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Legislative and Administrative Update

March 12, 2019

Legislative Update

House Appropriation Committee Receives Testimony on FY 2020 Tribal Programs

H. Res. 173 and S. Res. 100 Introduced

S. 498 Introduced

H.R. 1315 Introduced

 

Hearings

House Judiciary Committee Receives Testimony on VAWA Reauthorization

 

Upcoming Hearings

HNRC Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on the Alteration of our National Monuments

House Judiciary Committee to Hold Markup of VAWA Reauthorization Legislation

SCIA to Hold Hearing on Indian Programs on the GAO High Risk List

HNRC Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

SCIA to Hold Field Hearing on Efforts to Stop Drugs from Entering Indian Country

 

Administrative Update

CDFI Fund Solicits Comments on the CDFI Program and the NACA Program Financial 

Assistance and Technical Assistance Programs for FY 2020 – 2022

E.O. on National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide

IHS Releases FY 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

USDA to Host TA Webinars on ReConnect Program

ED to Host Tribal Consultation on TCPCTIP Program

NAGPRA Review Committee Seeks Nominations

HUD Extends Deadline for Submitting Applications for ICDBG Program

USDA Publishes Proposed Rule Regarding SNAP Work Requirement Waivers

ED to Host Tribal Consultation on Native American Language Programs

Army and EPA to Hold Public Meetings to Discuss Proposed Rule for WOTUS

HUD Seeks Comments on Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Regulations

OST Requests Information on Trust Funds for Tribes and Individual Indians

Legislative Update
House Appropriations Committee Receives Testimony on Interior Appropriations and Advance Appropriations

 

On March 6 and 7, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee held public witness hearings on FY 2020 appropriations for tribal programs. Tribal leaders testified on the issues facing Indian Country and the subcommittee organized testimony remarks based on the following topics: 1) Health Care; 2) Land, Trust, and Natural Resource Management, including Climate Change; 3) Public Safety and Justice; 4) Education; and 5) Tribal Government and Human Services.

 

Urge Congress to Authorize Indian Country Advance Appropriations

 

Numerous tribal witnesses also emphasized the need for advance appropriations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Government shutdowns undermine the federal government’s treaty and trust obligations to tribal nations. Debates affecting the appropriations process have an outsize impact on the daily lives of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people who already face underfunding of health care, public safety, education, and backlogs in physical infrastructure, all of which fall under federal treaty and trust responsibilities. BIA and IHS, the primary agencies responsible for providing these services, were deeply affected by the most recent shutdown. As a result, the health and safety of AI/ANs were imperiled and will be again during future government shutdowns.

 

Bills have been introduced in the Senate and House to provide advance appropriations for programs serving Indian Country. Senator Udall (D-NM) introduced S. 229, the Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act (IPAA), which would authorize advance appropriations at IHS and BIA. Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced bipartisan companion legislation, H.R. 1128, in the House with ten cosponsors. Representative Don Young (R-AK), a cosponsor of the IPAA, has also introduced H.R. 1135, the Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act, which has a bipartisan group of eight cosponsors.

 

At Executive Council Winter Session, NCAI passed a resolution, ECWS-19-001, supporting Advance Appropriations. We urge Congress to pass legislation authorizing advance appropriations for IHS and BIA. Congress must uphold its treaty and trust obligations by protecting federal programs serving tribal nations from future government shutdowns. 

 

To view Chairwoman McCollum’s opening remarks from the hearing, please click here.

 

To view testimony and the video archive please click here for Day 1 morning sessionafternoon sessionDay 2 morning sessionafternoon session.

 

To view NCAI’s hearing testimony, please click here.

 

For a one pager on Advance Appropriations, please click here.

 

For talking points on Advance Appropriations, please click here.

 

For a draft form letter requesting cosponsors for S. 229, please click here.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Amber Ebarb, Budget and Policy Analyst, aebarb@ncai.org

  H. Res. 173 and S. Res. 100 Introduced

 

On March 5, 2019, Congresswoman Haaland (D-NM) introduced H. Res. 173, a resolution recognizing the heritage, culture, and contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women in the United States.

 

On Thursday, March 7, Senator Murkowski (R-AK) introduced S. Res. 100, which is a companion resolution by the same name.

 

Both resolutions celebrate National Women’s History Month by recognizing and honoring the achievements and contributions of Native women throughout history.

 

H. Res. 173 and S. Res. 100 both have bipartisan support and were referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, respectively.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Jacob Schellinger, Director of Government Affairsjschellinger@ncai.org

S. 498, Assessment of the Indian Health Service Act of 2019, Introduced

 

On February 14, Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced S. 498, a bill to provide for an independent outside audit of the Indian Health Service.

