Tribes lobby for more funds in transportation bill
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Tribes throughout the nation are seeking more federal funds to repair roads and bridges that are hazardous to tribal members and inhibit economic development.

The Indian Reservation Roads program was created by Congress to improve road conditions in Indian Country. Of the 55,000 miles of highways that run through tribal lands, more than half are unpaved, and of the nearly 750 bridges, about a quarter are deficient.

A bill to update IRR is moving through Congress. The Senate version, which passed last week, includes $2.2 billion through 2009 while the House version, which President Bush is threatening to veto, authorizes $2.86 billion through 2009.

There are other changes that tribes support. The Senate version treats tribes on the same level as states before the Transportation Department. It also includes $50 million in direct transit aid for tribes.

Get the Story:
Tribes want bigger slice (Gannett News Service 2/19)

Get the Bill:
S.1072 (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003)

Relevant Links:
TEA-21 Reauthorization -
Tribal Transportation, DOT -

Related Stories:
Senate approves $318B highway transportation bill (02/13)
Domenici cites spending hike for reservation roads (2/12)
Senate committee approves reservation roads bill (06/27)
Editorial: Congress needs to fund reservation roads (06/05)
Senate committee to take up reservation roads (6/3)
BIA delaying distribution of federal road money (05/30)
Alaska's Young wants $375B for transportation (05/16)
New federal highway funds bill introduced (05/15)
Advocates seek boost for Indian Country roads (03/28)
Rahall: The Indian agenda in the 108th Congress (01/08)
State disputes 'illegal jurisdiction' of tribe (10/10)
Bill to double reservation road funds (09/24)
Federal appeals court affirms tribal authority (8/15)
McCaleb tussles with tribal leaders over roads (11/8)

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