Category Archives: policy
- Enacting a Tribal code for creating corporations and other business entities
- Choosing a structure that best serves your business needs
- Obtaining Tribal 8(a) certification and status
- Forming a business under appropriate law
- Seeking joint venture partners
- Understanding government regulations and impact on business
- Contacting the federal government procurement offices.
This week the Tribal Interior Budget Council met here in D.C. at the Washington Plaza Hotel. The focus was on the President’s budget and the elimination of several key Tribal programs (as we reported in our last update). After the Government Shutdown and the compromise on the budget in January 2019, the Bureau of Indian Affairs in general did not fare as badly in comparison to some departments. However, Indian Affairs still suffered losses that could have been avoided if the budget compromise had gone though as planned when the US Senate voted unanimously in September 2018 to keep the government open. For example, Tribal road maintenance would have increased prior to the shut down by more than $4 million. After the shutdown the increase was only $1 million. The President’s proposed 2020 budget eliminates, Indian Guaranteed loans, Tribal Scholarships, and Housing (HIP) programs, and decreases funding for many other programs, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act, Mineral and Mining projects, public safety and education construction, and funds for small and needy tribes. see budget comparison
Tribal leaders focused on other priority issue at the conference, such as land into trust, the Bureau of Indian Education funding and programs, and Transportation and road maintenance funding. The question is whether the Tribes have the clout to get Congress to ensure key Tribal programs and funding is protected and increased.
I agree Enough is Enough …good article
Bethany C. Sullivan and Jennifer L. Turner have published “Enough Is Enough: Ten Years of Carcieri v. Salazar” in the Public Land & Resources Law Review. Here is the abstract:
Ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued its watershed decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, landing a gut punch to Indian country. Through that decision, the Supreme Court upended decades of Department of the Interior regulations, policy, and practice related to the eligibility of all federally recognized tribes for the restoration of tribal homelands through the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934. The Court held that tribes must demonstrate that they were “under federal jurisdiction” in 1934 to qualify for land into trust under the first definition of “Indian” in the IRA. Carcieri has impacted all tribes by upending the land-into-trust process and requiring tribes (and Interior) to spend scant resources to establish statutory authority for trust land acquisitions, a burdensome task that had previously been straight forward…
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On Thursday, the US Senate confirmed David Bernhardt as the new Secretary of the Interior. The vote was largely along party lines 56 to 41, some Democrats pointed out the contradiction with Trump’s administration to “drain the swamp” of those insiders in Washington who take over key appointed positions for their own gain. Bernhardt, is a former industry lobbyist for Oil and the Agribusiness, and now sits a top an agency that governs and regulates mineral rights and leases. Bernhardt, who has played a major role in designing the President’s policies for expanding drilling and mining, will now serve over 500 million acres of public land and vast coastal waters. However, Secretary Bernhardt is also known for imposing more ethical standards at the Department of the Interior, after scandals during the Bush Administration. And he certainly has experience with Department programs. He served as the Deputy Secretary under Zinke and was Acting Secretary until his recent appointment this week. See New York Times Article
The House and Senate have been on break and will return to session on March 25th. Before break and at field hearings, they were busy with hearings on important criminal justice topics; stopping drugs from entering Indian Country, reauthorizing of the Violence Against Women Act, and the crisis on Murder and Missing Indigenous Women.
On March 11, 2019, the President released his fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request to Congress. The budget proposes cutting FY 2020 non-defense discretionary funding by $54 billion (9 percent) below the FY 2019 level, and by $69 billion (11 percent) after adjusting for inflation. The proposed budget would cut the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE) by about 10.5 percent compared to the 2019 continuing resolution level.
Other agencies would see cuts including 12 percent for the Department of Health and Human Services, 18 percent for Housing and Urban Development, and 31 percent for the Environmental Protection Agency. The Indian Health Service budget request for FY 2020 is $5.9 billion, which is $392 million or 7 percent above FY 2019.
Bureau of Indian Education Eliminations
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Eliminations
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Eliminations
U.S. Department of Education Eliminations