 

S. 498 would require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to contract with a private entity to assess IHS’s health care delivery systems and financial management processes at IHS direct-care facilities.

 

S. 498 was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs for consideration.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Nicholas Courtney, Policy Analyst, ncourtney@ncai.org

H.R. 1315, Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act of 2019, Introduced

 

On February 22, Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) introduced H.R. 1315, a bill to amend title II of the Department of Energy Organization Act to reauthorize an office within the Department of Energy, to direct the Secretary of Energy to establish and carry out a comprehensive, nationwide energy-related industries jobs program.

 

H.R. 1315 establishes a comprehensive, nationwide program to improve education and training for jobs in energy-related industries in order to increase the number of skilled workers trained to work in energy-related industries. Special considerations are made to tribal colleges, and other minority-serving institutions with the objective of increasing the number of skilled minorities and women trained for jobs in energy-related industries, including manufacturing, engineering, construction, and retrofitting jobs in such energy-related industries

 

H.R. 1315 was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and to the Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Nicholas Courtney, Policy Analyst, ncourtney@ncai.org

Hearings
House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Receives Testimony on the Reauthorization of VAWA

 

On March 7, the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and how reauthorization will further protect American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women, children, and law enforcement. The panel discussed how reauthorizing VAWA can enhance protections for AI/AN women, address homelessness and housing needs for victims of domestic violence, and close loopholes in gun laws.

 

Witnesses included Professor Sarah Deer, Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas; the Honorable Ramona A. Gonzalez, Judge for the State of Wisconsin Circuit Court; Roberta Valente, Policy Consultant for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and Julia Beck, Former Law and Policy Co-Chair of Baltimore City’s LGBTQ Commission.

 

For witness testimony and a recording of the hearing, please click here.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Virginia Davis, Senior Policy Advisor, vdavis@ncai.org

Upcoming Hearings
Subcommittee for Indigenous People of the United States
Oversight Hearing on “Forgotten Voices: The Inadequate Review and Improper Alteration of Our National Monuments.”
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
10:00 a.m. EST
1324 Longworth
House Committee on the Judiciary
Markup of H.R. 1585, the “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.”
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
10:00 a.m. EST
2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Oversight Hearing on “Where Are They Now: Indian Programs on the GAO High Risk List.”
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
2:30 a.m. EST
Dirksen 628
Subcommittee for Indigenous People of the United States
Oversight Hearing on “Unmasking the Hidden Crisis of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW): Exploring Solutions to End the Cycle of Violence.”
Thursday, March 14, 2019
10:00 a.m. EST
1324 Longworth
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Field Hearing on “To Protect and Serve: Joint Law Enforcement Efforts in Building Safe Tribal Communities and Stopping Dangerous Drugs from Entering Indian Country.”
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
10:00 a.m. CST
James Henry Gymnasium Building No. 69 at United Tribes Technical College
3315 University Drive Bismarck, ND

 

Administrative Update
CDFI Fund Solicits Comments on the CDFI Program and the NACA Program Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance Programs for FY 2020 – 2022

 

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) is seeking comments on the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance applications for fiscal years (FY) 2020 – 2022.

 

The CDFI Fund is seeking specific comments on the following:

  • whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency;
  • the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information;
  • ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;
  • ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of technology; and
  • estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services required to provide information.

This request for comments refers to FY 2020 – 2022 applications, and does not impact FY 2019 applications.

 

Comments must be submitted in writing by 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Please submit comments via email to Amber Bell, CDFI Program and NACA Program Manager, at cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov.

 

To view a pre-published version of the Notice, please click here.

 

To view the FY 2020 Financial Assistance Application for Comment, please click here.

 

To view the FY 2020 Technical Assistance Application for Comment, please click here.

NCAI Contact Info: Ashleigh Fixico, Wilma Mankiller Policy Fellow, afixico@ncai.org

E.O. on a National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide

 

On March 5, 2019, the President published an Executive Order (E.O.) on a National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide. The E.O. calls for the United States to end veteran suicide through the development of a comprehensive plan to empower veterans and end suicide through coordinated suicide prevention efforts, prioritized research activities, and strengthened collaboration across the public and private sectors. The E.O. also establishes a Veteran Wellness, Empowerment, and Suicide Prevention Task Force (Task Force), co-chaired by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy (Co-Chairs).

 

The roadmap shall analyze opportunities to better harmonize existing efforts within federal, state, local, territorial, tribal governments, and non-governmental entities. In developing the roadmap, the Co-Chairs shall, at their discretion and in consultation with the other members of the Task Force, engage with state, local, territorial, and tribal officials.

