Policy Alert: Congress Passes FY20 Minibus with $6M Increase for Urban Indian Health and Renews SDPI, CHC Through May
This is the highest increase for the urban Indian line item. President Trump is expected to sign the bill before midnight.
On Thursday, December 19, 2019, the Senate passed the first part of the legislation to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020. Congress decided to split all twelve appropriations bills into two different minibus bills, one without national security funding and a separate bill with national security-related items. The package with Interior Appropriations (H.R. 1865) has passed out of both chambers. This bill includes funding for the Department of Interior’s Indian Health Service and the urban Indian health line item through the September 30 end of the fiscal year. The President is expected to sign the bill before the current continuing resolution expires at midnight on Friday.
Indian Health Service and Urban Indian Line Item
As NCUIH reported earlier this week, the bill provides $6.047 billion for the Indian Health Service (IHS), $243 million more than fiscal year 2019 and $138 million more than the President’s budget request. IHS will see a 4% increase over FY19. The agreement includes $6 million in additional funds for the Urban Indian Health Programs, a long-overdue increase. NCUIH has long-advocated for an increase of at least $30 million for urban Indian health, however, this increase sets a higher water mark for next year’s negotiations.
The bill includes increases of $125 million to meet court-ordered requirements for tribal lease operating costs owed to tribes. The bill includes Senate report language directing IHS to implement better budget procedures to address this in the future.
The health extenders including SDPI and CHC has been extended until May 22, 2020. This date provides additional time for negotiations on a longer-term reauthorization. NCUIH will continue to try to ensure the programs are extended for a longer-term, hopefully, 5 years, and to fight for further increases.
FY2020 Interior Appropriations
- Indian Health Service – $6.04 Billion
- Urban Indian Health Line Item – $57 Million
FY2019 Interior Appropriations
- Indian Health Service – $5.8 Billion
- Urban Indian Health Line Item – $51 Million
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