Appropriations bill includes modest increases for BIA and IHS

A view of the Winnebago Hospital on the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska. Image from Google Maps

A massive bill to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2016 was finally released on Wednesday morning and it includes only modest increases for Indian Country.

H.R.2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, provides $2.8 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That's about $195 million above the current level.

The measure also includes $4.8 billion for the Indian Health Service. That's about $165 million higher than the 2015 level.

"This bill provides responsible funding for nearly all of the federal government, while helping to stop wasteful and unnecessary spending and reining in regulatory overreach that hinders growth and job creation," Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky), the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a press release.

The funding for most Indian programs can be found in Division D, Title II of the 2,009-page bill. A summary posted by the committee cited health care, law enforcement and education as funding priorities.

A more detailed explanation of Division D, including funding tables for certain Indian programs, was also posted. The House Rules Committee is holding a meeting this afternoon to discuss the bill.

Based on an initial reading, the bill does not appear to prevent the BIA from implementing the Part 83 reforms to the federal recognition process. Some tribes had been lobbying Congress to prevent the inclusion of the policy rider.

Related Stories
Omnibus appropriations bill could block BIA recognition reforms (12/10)
Government shutdown looms as Congress faces budget deadline (12/9)
Mark Trahant: Indian Country needs a long-term budget solution (11/02)
Congress passes budget agreement that raises spending levels (10/30)
Republican lawmakers and White House reach budget agreement (10/27)
Three presidential candidates make appeals to Indian Country (10/20)
President Obama signs bill to fund government through December 11 (10/01)
Congress set to pass measure to avert shutdown of government (09/30)
Senate advances bill to prevent shutdown of federal government (9/29)
Outgoing House Republican leader promises to avert shutdown (9/28)
Top Republican leader in House to resign as shutdown looms (9/25)
Mark Trahant: Government shutdown threatens Indian Country (9/22)
Mark Trahant: A messy Congress might actually work for tribes (03/09)

Join the Conversation