WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks at a hearing on the President’s FY2016 Budget Request for Indian Programs.
The hearing featured testimony from Obama Administration officials including Kevin Washburn, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs-U.S. Department of the Interior, Yvette Roubideaux, Senior Advisor, Indian Health Service-U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Rodger Boyd, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Native American Programs-U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Click here for more information on their testimony and to watch video of the entire hearing.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“This country faces a continuing Federal deficit and tight budgets.
“The Federal government also has important responsibilities to Indian people. Those responsibilities require funding.
“The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request calls for increases for both the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service.
“Whatever funding is provided for these Indian programs must be used efficiently and effectively in fulfilling Federal responsibilities.
“We’ll hear from key Federal agencies which serve Indian Country.
“Now, I am disappointed that the Department of Justice is not here to testify today.
“The Department of Justice provides critical public safety services to Indian Country.
“It also supports a multitude of important programs to tribes across the country.
“Individual tribal members and Indian Country as a whole cannot afford to be ignored by the Administration’s Attorney General.
“I’ve discussed the importance and responsibilities of the Department of Justice to Indian Country and this Committee with the Attorney General nominee.”