Washington Update: Cuts to Tribal Programs

The House and Senate have been on break and will return to session on March 25th. Before break and at field hearings, they were busy with hearings on important criminal justice topics; stopping drugs from entering Indian Country, reauthorizing of the Violence Against Women Act, and the crisis on Murder and Missing Indigenous Women.

On March 11, 2019, the President released his fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request to Congress. The budget proposes cutting FY 2020 non-defense discretionary funding by $54 billion (9 percent) below the FY 2019 level, and by $69 billion (11 percent) after adjusting for inflation. The proposed budget would cut the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE) by about 10.5 percent compared to the 2019 continuing resolution level.

Other agencies would see cuts including 12 percent for the Department of Health and Human Services, 18 percent for Housing and Urban Development, and 31 percent for the Environmental Protection Agency. The Indian Health Service budget request for FY 2020 is $5.9 billion, which is $392 million or 7 percent above FY 2019.

BIA Eliminations

  • Indian Guaranteed Loan Program

  • Housing Improvement Program

  • Small and Needy Tribes

  • Tribal Climate Resilience

Bureau of Indian Education Eliminations

  • Scholarships and Adult Education

  • Special Higher Education Scholarship

  • Replacement School Construction

  • Replacement Facility Construction

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Eliminations

  • Indian Community Development Block Grant

  • Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Eliminations

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)

  • Community Service Block Grants

U.S. Department of Education Eliminations

  • Alaska Native Education Equity

  • Strengthening AN/NH-Serving Institutions