Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing the FY 2014 Budget

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing the FY 2014 Budget

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has scheduled an oversight hearing on the FY 2014 budget. The hearing is titled “The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget for Tribal Programs,” and it is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 24th, at 2:30 p.m. EST in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Witnesses for live testimony are by invitation only, and a list will be posted on the Committee’s website once confirmed.

The record will be open for two weeks after the hearing for written comments.

The webcast of this hearing will be available on the scheduled hearing date on the Committee website. For more information about the hearing or the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, please visit: http://indian.senate.gov/

Senate Confirms Sally Jewell as DOI Secretary

Senate Confirms Sally Jewell as DOI Secretary

On April 10th, the Senate confirmed Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. She was sworn in as Secretary on April 12th by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner with participation from the Department’s Solicitor Hilary Thompkins, a member of the Navajo Nation. Jewell has pledged to continue Secretary Salazar’s efforts to strengthen the Department’s government-to-government relationships with the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives and to work to uphold the Department’s trust responsibilities to them.

President releases FY14 Budget Request

President releases FY14 Budget Request

On April 10th, the President released a $3.78 trillion budget for FY14, which would cut $1 trillion in spending and raise $800 billion in new revenue over the next ten years. The President’s proposal would use $1.76 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade to replace the sequester starting in FY14, including $583 billion from new tax revenue and about $1 trillion in alternative spending cuts, with $400 billion in cuts to Medicare, mostly to drug companies and providers. Under sequestration, many tribal programs fall into the category of discretionary domestic funding. Tribes seek protection of tribal programs from sequestration, especially IHS and BIA funding, given the federal government’s trust responsibilities to Indian tribes and in return for the millions and millions of acres of land that tribes ceded memorialized in treaties with the United States. The FY14 budget request includes increases in public safety programs at the Department of Justice and BIA, increases at IHS, an increase for natural resources programs at BIA, elimination of construction funding to replace BIE school facilities, and language to address the Supreme Court’s 2009 Carcieri decision. Congressional committees have begun holding hearings on the FY14 budget.