Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to testify at House budget hearing

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell meets with youth from the Tohono O'odham Nation at Saguaro National Park in Arizona. Photo from Twitter

Secretary Sally Jewell will discuss the fiscal year 2017 budget request for the Interior Department at a hearing on Tuesday.

The budget seeks $13.4 billion for the department. Included in that amount is $2.9 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a 5 percent increase over current levels, and $140.4 million for the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, about the same as the current level.

An additional $217 million at the Bureau of Reclamation would fund tribal water rights settlements and other water projects in Indian Country, according to budget documents.

Overall, the Obama administration said the budget invests $3.55 billion in Indian Country when all bureaus, agencies and offices at DOI are combined.

Jewell is the sole witness for the House Committee on Natural Resources hearing. But she will be accompanied by Michael L. Connor, a descendant of Taos Pueblo who serves as the deputy secretary, or the second-in-command, at the department.

Next week, on March 9, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will discuss the Indian Country budget. A witness list hasn't been posted online.

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on the President’s 2017 Budget Proposal with Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (March 1, 2016)

Another Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing "The President's FY2017 Indian Country Budget" (March 9, 2016)

FY2017 Budget Documents:
Budget in Brief | Strengthening Tribal Nations and Insular Communities | Indian Affairs | Departmental Offices [Includes OST] | Bureau of Reclamation | DOI Fact Sheet

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President Obama seeks $2.9B budget for Bureau of Indian Affairs (02/09)
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Bureau of Reclamation emphasizes tribal water rights settlements (02/09)

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