 

To view the Executive Order, please click here.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Nicholas Courtney, Policy Analyst, ncourtney@ncai.org

IHS Releases FY 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan

 

The Indian Health Service (IHS) has issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter (DTLL) announcing the release of the IHS Strategic Plan FY 2019-2023.

 

The plan focuses on three strategic goals centered on access, quality, and management and operations to:

  • Ensure that comprehensive, culturally appropriate personal and public health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people;
  • Promote excellence and quality through innovation of the Indian health system into an optimally performing organization; and
  • Strengthen IHS program management and operations.

Beginning in September 2017, IHS initiated tribal consultation on the IHS Strategic Plan initial framework and formed an IHS Federal-Tribal Strategic Planning Workgroup to review all comments and recommend a list of final goals and objectives for IHS leadership review and approval of the plan. Public comments were also solicited through the Federal Register. Development of the IHS Strategic Plan FY 2019-2023 included gathering stakeholder feedback on an ongoing basis.

 

To view the IHS Strategic Plan, please click here.

 

To view the DTTL, please click here.

NCAI Contact Info: Nicholas Courtney, Policy Analystncourtney@ncai.org

USDA to Host Technical Assistance Webinars on ReConnect Program

March 12, 2019,  March 14, 2019, and March 21, 2019

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be hosting three webinars on the newly-created ReConnect Program. This program allows certain telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers, and municipalities to apply for funding to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service.

 

The March 12 webinar will provide technical assistance on the engineering requirements for the ReConnect Program. To register for the March 12 webinar, please click here.

 

The March 14 webinar will provide technical assistance on the financial requirements for the ReConnect Program. To register for the March 14 webinar, please click here.

 

The March 21 webinar will provide an overview of the ReConnect application process. To register for the March 21 webinar, please click here. 

 

For more information on the program and related training events, please click here.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Tyler Scribner, Policy Analyst, tscribner@ncai.org

HUD Extends Deadline for Submitting Applications for Fiscal Year 2018 Indian Community Development Block Grants

Deadline: March 20, 2019

 

On February 19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reissued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the FY 2018 Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program to receive additional applications for approximately 30 calendar days.

 

Applicants that did submit an application under the original announcement may submit another application, though resubmission is not required. HUD will only evaluate the last submission received by Grants.gov, regardless of whether the application that was submitted is under the original announcement or this reissued NOFA. The language and requirements remain the same as the original announcement with the exception of project start and end dates.

 

For further information and to view the grant opportunity, please click here.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Tyler Scribner, Policy Analysttscribner@ncai.org

U.S. Department of Education to Host Tribal Consultation on the Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions Program 

March 22, 2019

 

On July 31, 2018, the President signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, revising and extending the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, authorizing appropriations through Fiscal Year 2024 for five career and technical education programs.

 

This tribal consultation will discuss the Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions Program (TCPCTIP), which awards competitive grants for “basic support for the education and training of Indian students” to tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institutions that do not receive funding under Title I of the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Assistance Act of 1978 or the Navajo Community College Act.

 

The consultation will be held at the U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th St. SW Washington, DC 20202, on March 22, 2019. 

 

To register and submit comments for the consultation, please click here.

 

For more information, please click here.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Nicholas Courtney, Policy Analyst, ncourtney@ncai.org

 NAGPRA Review Committee Seeks Nominations

 

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Review Committee requests nominations of a traditional religious leader for the Committee. The Secretary will consider nominations submitted by tribal nations, Native Hawaiian organizations, or traditional Native religious leaders.

 

Nominations should be submitted to:

 

Melanie O’Brien, Designated Federal Officer, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee, National NAGPRA Program (2253), National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, Room 7360, Washington, DC 20240 OR via email to: nagpra_info@nps.gov

 

Additional submission requirements are listed in the Federal Register notice and can be found here.

 

Nominations must be submitted by March 28, 2019.

 

NCAI Contact Info: Darren Modzelewski, Policy Counsel, dmodzelewski@ncai.org

USDA Publishes Proposed Rule Regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

Comments Due April 2, 2019

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a proposed rule that modifies standards for waivers that allow able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for more than three months in a 36-month period regardless of their work status. The proposed rule encourages broader application of the statutory ABAWD work requirements.

 

FNS also proposes ending unlimited carryover of ABAWD exemptions, which can be used by states to extend SNAP eligibility of ABAWDs subject to the time limit as provided by the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. The proposed rule would limit the number of exemptions available to states each year.

 

Last modified: November 11, 2019