For Immediate Release
March 28, 2022
Manu Tupper or Mike Inacay (Schatz) at email@example.com
Schatz: President’s FY23 Budget Proposes Historic Funding For Native Communities
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the below statement following President Biden’s release of his Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request, which makes historic investments in Native-serving programs and activities while cutting the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next decade.
“President Biden’s budget request is historic. It proposes big increases for critical Native programs and reflects the administration’s strong commitment to continue fulfilling the federal government’s trust responsibility to Tribes and Native communities,” said Chairman Schatz. “While we’ve already secured record levels of federal funding in the last two years, I look forward to working with the president as we move forward with the appropriations process to help provide even more federal resources to Native communities.”
Outlined below are highlights for Native communities in the President’s bold FY23 Budget.
- Health Equity for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Budget proposes to significantly increase the Indian Health Service’s (IHS’s) funding to $9.1 billion in mandatory funding, an increase of $2.9 billion above the 2021 enacted level. In successive fiscal years, IHS funding would adjust to keep pace with healthcare costs and population growth while gradually close longstanding service and facility shortfalls.
- Historic Investments in Tribal Nations through the Department of the Interior. The Budget would make the largest annual investment in Tribal Nations in history through $4.5 billion for the Department of the Interior’s Tribal programs, a $1.1 billion increase above the 2021 enacted level. The historic investments would support public safety and justice, social services, climate resilience, and educational needs to uphold federal trust and treaty responsibilities and advance equity for Native communities.
- Strengthening Support for Culturally-Appropriate Education. The Budget includes a proposed $156 million increase to support construction work at seven Bureau of Indian Education schools, providing quality facilities for culturally-appropriate education with high academic standards, as well as $7 million for the Federal Boarding School Initiative, which includes a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies. The Budget also contains $37.4 million in dedicated funding for Native Hawaiian Education and $25 million to strengthen Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions.
- Increased Support to Address the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. The Budget proposes $632 million in Tribal Public Safety and Justice funding at the Department of the Interior, which collaborates closely with the Department of Justice on continued efforts to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons.
- Expanded Child Care Services. The Budget would provide $20.2 billion for HHS’s early care and education programs, an increase of $3.3 billion over the 2021 enacted level. This includes $7.6 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to expand access to quality, affordable child care for families.
- Transitioning Tribal Communities to Renewable Energy. The Budget complements Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments with $673 million in Tribal climate funding and $150 million to electrify Tribal homes and transition Tribal colleges and universities to renewable energy. It would also bolster funding for environmental justice efforts across key agencies for at-risk communities, including rural and Tribal communities.
- Stable Funding for Required Tribal Payments. The Budget proposes mandatory funding to the Bureau of Reclamation for operation and maintenance of previously enacted Indian Water Rights Settlements. The Budget would also reclassify Contract Support Costs and Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act Section 105(l) leases as mandatory spending, providing certainty for Tribal Nations in meeting these ongoing needs through dedicated funding sources.
- More Affordable Housing in Native Communities. The Budget would help address poor housing conditions for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians by providing $1 billion in HUD to fund Native communities’ efforts to expand affordable housing, improve housing conditions and infrastructure, and increase economic opportunities for low-income families.
- Making College More Affordable for Native Americans. The Budget would invest in institutional capacity at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), and low-resourced institutions such as community colleges, by providing an increase of $752 million over the 2021 enacted level. This funding includes $450 million in four-year HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs to expand research and development infrastructure.
- Expanded Broadband Access for Native Communities. Building on key investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Budget would provide $600 million for the USDA ReConnect program, which provides grants and loans to deploy broadband to unserved rural areas—especially Tribal areas—and $25 million to help rural telecommunications cooperatives refinance their Rural Utilities Service debt and upgrade their broadband facilities.
- Additional Support for Tribal Producers. The Budget proposes $62 million for agriculture research, education and extension grants to Tribal institutions, and $7 million to support Tribal producers through the Inter-Tribal Assistance Network. In addition, through the Tribal Forest Protection Act and other authorities, the U.S. Forest Service would make initial investments of at least $11 million in 2023 to increase equity and expand Tribal self-governance, allowing Tribal Nations to participate in restoration activities under agreements and contracts.
- Helping Address Gender-Based Violence. The Budget would strongly support underserved and Tribal communities by providing $35 million for culturally-specific Violence Against Women Act program services, $10 million for underserved populations, $5.5 million to assist enforcement of Tribal special domestic violence jurisdiction, and $3 million to support Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys. The Budget would also provide the FBI with an additional $69 million to address violent crime against children in Indian Country.