Health | Law | National | Politics

BIA and IHS agree to fully fund contract support costs for 2014

The Obama administration will fully fund contract support costs for fiscal year 2014.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service will submit plans to Congress detailing their plan. The agencies were taken to task for ignoring two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that said tribes are owed full support costs for their self-determination contracts.

The money, however, appears only to cover the current fiscal year. The BIA and the IHS still owe an estimated $2 billion in contract support costs.

"While this recent development is a positive step for future contracts, federal agencies must also speed up the settlement of past claims, the National Congress of American Indians said in a press release. "Agencies owe tribal nations millions of dollars in unpaid contract support costs – money that is critical for tribes to achieve full self-determination."

After the Supreme Court ruled for tribes in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, Obama administration officials said they would follow the ruling. But they instead asked Congress for permission to fund each contract on an individual basis, an idea that was developed without tribal consultation.

Get the Story:
U.S. agrees to fully fund 2014 service contracts with Indian tribes, lawmakers say (The Washington Post 2/14)
Administration Agrees to Fully Pay Tribal Contract Support Costs (Indian Country Today 2/17)

Supreme Court Decisions:
Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter (June 18, 2012)
Cherokee Nation v. Leavitt:
Cherokee Nation v. Leavitt (March 1, 2005)

Related Stories:
Budget bill urges solution to contract support cost battle (01/15)

Join the Conversation