Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
Today, President Biden released the Administration’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The President’s $6 trillion FY 2022 Budget Request reflects the Administration’s budget priorities for the American Jobs Plan to "build back better" by creating jobs and investing in infrastructure nationwide, and the American Families Plan to add at least four years of free public education, and improve access to scholarships, nutrition, and tax credits for families and workers. The FY 2022 Budget Request also reflects the Administration’s commitment to Indian Country by proposing substantial investments in Tribal housing, water and resource management, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and public safety.
Also, earlier today at 3:00pm ET, the Tribal Affairs Team at the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs held a Tribal Nation Briefing on the President’s FY 2022 budget proposal with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, and representatives from the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Interior. During this briefing it was stated that the President’s FY 2022 Budget Request will also include provisions for restoring Tribal Homelands (including Carcieri fix language) and budget requests to address Tribal land fractionization, public safety, and funding to increase technology access in Bureau of Indian Education schools.
Finally, the Department of the Interior, Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs issued a Press Release today announcing that Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, Bryan Newland, will host a Tribal Leader Briefing on the President’s FY 2022 Budget Request for Indian Affairs.. The date, time, and teleconference information for this Tribal Leader Briefing is provided below—
- Date/Time: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm ET
- Conference Line: 800-857-5055
- Participant Code: 6951606
President Biden's FY 2022 Budget Request
At the time of this USET SPF Alert specific numbers for some Tribal programs in the President’s FY 2022 Budget Request over FY 2021 enacted are not available. USET SPF will continue to monitor individual Department FY 2022 Budget Requests are they are released and provide updates on specific Tribal program proposals.
The following information reflects the Administration’s budget priorities for Indian Country as outlined in the President’s FY 2022 Budget Request, the President’s FY 2022 Discretionary Request released on April 9, 2022, and from the Press Release released today by DOI’s Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.
For the Department of the Interior, the Administration requests $4 billion to fund DOI Tribal programs, which is a $600 million increase over the FY 2021 enacted level. Funds will be directed to support teachers and students in Tribal schools, support clean energy development, and public safety for law enforcement and Tribal Courts. President Biden’s FY 2022 budget request also includes:
- $2.7 billion (an increase of $609.9 million over FY 2021 enacted) for the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
- $1.3 billion for the Bureau of Indian Education (an increase of $110.6 million over FY 2021 enacted); and
- $110.7 million for the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration.
The Budget Request also proposes to reclassify Contract Support Costs and Section 105(l) leases from discretionary to mandatory funding in the annual appropriations process for DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs beginning in 2023.
For the Indian Health Service (IHS), The Administration recommends $8.5 billion, an increase of $2.2 billion from FY 2021 enacted. In addition, the request includes a first-time recommendation of an advance appropriation for IHS in FY 2023. The Budget Request outlines the Administration’s commitment to a “robust consultative process” with Tribal Nations to evaluate options that would ensure IHS has stable and predictable funding in the future, including mandatory funding. The Budget Request further includes the recommendation to reclassify Contract Support Costs (CSCs) and Section 105(l) lease appropriations as mandatory funding beginning in FY 2023. Some notable line-items within the IHS Budget Request include:
- Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) – $2.4 billion;
- Facilities – $1.5 billion; and
- Section 105(l) – Indefinite appropriation.
The Budget Request further includes a recommendation that funding toward the modernization of the Electronic Health Record system not expended until the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations are consulted 90 days in advance. This includes the selection or implementation of a new Information Technology Infrastructure system until a report and directive is received by the Appropriations Committees.
For the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Administration is requesting $900 million to fund Tribal Nation efforts to expand affordable housing, improve housing conditions and infrastructure, and increase economic opportunities for low-income families to access affordable housing in Tribal communities.
For the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Administration’s request includes an overall budget request of $27.8 billion to support the deployment of broadband access, safe drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, addressing the growing threat from wildfire, and funding to support the use of clean energy in rural communities. Specifically, the President’s budget requests $25 million in grant funds for safe drinking water and wastewater infrastructure on Tribal lands.
Funding for Tribal Nations to Address the Climate Crisis. The Administration’s FY 2022 Budget Request also includes an increase of more than $450 million to facilitate climate mitigation, resilience, adaptation, and environmental justice projects in Indian Country, including investment to begin the process of transitioning Tribal colleges in the country to renewable energy. The Administration is also requesting $815 million—a $540 million increase above the FY 2021 enacted level—for pre-disaster planning and projects that incorporate climate resiliency.
Tribal-Specific Budget Requests made in the American Jobs Plan portion of the President’s FY 2022 Budget Request included funding for ecosystem resilience, green infrastructure, and conservation on federal, Tribal, and other lands. These budget requests include:
- $240 million to deploy green and conservation-based infrastructure;
- $40 million to invest in Tribal fuels management;
- $160 million to invest in natural resource restoration grants and partnerships; and
- $250 million to Improve coastal resilience.
The Administration is also requesting $50 million to support agricultural resource management and improve irrigation for Tribal and insular areas and the creation of a new $650 million for a “rural partnership fund”.
Tribal-Specific Budget Requests made in the American Families Plan portion of the President’s FY 2022 Budget Request included an increase of $15 million in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The Administration also requested $6 million to create or expand healthcare graduate programs at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs.
A Historic Budget Proposal for Indian Country
As stated by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, and representatives from the Office of Management and Budget during the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs call today, this Administration's FY 2022 Budget Request is the largest ever proposed investment to Indian Country. This Budget Request reflects the Biden Administration's priorities to invest in Indian Country to uphold and fulfill the federal government's trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.
While this FY 2022 Budget Request is a positive step forward for Tribal Nations to "build back better", our focus must now turn to Congress to enact legislation that upholds, if not exceeds, these budget proposals. It is critical that Tribal Leaders have a seat at the table in the drafting of these appropriations bills to ensure that they are enacted to fully-fund Tribal programs and services. To learn more about the federal appropriations process, please view this video produced by USET.
To view the previous USET SPF Alert on Biden's FY 2022 Discretionary Budget Request sent on April 9, 2021, please click here.
For more information, please contact Brian Howard, USET SPF Senior Policy Analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org.