March 9, 2016

Barrasso Opening Statement at Hearing on Fiscal Year 2017 Budget for Indian Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks at a committee oversight hearing on the president’s FY2017 Indian Country budget.
The hearing featured testimony from the Honorable Karol Mason, assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice; Mr. Lawrence S. Roberts, acting assistant secretary for Indian affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior; Ms. Lourdes M. Castro Ramirez, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Public & Indian Housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Ms. Mary Smith, principal deputy director of the Indian Health Service at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the Honorable Aaron Payment, secretary for the National Congress of American Indians.
Click here for more information on the witnesses’ testimony and to watch video of the entire hearing.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today the committee will examine the president’s FY 2017 Indian Country budget.
“The United States continues to face a federal deficit and tight budgets.
“The funding provided to Indian people and Native communities is an important federal responsibility.
“The president’s FY 2017 budget request calls for increases for tribal-related programs, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service.
“Whatever funding is provided for these tribal-related programs, it must be used effectively, efficiently, and be responsible in fulfilling federal responsibilities.
“But let me be clear, funding must reflect performance metrics.
“It is imperative that the executive branch provide Congress with the necessary data to support these funding requests.   
“Today, we will hear from key federal agencies that serve Indian Country.”