FY 2016 Omnibus Spending & Tribal Tax Incentives

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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

Fy2016

FY 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act Text Released

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
  • The rider prohibiting the use of funds to implement the proposed rule on “Federal Acknowledgement of American Indian Tribes” was not included.
  • The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act was not included.
  • BIA’s overall budget would increase by 7.5% over FY 2015 enacted, with a $194 million increase for a total of $2.796 billion.
  • The Indian Health Service budget would increase by 3.6% above FY 2015 enacted amounts, for a total of $4.8 billion.
  • Tribal Behavioral Health Grants would be funded at $30 million ($15 million in the Mental Health appropriation and $15 million in the Substance Abuse Prevention appropriation).
Interior-Environment Appropriations
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.
BIA
FY 2015 Enacted
FY 2016 Budget
Final Bill
Final Bill vs FY 2015
Bill vs. Request
 Tribal Government:  
 Aid to tribal government
24,614
24,833
24,833
219
 Consolidated tribal government program
76,348
77,088
77,088
740
 Self-governance compacts
158,767
162,321
162,321
3,554
 Contract support
246,000
272,000
-246,000
-272,000
 Indian self-determination fund
5,000
5,000
-5,000
-5,000
 New tribes
463
464
464
1
 Small and needy tribes
1,845
3,095
1,845
-1,250
 Road maintenance
26,461
26,693
26,693
232
 Tribal government program oversight
8,181
12,273
8,273
92
-4,000
subtotal
547,679
583,767
301,517
-246,162
-282,250
 Human Services:  
 Social services
40,871
47,179
45,179
4,308
-2,000
 Welfare assistance
74,809
74,791
74,791
-18
 Indian child welfare act
15,433
15,641
15,641
208
 Housing improvement program
8,009
8,021
8,021
12
 Human services tribal design
407
246
246
-161
Human services program oversight
3,105
3,126
3,126
21
subtotal
142,634
149,004
147,004
4,370
-2,000
Trust -Natural Resources Management:
Natural resources, general
5,089
8,168
5,168
79
-3,000
Irrigation operations and maintenance
11,359
12,898
11,398
39
-1,500
Rights protection implementation
35,420
40,138
37,638
2,218
-2,500
Tribal management/development program
9,244
14,263
9,263
19
-5,000
Endangered species
2,675
3,684
2,684
9
-1,000
Cooperative landscape conservation
9,948
30,355
9,955
7
-20,400
Integrated resource information program
2,996
3,996
2,996
 —
-1,000
Agriculture and range
30,494
30,751
30,751
257
  —
Forestry
47,735
51,914
51,914
4,179
  —
Water resources
10,297
14,917
10,367
70

Legislative Hearing on Tribal Recognition Act (Part II)

Click Here to view hearing

Here is the relevant language

Provided further, That none of the funds made available by this or any other Act may be used by the Secretary to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the proposed rule entitled `Federal Acknowledgement of American Indian Tribes’ published by the Department of the Interior in the Federal Register on May 29, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 30766 et seq.).

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Prohibiting the implementation of a new tribal recognition rule.