House subcommittee proposes increases in funding for Native programs

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Contact: Jared King
Communications Director
202-682-7390

***LEGISLATIVE ALERT***

House subcommittee proposes increases in funding for Native programs

WASHINGTON—On May 15, the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies released its draft appropriations bill for fiscal 2020 with a boost in funding for Indian programs, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and the Indian Health Service (IHS).

Within the bill, the subcommittee proposes $3.5 billion for BIA and BIE, which is $432 million above fiscal 2019 enacted levels and $739 million above the president's budget request for the BIA and BIE. As a part of the $3.5 billion, the subcommittee proposed the following levels of funding:

 

Proposed in appropriations bill

Change from 2019 enacted level

Change from president’s budget

BIA Operation of Indian Programs

$1.7 billion

+$141 M

+$188 M

BIA Construction

$146 million

+$26 M

+$88 M

Indian Guaranteed Loan Program

$12.8 million

+$2 M

+$12 M

BIE Operation of Indian Programs

$1 billion

+$96 M

+$133 M

BIE Construction

$387 million

+$149 M

+$318 M

The subcommittee also proposed $4.64 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is a $511 million increase from fiscal 2019 and $1.87 billion above the president’s budget request.The bill also proposes $7.5 million for the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation (ONHIR). This is $1 million less than fiscal 2019 level. However, the additional $1 million allocated in fiscal 2019 was for the Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General to conduct an audit of ONHIR.The subcommittee proposed $45.6 million for Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements as recommended by the president’s budget request, which is a decrease about $9.8 million from fiscal 2019 due to unallocated funds from expiring enforceability dates for several settlement projects.For the Indian Health Service, the subcommittee proposed $6.3 billion, which is an increase of $537 million above fiscal 2019 level and $431 million above the president’s proposed budget. Of this amount, $4.56 billion is proposed for health services, which is $454 million above fiscal 2019 level and $270 million above the president’s budget request. The subcommittee also recommended $964 million for health facilities construction, which is $85 million above the fiscal 2019 level and $161 million above the president’s budget request.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez testified at a hearing on Indian programs before the subcommittee on March 7 requesting increases in funding for the Navajo Nation and Indian country.

The funding bill will now go before the full appropriations committee. They will consider the spending bill, and if they vote to approve and send it out of committee, the bill will then move to the floor of the House for a vote.

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