White House Releases Report on Rape and Sexual Assault

White House Releases Report on Rape and Sexual Assault

Today, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a report, Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action. This report analyzes the most recent, reliable data about rape and sexual assault in our country, including in Indian Country. It identifies those most at risk of being victims of these crimes, examines the cost of this violence to survivors and our communities, and describes the response of the criminal justice system as too often inadequate. The report outlines steps the Administration has taken to combat rape and sexual assault, and provides a roadmap for further action. Drawing attention to the Administration’s commitment to make colleges and universities safer for students, the President also signed a new Presidential memorandum today to establish the White House Task Force on Protecting Students from Sexual Assault.

The report says nearly 22 million American women and 1.6 million men have been raped in their lifetimes. These victims are more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse and a wide range of physical ailments, including chronic pain and diabetes. While women of all races are targeted, some are more vulnerable than others: 33.5% of multi-racial women have been raped, as have 27% of American Indian and Alaska Native women, compared to 15% of Hispanic, 22% of Black, and 19% of White women.

In addition, the report highlights the Administration’s efforts to protect American Indian and Alaska Native women, which includes implementation of the Tribal Law ad Order Act of 2010 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2013. These efforts include:

  • Increasing resources for hiring more tribal law enforcement officers, building court systems, and strengthening victim services;
  • Carrying out new penalties for spouse and intimate-partner violence;
  • Expanding jurisdiction to allow both federal and tribal authorities to hold all domestic abusers accountable, whether the abuser is Indian or non-Indian;
  • Updating the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations (SAFE Protocols) to include information on assisting populations with special needs such as survivors with limited English proficiency, survivors with disabilities, American Indian and Alaska Native victims, and other areas;
  • Directing funds to serve populations that are particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking, including Native American women;
    Launching a Tribal Special Assistant United States Attorney Pilot Project to fund tribal prosecutors to prosecute violence against women cases in both tribal and federal courts; and
  • Boosting conviction rates through better evidence collection, to providing better and more comprehensive services to victims.

President Signs FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

President Signs FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

On Friday, January 17th, President Obama signed the $1.012 trillion FY14 omnibus spending bill into law, averting a government shutdown. The law contains funding for all 12 separate appropriations bills – and funds federal government operations and programs through September 30, 2014. It adheres to the spending levels set in the December 2013 budget deal, providing $520.5 billion for defense and $491.7 billion for non-defense discretionary programs. The massive law replaces what would have been the second round of across-the-board sequester cuts mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act, providing modest sequester relief in FY14 for important tribal programs such as law enforcement, education, health care and other tribal services. Earlier in the week, the Senate approved the bill by a vote of 72-26, and the House passed the omnibus by a vote of 359-67.

Senate passes Omnibus Spending Bill—Heads to the President

Senate passes Omnibus Spending Bill—Heads to the President

The Senate approved the $1.012 trillion omnibus spending bill Thursday evening clearing the way for President Obama’s signature before the January 18 deadline, which is when the current CR expires. Senators voted 72-26 to pass the bill.
“I feel very relieved of course and happy that it passed with a strong vote, a bipartisan vote,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). “The thing that we established was a tone, that we could do it in a way that everybody had their say especially in the committee.”

Earlier this week, the House passed the omnibus by a vote of 359-67.

The omnibus, which contains all 12 separate appropriations bills, adheres to the spending levels set in the budget deal that Congress approved in December, providing $520.5 billion for defense and $491.7 billion for non-defense discretionary programs. The massive spending bill will replace the second round of across-the-board sequester cuts mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act and provides modest sequester relief in FY14 for important tribal programs such as law enforcement, education, health care and other tribal services.
President Obama has said he will sign the omnibus before the January 18 deadline, which will avoid another shutdown.

House and Senate Unveil $1.012 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill to Fund the Government through September 2014

House and Senate Unveil $1.012 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill to Fund the Government through September 2014

On Monday evening, House and Senate appropriators unveiled a $1.012 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill (omnibus) to fund the U.S. government through September 30, 2014, just days before the current continuing resolution (CR) for FY14 expires on January 15th. The omnibus, also known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, is a 1,582-page document that contains all 12 separate appropriations bills. The omnibus adheres to the spending levels set in the budget deal that Congress approved in December, providing $520.5 billion for defense and $491.7 billion for non-defense discretionary programs.

For Indian Country, the omnibus will replace the second round of across-the-board sequester cuts mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act and provide sequester relief for important tribal programs such as law enforcement, education, health care and other tribal services. The first round of sequester cuts in FY13 had an adverse impact on critical tribal programs, which faced cuts of over $500 million in the second half of FY13. Of the 12 separate appropriations bills, the most critical to tribal governments is the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (Interior), which funds the BIA, the IHS, and programs they administer. The omnibus includes $30.1 billion for FY14 Interior programs, which is an increase of $1.8 billion above the FY13 post-sequestration level. Funding for IHS under the omnibus is $4.4 billion, which is an increase of $304 million above the post-sequestration level. BIA funding is at $2.5 billion, which is $142.2 million above the FY13 post-sequestration level. Protecting essential tribal programs is consistent with the U.S.’s legal treaty and trust obligations to Indian tribes and necessary to improve the lives of American Indians.