White House approved DOI spending bill
Facebook Twitter Email

Controversial provisions in the Department of Interior's spending bill do not violate the government's trust responsibilities, the White House said on Tuesday.

According to the White House Office of Management and Budget OMB, three sections of a $19.7 bill "will not interfere with the Cobell v. Norton litigation" on the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust. The provisions require disclosure of private financial information of the five named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, limit compensation to two federal court officials and allow taxpayer dollars to pay for private attorneys.

However, the OMB did not state its views on other provisions affecting the trust fund, including one which limits an historical accounting to the period 1985-2000. Another section requires the Interior to fire a panel of tribal leaders and trust experts and appoint replacements.

The White House did raise concerns about the Commission on Native American Policy. The OMB didn't specify the nature of its objections and only said the commission could "help improve social conditions and economic opportunities on Indian reservations."

The Congressional Native American Caucus, a bipartisan group of 99 lawmakers, and House Resources Committee ranking member Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) are challenging the trust fund limits and the commission. Debate is expected to resume today.

Relevant Documents:
Rahall Letter (7/15) | Hayworth-Kildee Letter (7/12) | 8th Court Monitor Report (7/11) | House Committee Report (7/9) | Senate Committee Report (6/27)

Relevant Bills:
H.R.5093 | S.2708

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -
Trust Reform, NCAI -

Related Stories:
Objections on trust fund ignored (7/16)
House to debate DOI funding bill (7/16)
IIM project affects little in trust (7/16)
House trust fund bill opposed (7/15)
Full accounting said not 'cost effective' (7/15)
Griles slammed for ignorance (7/12)
DOI denies involvement in House bill (7/12)
Court monitor releases new report (7/11)
ABC program to focus on Indian trust fund (7/11)
Tribes express doubts on trust reform (7/11)
Norton delivers accounting plan (7/5)
Cobell kicks off Indian Country tour (7/3)
Trust fund monitor defended (7/2)
Historical accounting plan delayed (7/2)
Norton's accounting funds limited (6/28)
Griles can't explain trust standards (6/27)