This broadcast provides information on the FY 2016 Omnibus spending bill and tribal tax extenders.
1. FY 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill Released
2. Tribal Tax Incentives Extended, But Not Made Permanent
The House and Senate Appropriations committees filed a $1.15 trillion FY2016 omnibus spending bill early Wednesday morning. The bill (HR 2029, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016) rolls all twelve of the regular spending bills into one, providing updated funding and guidance to federal agencies through Sept. 30, 2016. The Interior-Environment bill funds the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Indian Health Service (IHS), among other tribal programs. The Labor-Health and Human Services bill funds SAMHSA, Administration for Children and Families, and Department of Education. The links to explanatory statements for relevant divisions of the bill are below. At this late date, the massive federal spending bill appears likely to become law, and a federal government shutdown would be avoided.
DIVISION G-Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
DIVISION H-Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
DIVISION A-Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
DIVISION B-Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
DIVISION D-Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
DIVISION E-Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2016
DIVISION F-Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2016
DIVISION L-Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016
Key Points for Indian Country
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The bill would provide $2.796 billion for BIA and BIE, an increase of $194.6 million over the FY 2015 enacted amount, representing a 7.5% increase. Funding would increase for education programs, public safety programs, Tiwahe, some natural resources programs, and social services. (The Tiwahe initiative is a comprehensive and integrated approach to address the interrelated problems of poverty, violence, and substance abuse in American Indian communities.)
Education: Significant increases include a $63.7 for education construction which should complete the 2004 replacement school construction list and provide $8 million for planning and design of schools on the next list and a $41.8 million increase to education programs. The education increases include: $10.8 million to fully fund Tribal Grant Support Costs; $16.5 million for forward funded elementary and secondary programs; $5.1 million increase for forward funded postsecondary programs; fully fund Tribal Education Departments; $2 million for information technology.
Social Services: The omnibus would provide a $4 million increase for social services to implement the Tiwahe initiative.
Public Safety: Program increases include $3 million for criminal investigations and police services; $3 million for law enforcement special initiatives, $5 million for tribal courts for Tiwahe; $11 million for the Office of Tribal Justice Support to help implement VAWA (to work with tribes to pilot tribal court systems, including those tribes subject to full or partial state jurisdiction under PL 83-280).
Indian Energy Service Center: The bill includes $4.5 million for the Indian Energy Service Center.
Contract Support Costs: The omnibus includes new language establishing an indefinite appropriation for contract support costs estimated to be $277,000,000. Under the new budget structure, the full CSC that tribes are entitled to will be paid and other programs will not be reduced if payments are underestimated in the President’s budget.