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

January 14th, 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.

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