Obama proposes first federal budget
President Barack Obama proposed his first federal budget on Thursday, promising increases for Indian education, law enforcement and health care.

The fiscal year 2010 budget proposes $12 billion for the Interior Department, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs. While complete details have not been released, an additional $100 million is being sought for education and law enforcement.

"These funds will strengthen tribal courts, detention centers, and police programs to help Native Americans protect their communities," the White House Office of Management and Budget said.

"The budget also increases funding for tribal colleges and scholarships and provides funding earlier in the academic year, giving the colleges greater financial security," the White House said.

Over at the Department of Health and Human Services, Obama is seeking more than $4 billion for the Indian Health Service. "Investments in the Indian health system will focus on improving the health outcomes of American Indians/Alaska Natives and promoting healthy Indian communities," the budget states.

Today's outline comes after the passage of the $767 billion national stimulus. The package includes $2.5 billion for tribal health, education, infrastructure and other projects.

It also comes as Congress weighs the $410 billion Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act. The bill passed the House yesterday by a 245 to 178 vote, which was split largely along party lines.

The stimulus and the omnibus include significant boosts for Indian Country programs that were cut or eliminated during the Bush administration. The BIA is set to receive $2.1 billion, an increase of $140 million from current levels.

The bill funds the IHS with $3.6 billion, an increase of $235 million from current levels. It includes $36 million for urban Indian health, a program cut repeatedly during the Bush era.

Obama's budget seeks to reverse what he called the "misplaced priorities" the prior administration. He cited "loosened oversight and weak enforcement" of the financial markets amid tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

"This is the legacy that we inherit -- a legacy of mismanagement and misplaced priorities, of missed opportunities and of deep, structural problems ignored for too long," Obama said in his budget documents. "It's a legacy of irresponsibility, and it is our duty to change it."

FY 2010 Budget:
President's Message | Interior Factsheet | Interior Overview | HHS Factsheet | HHS Overview | More Documents

FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act:
H.R.1105 | Text and Explanatory Statement | More Details

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
H.R.1 | S.1

Related Stories:
Miccosukee Tribe opposes Everglades provision (2/26)
Omnibus bill includes reservation projects (2/24)
Sen. Dorgan seeks quick distribution of stimulus (2/24)
Interior investigator to oversee stimulus for Obama (2/23)
Report slams BIA office in Alaska over roads funds (2/20)
Kevin Abourezk: NCAI website tracks Indian stimulus (2/20)
Jodi Rave: Bond provision will help Indian Country (2/19)
Obama signs $787B stimulus package into law (2/18)
Stimulus bill ready for Obama's signature (2/16)
Turtle Talk: Tribal tax exempt bonds and stimulus (2/12)
Garcia hopeful in last State of Indian Nations (2/12)
Jodi Rave: NCAI president calls for economic stimulus (2/11)
Jodi Rave: Indian stimulus projects called 'pigout' (2/10)
NPR: Indian Country and the national stimulus (2/10)
Obama pushes for stimulus on eve of Senate vote (2/10)
Sen. Johnson backs Indian Country stimulus (2/3)
Opinion: Indian Country stimulus a good start (1/30)
Stimulus for Indian Country heads to Senate floor (1/28)
Jodi Rave: Senate bill includes $2.8B for tribes (1/28)