WASHINGTON, DC – On May 4, the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment restored some of President Bush’s budget cuts to Native American programs with their approval of $9.7 billion for the Interior Department’s fiscal year 2007 budget.
Although most of the detailed figures are not yet available, the initial numbers released by the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee were encouraging.
The panel boosted the budget for Native American Programs to $5.9 billion, $204 million above the fiscal year 2006 level.
Johnson O’Malley (JOM) program funding was restored to the level of $16.4 million for FY 2007.
In February 2006, Bush proposed to eliminate JOM funding in his budget request to Congress.
Also restored in the bill was funding for Urban Health Centers across the country. Bush also targeted these programs for elimination in February.
In other related funding, the Subcommittee also provided $3 billion for state and tribal assistance grants regarding the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Act.
Another $1.3 billion was recommended for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and $1 billion for Resource Management activities, a $15 billion increase from FY2006.
Additional details and figures will be available after the full House Appropriations Committee considers the spending bill on May 10.
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. was among a number of tribal leaders who testified before the subcommittee in April on behalf of restoring the proposed cuts to Native American programs.