House Appropriations Committee to mark up BIA, IHS budget

The House Appropriations Committee will mark up the fiscal year 2012 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill tomorrow.

The bill contains the budgets for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians and the Indian Health Service. Despite shielding the agencies from massive cuts, lawmakers acknowledge they aren't meeting the federal government's responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

"At a time of record budget deficits, the Committee recognizes that increasing funding to fully meet all obligations is not feasible," the accompanying report states.

The bill, however, provides a total of $328 million in increases for the BIA and the IHS. This includes $184.5 million for contract support costs, a major issue for tribes that manage federal programs.

The bill also restores a $50 million cut to Indian school construction that was proposed by the Obama administration. Construction for IHS facilities was increased by nearly $47 million.

According to the summary table, the BIA budget is $2.5 billion, an increase of $29 million from the Obama request. But it's $64 million less than the amount enacted by the fiscal year 2011 bill.

The bill provides $4.5 billion, a decrease of $162 million from the Obama request. But that's $392 million higher than the 2011 level.

Tomorrow's mark up takes place at 10:30am Room 2359 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Get the Story:
In brief: U.S. House spending bills spare weather service, Indian Health Service from cuts [first item] (The Oklahoman 7/10)

Committee Notice:
Full Committee Mark Up - FY 2012 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill (July 12, 2011)

FY 2012 Interior Bill:
Subcommittee Draft | Summary Table | Report

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