White House to Host Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C.

White House to Host Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C.

The White House has scheduled the 2011White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C. for Friday, December 2, 2011. The Conference will be held at the Department of the Interior’s Sidney R. Yates Auditorium from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Additionally, each federally recognized tribe will be invited attend a smaller regional briefing and listening session at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with senior members of President Obama’s Administration.

The goal of this year’s Conference is to continue the meaningful dialogue between tribal leaders and the Administration, which remains committed to strengthening the government to government relationship between the United States and Tribal Nations.

Federally recognized tribes are invited to designate one representative to attend the Conference as well as the briefing and listening session. RSVP with the full name (including full middle name), position, tribe, social security number, date of birth, country of citizenship, country of birth, gender, current city and state of residence, e-mail and telephone number of your tribe’s representative to tribalnationsconference@who.eop.gov or fax a letter to (202) 456-1647, attention Tribal Nations Conference, by 10 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

October 20, 2011, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Business Meeting to consider S. 1262, the Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act

October 20, 2011, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Business Meeting to consider S. 1262, the Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will conduct a business meeting to consider S. 1262, the Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act (Native CLASS Act). The Committee will consider S. 1262 on Thursday, October 20th, at 2:15 p.m. EST in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. S. 1262 seeks to facilitate the inclusion of Indian tribes in the school improvement process, and for other purposes. The meeting will take place

For more information about the business meeting or the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, please visit: http://indian.senate.gov/

House Adopts Continuing Resolution to Fund Government Through November 18th

House Adopts Continuing Resolution to Fund Government Through November 18th

Today, the House, by a vote of 352-66, adopted the Senate-passed FY12 Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend funding for federal government operations and programs through November 18th, 2011. The President is expected to sign the bill later today. Funding levels in the CR are approximately 1.5% below FY11 levels. Appropriators in both the House and Senate will now work to develop a FY12 omnibus appropriations bill or several “mini-bus” appropriations bills to fund the government for the remainder of FY12 through September 30, 2012.

At the same time, the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee (also known as “the Supercommittee”) has begun internal debates and will soon schedule public hearings on proposals to come up with at least $1.2 trillion in federal savings over 10 years. In addition to spending cuts, the Supercommittee will examine federal tax reform and specific tax measures to raise federal revenue to reach the $1.2 trillion level. These cuts would not effect FY12 appropriations. If the Congress fails to pass the Supercommittee’s recommendation, $1.2 trillion in cuts will be automatically imposed over a 10 year period beginning in FY13 by OMB. These automatic cuts would be divided equally between defense and domestic spending programs.

Mapetsi will continue to monitor these funding bills and keep you posted on developments.

Congressional Action on FY12 Continuing Resolutions to Fund the Government

Congressional Action on FY12 Continuing Resolutions to Fund the Government

FY11 ended on Friday, September 30th, and October 1st marked the first day of FY12. On September 26th, the Senate passed two continuing resolutions (CR) — one that will fund the government until October 4th, and another that will fund it through November 18th. The Senate passed two CR’s because the U.S. House of Representatives was essentially in recess last week and had determined that it only had enough votes to pass a shorter-term October 4th CR without more time for debate. On September 29th, the House, through a unanimous consent process that only required the presence of a handful of members, passed the October 4th CR. The President signed the bill the same day. This CR provides for across the board cuts of 1.5% below FY11 funding levels for all programs and operations for the short duration of the CR.

Today, the House will take up a Senate-passed FY12 CR that would extend funding through November 18th, 2011. Like the current CR, funding levels in the November 18th CR are approximately 1.5% below FY11 levels.

If the House passes the November 18th CR, appropriators in both the House and Senate will work to develop a FY12 omnibus appropriations bill or several “mini-bus” appropriations bills (that bundle the 12 different appropriations bills in groups of 3 or 4 bills). In developing these bills, Congress will consider the recommendations of the various appropriations subcommittees, many of which have held hearings and marked up individual FY12 spending bills. In the House, tribal program funding levels in the FY12 Interior appropriations bill have been spared cuts for the most part and have even received increases in some programs thanks to champions for Indian country on the House Appropriations Committee, like Congressmen Mike Simpson (R-ID), Jim Moran (D-VA), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Betty McCollum (D-MN). The Interior appropriations bill provides, among other things, funding for BIA and IHS operations and programs. The Senate has not marked up its version of the FY12 Interior appropriations bill. However, given the extreme polarization in Congress, especially in the House, another distinct possibility is that Congress may be forced to enact a series of temporary CR’s as it did last year, when it finally enacted a year-long CR in April of 2011.

Mapetsi will continue to monitor these funding bills and keep you posted on developments.