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
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Appropriations bill includes boosts for Indian Country programs

Filed Under: Health | National | Politics | Federal Recognition
More on: appropriations, barack obama, betty mccollum, bia, bie, doi, fy2017, house, ihs, ken calvert, republicans
     
   

A crowd enters the Pueblo Pavilion at Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico for commencement ceremonies on May 26, 2016. The school is part of the Bureau of Indian Education system and the agency would see a boost under the fiscal year 2017 Interior appropriations bill. Photo from Facebook

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are hoping to get the troubled appropriations process back on track this year, an effort that could benefit a slew of Indian Country programs.

The fiscal year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill cleared its first markup last Wednesday amid bipartisan support for increases at the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service. According to Rep. Ken Calvert (R-California), the BIA budget is growing by 3 percent while the IHS is growing by 6 percent.

The IHS amount in fact represents the "largest increase in the bill," said Calvert, the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

"The bill fully funds contract support costs and tribal grant school support costs, provides funding to staff newly constructed health facilities, addresses the rising costs of medical inflation, improves public safety" and invests more money in the Bureau of Indian Education, he said.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota), the panel's ranking Democrat, welcomed the subcommittee's dedication to "our Native American brothers and sisters." But she said her Republican colleagues failed to include all of the requests sought by President Barack Obama for the BIA, the IHS and other Indian programs.


Indianz.Com SoundCloud: House Appropriations Subcommittee Markup Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Bill

"Even with this increase, funding for Native American programs is still $172 million less than the administration's request," McCollum said at the markup.

The bill sets funding for the BIA at $2.9 billion, an increase of $72 million from the fiscal year 2016 level. Obama, on the other hand, had requested an increase of about $137 million.

Discretionary funding for the IHS comes in at $5.1 billion, an increase of $271 million from the 2016 level. In contrast,
Obama had sought an increase of about $377 million.

Despite the differences, Indian Country fared better than most other areas. When the levels for the BIA, the IHS, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians and other related agencies are taken into account, McCollum said the bill includes an additional $443 million for these programs.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in comparison, has been subjected to a whopping $164 million cut. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Land and Water Conservation Fund are also seeing decreases.


YouTube: Subcommittee Markup: FY17 Interior and Environment Bill

McCollum also said the bill was filled with a slew of negative policy riders -- she called them "veto bait" -- that aren't about funding at all. One of them bars the BIA from implementing the long-overdue Part 83 reforms reforms to the federal acknowledgment process.

Last year, Obama threatened to veto the Interior appropriations bill because it did not include the increases he sought at the BIA and the IHS. The White House also questioned numerous policy riders, including one that targeted the same federal recognition reforms.

But a showdown never materialized because Republican leaders in the House pulled the funding bill due to an unrelated dispute over the Confederate flag. When the House>omnibus appropriations package finally surfaced last December, it included only modest gains for the BIA and the IHS and the recognition rider didn't show up at all.

While this year's appropriations bills are moving forward, Republican leaders failed to pass a budget resolution amid opposition from fiscal conservatives within the party. The lack of a guiding document could hinder efforts to increase Indian program levels as the process continues.

The next step for the Interior bill would be consideration by the full House Appropriations Committee. A markup hasn't been scheduled but it typically happens in June.

House Appropriations Committee Documents:
Press Release | PDF: Full Draft

FY2017 Interior Department Budget Documents:
Budget in Brief | Strengthening Tribal Nations and Insular Communities | Indian Affairs | DOI Fact Sheet

FY2017 Indian Health Service Budget Documents:
Budget Request | Budget Justification | HHS Budget In Brief

Related Stories:
First Lady Michelle Obama shares story of hope with Indian school (5/26)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (05/25)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Bureau of Indian Education subject to transgender student guidance (05/13)
Bill to create new Indian education agency draws Democratic fire (05/11)
Bureau of Indian Affairs reports progress in inspections at schools (05/11)
Tribes to finally see funding to exercise jurisdiction over non-Indians (05/09)
Leech Lake Band to get new high school after long wait for funding (05/09)
Bureau of Indian Affairs inches forward with school construction (04/11)
Scandals overshadow Bureau of Indian Education reform efforts (04/07)
Bureau of Indian Education racked by another top-level scandal (03/31)
Bureau of Indian Affairs develops contract support costs policy (03/25)
Leader of Bureau of Indian Affairs promises to inspect all schools (03/17)
Bureau of Indian Affairs slammed for safety conditions at schools (03/14)
House subcommittee to hear from tribes and tribal organizations (03/14)
Six of 12 Indian Health Service area directors in 'acting' capacity (02/10)
President Obama seeks another increase for Indian Health Service budget (02/10)
Bureau of Reclamation emphasizes tribal water rights settlements (02/09)
President Obama seeks $2.9B budget for Bureau of Indian Affairs (02/09)
Office of Special Trustee budget request remains steady at $140M (02/09)

Copyright © 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:
Appeals court hears slew of Indian cases amid focus on nominee (3/23)
Internal tribal disputes continue to trip up federal court system (3/23)
Mark Trahant: Indian health care gains ignored in political debate (3/23)
Native Sun News Today: Young fighters maintain Lakota tradition (3/23)
Ivan Star Comes Out: America loses its self-respect and humanity (3/23)
Rosalyn LaPier: Why water remains sacred to indigenous peoples (3/23)
Winona LaDuke: North Dakota spreads filth about water protectors (3/23)
Harold Monteau: Tribal governments are abusing their own people (3/23)
Alex Jacobs: Donald Trump in middle of the 'deep state civil war' (3/23)
Secretary Zinke announces 'doggy days' for Interior Department (3/23)
Keystone XL Pipeline route crosses Ponca Tribe's forced removal (3/23)
Indian lawmaker resigns after being charged for child prostitution (3/23)
Pinoleville Pomo Nation buys site of long-delayed casino project (3/23)
High court pick acknowledges poor treatment of 'sovereign' tribes (3/22)
Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal (3/22)
Court allows claim for alleged underpayment in Cobell settlement (3/22)
South Dakota tribes continue to extend Class III gaming compacts (3/22)
Cowlitz Tribe secures approval to offer liquor as casino debut nears (3/22)
Native Sun News Today: Community project continues at Pine Ridge (3/22)
Cronkite News: Copper mine on sacred site complains about delays (3/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters (3/22)
Stacy Pratt: Visiting the gravesite of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee (3/22)
Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer (3/22)
Muckleshoot Tribe still seeking answers for fatal shooting by officer (3/22)
Hopland Band submits claim for county raid of marijuana operation (3/22)
Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company (3/22)
Seminole Tribe accused of breaking contract with outlet at casino (3/22)
Indian Child Welfare Act survives attack from conservative groups (3/21)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on diabetes (3/21)
Ponca Tribe hosts 282-mile walk to retrace trail of forced removal (3/21)
National Indian Gaming Association honors Native casting director (3/21)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales up for review again (3/21)
James Giago Davies: It's time to take a trip to the Great Upstairs (3/21)
Smith and Wakefield: Obamacare repeal is bad for Indian Country (3/21)
Steve Russell: Domestic status of Indian nations invented in 1831 (3/21)
Steven Newcomb: Pope Francis must address domination legacy (3/21)
Tulalip Tribes install 1st leadership board with women in majority (3/21)
Osage Nation passes referendum to legalize same-sex marriage (3/21)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe returns to court to seek federal recognition (3/21)
Lawmakers pushing for federal recognition of six tribes in Virginia (3/21)
Cowlitz Tribe casino seen as impacting lottery revenues in Oregon (3/21)
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.