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
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:
Federal court blocks attempt to condemn lands on Navajo Nation (5/26)
Bill removes blood quantum requirement for Five Civilized Tribes (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Voting is just sooo hard in the era of Donald Trump (5/26)
Ryan Benally: Bears Ears was false promise for Native Americans (5/26)
Adrian Jawort: Should non-Natives ever write about our people? (5/26)
Native turnout fails to sway closely-watched election in Montana (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee council ousts chief for only 2nd time in history (5/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe into election season with crowded field (5/26)
Lacrosse documentary 'Pride of a Nation' opens to strong reviews (5/26)
Seminole Tribe working hard to rid new casino of Trump's influence (5/26)
Lawmakers once again seek fixes to 'broken' Indian Health Service (5/25)
Secretary Zinke headed to National Congress of American Indians (5/25)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens listening sessions on reorganization (5/25)
Kevin Washburn: Indian Country feels the pain with Donald Trump (5/25)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as buy-back winds down (5/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (5/25)
Secretary Zinke plans to work with tribes on drilling push in Alaska (5/25)
Republican candidate to replace Ryan Zinke charged with assault (5/25)
Democrats drop Andrew Jackson from name of event in Arkansas (5/25)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (5/25)
Washoe Tribe celebrates 1st anniversary of unique gaming facility (5/25)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares update on casino work (5/25)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (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.