The federal government has a unique treaty and trust relationship with our 567 sovereign tribal nations. As part of this relationship, the federal government has the responsibility to provide health, education and law enforcement, among other services, for American Indians and Native Alaskans. While significant progress has been made, the federal government still has work to do to fully meet its obligations to Native people.
I serve as Co-Chair Emeritus of the bipartisan Congressional Native American Caucus and as Chair of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. In both roles, I work closely with tribal leaders and Native communities to ensure adequate funding for the Indian Health Service, Indian Education, Indian School Construction, and Native American Housing Block Grants. Federal investments in health, education, economic development programs, and housing are vital to making Native American families and communities stronger.
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Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Ranking Member of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, today led House Democrats opposing the fiscal year 2019 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill during the Appropriations Committee’s mark-up of the legislation. House Republicans advanced their bill on a 25-20 vote with all Democrats voting in opposition.
I would like to thank the Chairman and his staff for their work on another successful omnibus.
The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus sent a clear message that Congress rejects President Trump’s reckless budget proposals.
I am pleased that we were able to pass a bipartisan omnibus appropriations bill that included vital funding for the important agencies under this subcommittee’s jurisdiction. It also removed many riders that made the bill too toxic for Democrats to support.
The House Appropriations Committee today adopted an amendment offered by Representatives Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) that protects tribal nations across the country from a drastic cut to the supports and services they are developing to help survivors of violent crime.