House committee takes up Interior appropriations
The Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies completed its markup on the fiscal year 2010 Interior appropriations bill on Wednesday.

The bill provides $6.8 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, the Indian Health Service and related Indian programs. That's $654 million above the 2009 level and $39 million above the request submitted by President Barack Obama.

"The significant increases for health care, tribal law enforcement and education reflect our commitment to providing for the health, safety, and well-being of Native Americans," said Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Washington), the chairman of the subcommittee, in his statement.

"The bill provides an historic increase of $471 million above the enacted level for the Indian Health Service," Dicks added. "This will total $4.0 billion, an increase of $18 million above the President’s request. The Bill provides $144 million above the 2009 level for contract health services that allow sites to purchase services they are not able to provide, such as transportation and emergency care. The increases provided will support Tribal self-governance and improve the quality and availability of critical health care services for Native Americans."

"The bill also provides the Bureau of Indian Affairs a total of $2.6 billion, which is $21 million above the President’s request and $182 million above the 2009 level," concluded Dicks. "Of the increases, $30 million is for law enforcement to strengthen police programs, detention center operations and tribal courts."

The bill contains a number of earmarks though none directed to the BIA or the IHS. The sole Indian-related earmark appears to be $1 million for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona for a water project. The money would be set aside in the Environmental Protection Agency portion of the bill.

A full committee vote on the Interior bill is scheduled for next Thursday, June 18.

Relevant Documents:
Rep. Dicks Statement | Summary Table | Earmark List | Tentative Schedule for FY2010 Appropriations Bills

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