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
Dynamic Homes
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: EPA hears Native views about uranium mining (5/27)
Renae Yellowhorse: Navajo Nation can't cede power to outsiders (5/27)
Donna Loring: Politicians circle the wagons around Maine tribes (5/27)
David Treuer: Andrew Jackson turned on Cherokee Nation allies (5/27)
NCAI responds to criticism from Rep. Young on land-into-trust (5/27)
Lawsuit challenges constitutionality of Indian Child Welfare Act (5/27)
Hopi Tribe seeks to prevent auction of sacred property in France (5/27)
Indian students face harsh punishment at public schools in Utah (5/27)
Menominee Nation school sees dramatic rise in graduation rate (5/27)
Poarch Creeks planning family-friendly entertainment at project (5/27)
Coquille Tribe names executive at economic development entity (5/27)
Cherokee law students eager for summer work on Indian issues (5/27)
USDA sends $125K to Indian economic development corporation (5/27)
County by Pine Ridge Reservation receives justice service grant (5/27)
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick to challenge Sen. John McCain in 2016 race (5/27)
Law Article: Indian inmate wins religious rights suit in Wisconsin (5/27)
Alaska Native corporation holds election for five seats on board (5/27)
Blood Tribe combats rise in abuse of extremely dangerous drug (5/27)
First Nations housing program brings just 99 homes to reserves (5/27)
Supreme Court won't hear challenge to Graton Rancheria casino (5/27)
Kialegee Tribal Town given extension to respond in gaming case (5/27)
Quapaw Tribe looks to dispel concerns about casino in Arkansas (5/27)
Pokagon Band faces hurdles in plan to develop casino in Indiana (5/27)
California tribes still divided over efforts to legalize online poker (5/27)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe tackles school truancy (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Native village secures return of ancestral territory (5/26)
Secretary Jewell leads delegation to Indian school in Oklahoma (5/26)
Updated witness list for SCIA hearing on economic development (5/26)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules meeting and hearing (5/26)
Mary Ann Andreas: Candidates must keep informed about tribes (5/26)
Steve Russell: National sovereignty cannot cloak all evil conduct (5/26)
Gabriel Galanda: The tide is turning against tribal disenrollments (5/26)
Vince Two Eagles: Summertime means powwows and Sundances (5/26)
Boyd Cothran: America moves from Civil War to the Indian Wars (5/26)
Vivian Delgado: Native college graduates mark a rite of passage (5/26)
Blackfeet Nation adds 162 names to Montana veterans memorial (5/26)
Native women compete in first Miss Indigenous Ecuador contest (5/26)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe asks BIA to inspect financial documents (5/26)
Maine tribes hold rally after withdrawing from state Legislature (5/26)
Chemehuevi Tribe to reopen elementary school on reservation (5/26)
Arguments heard in lawsuit over federal judge's racist e-mails (5/26)
Appropriations bill allows VA hospitals to recommend marijuana (5/26)
Editorial: Navajo Nation leader makes right call on Grand Canyon (5/26)
Opinion: Andrew Jackson led horrifying campaigns against tribes (5/26)
Cayuga Nation Leaders: Tribe hasn't authorized gaming facilities (5/26)
Pair last seen at San Pasqual casino found on nearby reservation (5/26)
Chukchansi Tribe remains in talks with NIGC for casino reopening (5/26)
Pala Band finishes $5.7M casino renovation in just a few months (5/26)
Leader of Sandia Pueblo accused of preventing arrest at casino (5/26)
Tim Giago: Boot camp etched forever into the minds of veterans (5/25)
Native Sun News: Newspaper comes home with 14 media awards (5/25)
Gyasi Ross: Martin Sensmeier lands role in major Hollywood film (5/25)
Andre Cramblit: Let's see some real Indian actors on the screen (5/25)
Steven Newcomb: U.S. perpetuates dominance over our nations (5/25)
Valerie Goodness: Don't ignore indigenous ecological knowledge (5/25)
Peter d'Errico: Lawmakers kill bill for indigenous rights in Canada (5/25)
Matthew Scraper: ICWA opponents wrong to cite blood quantum (5/25)
Judge at center of ICWA lawsuit in South Dakota stripped of title (5/25)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne student receives top honor (5/22)
Lakota Country Times: Newspaper takes home a slew of awards (5/22)
James Davies: The new tactic is to pretend racism doesn't exist (5/22)
Thomas O'Rourke: Yurok Tribe is a leader in forest restoration (5/22)
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.