Washington Report

An NIHB Publication

The Washington Report is an e-newsletter produced by the National Indian Health Board. Each issue contains a listing of current events on Capitol Hill, information on passed and upcoming legislation, Indian health policy analysis and action items.

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Congress Adjourns for August Recess – FY 2024 Funding, SDPI reauthorization, and Other Items still on the “to-do” list

Last week, Congress adjourned for their 5-week August recess, without resolving many of the key legislative deadlines set to expire on September 30, 2023 – including but not limited to the FY 2024 Discretionary appropriations and the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).

SDPI: SDPI expires on September 30, 2023. Committees in both the House and Senate have passed legislation (H.R. 3561 and S. 1855, respectively) to renew SDPI for 2 years at a funding level of $170 million per year. SDPI has been funded at $150 million since FY 2004, so this funding increase is an important step towards getting more money for this lifesaving program. On Thursday, July 27, Navajo Nation President, and NIHB Board Member Buu Nygren testified before the Joint Economic Committee discussing the economic impacts of diabetes. NIHB provided support for his testimony through our Tribal Assistance Program – you can view his written testimony here. President Nygren urged the Committee members to support SDPI renewal.

FY 2024 Appropriations: Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released and passed its FY 2024 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This bill would fund the Indian Health Service (IHS) at about $7.2 billion, which is a small increase of $218.6 million over FY 2023. However, the Senate’s bill also included a “rescission” of $350 million from IHS from American Rescue Plan Act funds, sending IHS funds back to Treasury. Earlier this summer, the House Appropriations Committee released a bill that would fund IHS at roughly $7.1 billion. The Senate and House Bills both continue IHS advance appropriations. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill included reclassification of Contract Support Costs and 105(l) leases as mandatory spending, which is a long-time request of Tribal nations. NIHB will be sharing more information about FY 2024 appropriations later this week and what we can expect going into final negotiations and newly established spending caps set by Congress. Stay tuned to your inboxes!

Farm Bill: The Farm Bill is also up for renewal by September 30, 2023, which contains many critical nutrition programs important to Tribal communities. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on Native priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill Reauthorization. Witness testimony included support for the expansion of Tribal Self-governance in nutrition programs and pilot programs to improve healthy foods in Native communities. NIHB supports the work of the Native Farm Bill Coalition to improve these programs. You can read more about their legislative asks here. The full video of the hearing is available here.

August is a great time to reach out to your Congressional delegation! If you need assistance with talking points or issue briefs for Congress please reach out to Taylor Barrett, NIHB’s Congressional Relations Coordinator at [email protected].

National Indian Health Board
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