Organizations Also Call on Congress to Protect Tribal Programs from Any Budget Cuts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22, 2023) – Amid a looming federal government shutdown, the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) joins the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Indian Health Board (NIHB), and a group of national Native organizations in a joint press statement opposing any reductions in funding for vital Indian Country programs and reminding Congress that Native lives should never be used as political pawns.
Status of FY 2024 Funding
Annual funding for federal programs ends this September 30. If Congress does not pass a budget by this time, they must either pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide short-term funding for the federal government, or the federal government will shut down and go into emergency operating plans. House Republicans have struggled to come to a consensus on any funding legislation. Earlier this week, House Republicans proposed a CR that included an overall 8% funding cut to the federal budget. Senate Democrats have signaled they will automatically oppose this CR proposal. Congress must commit to protecting the Indian Health Service (IHS) from any across-the-board cuts to agencies in accordance with the trust responsibility.
Government Shutdown Effect on the Indian Health Service
Thanks to the tremendous advocacy by national Native and partner organizations, IHS will have advance appropriations, which will ensure a greater continuity of operations if the government shuts down. The timing of the enactment of the first-ever advance appropriation for IHS in last year’s omnibus could not be more significant in the prevention of needless deaths during any discontinuation in government operations.
Even with advance appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, IHS will still be impacted by a government shutdown. Several IHS accounts were not included in this appropriation such as Electronic Health Record Modernization, Indian Health Care Improvement Fund, Health Care Facilities Construction, Sanitation Facilities Construction, Contract Support Costs, and Section 105(l) Leases. As a result, those accounts will be unfunded in the event of a government shutdown.
Call on Congress to Protect IHS and Tribal Programs from Funding Cuts!
Contact your Members of Congress and urge them to avoid a government shutdown and support Indian Country in budget negotiations.
- Find your Member of Congress here.
Raise your voice on Social Media!
- Example post: Dear [@Member’s handle], please urge Congressional leadership to protect the Indian Health Service and Tribal programs from dangerous cuts! #TrustResponsibility
NCUIH Contact: Meredith Raimondi, Vice President of Policy and Communications, email@example.com