Contact: Jared King
Indian programs receive slight increase in fiscal 2019 appropriations
WASHINGTON—Today, President Trump signed the latest omnibus appropriations bill containing seven appropriations bills. In September of 2018, President Trump signed into law the other appropriations bills. In general, funding for Indian affairs received slight increases overall despite the president’s budget calling for cuts. The following provides a summary of the appropriations for Indian programs.
Indian Programs within the U.S. Department of the Interior will be funded at about $3.1 billion, which is about the same level as fiscal 2018. Of this amount, the operation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education will receive a slight increase to $2.415 billion (+0.14 percent). Additionally, construction will receive $359 million (+1.3 percent), and Indian guaranteed loan program will receive $10.8 million (+16 percent). Indian land and water settlements will receive $50 million (-28 percent), and, in the new language to the bill, an allocation will be made for the Navajo Nation Water Rights Trust Fund. Construction projects for the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project are funded out of the $359 million construction funding. Contract support cost will continue to be fully funded.
The Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation (ONHIR) funding level were reduced from $15.4 million to $8.75 million. The Office of Inspector General for the Department of the Interior will receive $1 million to audit and investigate ONHIR.
Indian Health Service (IHS) will receive about $5.8 billion, which is an increase of about $266 million (+4.8 percent) from fiscal 2018. Of this amount, $4.1 billion is allocated for IHS services and $879 million for IHS facilities cost. IHS contract support costs are fully funded.
The Native American Housing Block Grants program will remain at the same level as fiscal 2018 at $655 million to remain available until September 30, 2023.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will receive $8.8 billion in funding, which is an increase of $17 million from fiscal 2018. Funding for State and Tribal Assistance Grants will be about $3.61 billion, which is an increase of approximately $43 million. The appropriations also include $4 million for long term water quality monitoring of the Animas River due to the Gold King Mine spill.
The Department of Education will receive $71.4 billion, which is a $541 million increase from fiscal 2018. Funding for Indian Education under title VI of Elementary and Secondary Education Act remains at $180 million. Head Start will be funded at $10.1 billion, which is an increase of $200 million (+2 percent). Impact Aid will receive $1.3 billion, which is a decrease of $113 million from fiscal 2018. Higher Education will receive $2.31 billion, which is an increase of $66 million (+2.9 percent).
The Federal-Aid Highways program is funded at $45.27 billion, which is an increase of about $1.04 billion (+2.4 percent). This means that the Tribal Transportation Program will likely be funded at the president’s budget request of $495 million, an increase of $10 million from fiscal 2018. The TIGER grant program will receive $900 million, which is a decrease of $600 million (-40 percent) from fiscal 2018.
Within the Department of Labor, Native American programs in training and employment services will receive $54.5 million to be available from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.
The bill set construction funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at $2.183 billion, which is an increase of $98 million from fiscal 2018.
The Natural Resources Conservation Services operations will receive $819 74 million, which is a decrease of $55 million from fiscal 2018.
The bill provides $16 million for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) financial and technical assistance and training and outreach programs for Native American communities.
The bill provides $10,000,000 for Indian tribes for reclamation of abandoned mine lands as well as economic and community development.
For fiscal 2020, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold hearings on March 6-7, 2019 for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
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