
Republicans hold up action on Alaska tribal jurisdiction measure (11/19)
DOI official to give update on Cobell land consolidation program (11/19)
Center for Native American Youth hosts panel discussion in DC (11/19)
Sen. Heitkamp to host panel on child trauma in Indian Country (11/19)
Gyasi Ross: Police shootings aren't just a 'people of color' issue (11/19)
Steven Newcomb: Focusing on liberation and self-determination (11/19)
Crow Creek Sioux man arrested as Senate rejects Keystone bill (11/19)
Leader of Tunica-Biloxi Tribe hit with prescription drug charges (11/19)
Performance sheds light on 'purchase' of Lenape island in 1626 (11/19)
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.