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Old 02-06-2008, 12:50 PM   #1
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NCAI Analysis of the President's FY 2009 Budget Request

NCAI Analysis of the President's FY 2009 Budget Request

February 5, 2008

Broadcast #08-014

President Bush Releases the FY 2009 Budget President Bush released a $3.1 trillion budget to Congress Monday. The following legislative update provides a preliminary overview of the President's budget as it affects tribes in setting the nation's fiscal course for the year. The entire budget is available on-line at Budget FY 2009 - The Budget Documents. If you have any questions, contact Amber Ebarb at [email protected] or call 202-466-7767 .

Overview of Federal Funding Changes in Indian Country

If the President's proposed FY09 budget is enacted, tribes would lose the gains made in the FY08 Omnibus bill, which moved funding in the direction of honoring the trust responsibilities in the federal budget to Indian Country. The FY08 Omnibus included significant increases for law enforcement, education, and tribal priorities. However, under the President's proposal, BIA funding would fall 4.4% and Tribal Priority Allocations would decline 8.3%. Below are the major changes in the budget by priorities of the tribes:

Health: IHS spending would remain level, with a complete elimination again of the Urban Indian Health program.

Public Safety and Justice: Overall public safety funding would remain level, with a slight decrease at BIA if the Administration's budget is enacted. The proposed amounts would not move toward closing the gap in Indian Country law enforcement funding and actually includes reduced funds for tribal courts and fire protection.

Education: Government-wide, education funding would also decline: Johnson O'Malley and numerous Indian-specific education programs at the Department of Education would be eliminated, all programs that target Indian students. Impact Aid, which helps public schools on tribal and federal land that receive less tax revenue, would remain level.

Economic Development: No funding was included for the Native CDFI program. However, a $2 million increase is proposed for the Indian Guaranteed Loan program at BIA.

Other Critical Programs: Indian land consolidation would be terminated. Resources for infrastructure would be reduced: Roads maintenance at BIA would be cut in half. The Housing Improvement Program at BIA would be eliminated. Funding at the Department of Energy for tribes would fall from $6 million to $1 million.

General Budget Overview

The President laid out a plan that would cut non-defense discretionary funding, the category that affects tribes most significantly, in favor of military spending in FY 2009. Discretionary spending, which Congress controls, would increase 4.9 percent up to $987.6 billion; however, non-defense and non-security spending would be limited to 0.3 percent growth. Once again, the Administration plans to eliminate or significantly reduce 151 programs, which includes a number of tribal programs. Congress will next begin hearings to question agencies on their budget blueprints.

here is the full NCAI analysis of the President's FY 2009 Budget Request.
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