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.), Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, held a field hearing in St. Paul on Monday, Feb. 25, 2020, to gather testimony from stakeholders on funding priorities for Fiscal Year 2021.
Chair McCollum heard testimony from two dozen witnesses representing academia, tribes, government entities, and community groups. A recap of the witness testimony is below.
Today the Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which includes $37.28 billion in funding, an increase of $1.73 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $7.24 billion over the President’s 2020 request. There is also an additional $2.25 billion of funding provided under the fire suppression cap adjustment.
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chair Betty McCollum released the following statement:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) and Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 375 to amend the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian Tribes, and for other purposes. Cole and McCollum are the original sponsors of the bill.
The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee on Wednesday, May 15, at 2pm ET/1pm CT. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other related agencies, including the Indian Health Service.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-MN) release the following statement regarding her legislation to authorize advance appropriations for essential tribal services funded by the federal government:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL, MN-04), Lead Democrat of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service, and current Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Native American Caucus, released the following statement regarding the future leadership of the Caucus:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), the Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the House approved the FY2019 Interior-Environment appropriations bill:
Today, House Republicans passed an Interior-Environment appropriations bill that fails the American people. This bill cuts environmental protections; removes safeguards for our air, water, and endangered species; and allows rampant corruption at the Executive Branch to go unchecked.
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.