Indian Affairs Policy

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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region.

Record low extents of Arctic sea ice over the past decade have focused scientific and policy attention on links to global climate change and projected ice-free seasons in the Arctic within decades. These changes have potential consequences for weather in the United States, access to mineral and biological resources in the...

Indian Elementary-Secondary Education: Programs, Background, and Issues

The federal government provides elementary and secondary education and educational assistance to Indian children, either directly through federally funded schools or indirectly through educational assistance to public schools. Direct education is provided by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) in the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), through elementary and secondary schools funded by the BIE. Educational assistance to public schools is provided chiefly through programs of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The student population served by federal Indian education programs...

Child Support Enforcement: Tribal Programs

The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program was enacted in 1975 as a federal-state program. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of children by helping custodial parents and children obtain financial support from the noncustodial parents. Although states were always required to provide CSE services to members of Indian tribes and tribal organizations who were part of their CSE caseloads, tribes were not specifically included in the CSE statute until the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L. 104-193). The 1996 law allowed any state that has Indian country within its borders to enter into a...

The Indian Health Service (IHS): An Overview

The IHS provides an array of medical services, including inpatient, ambulatory, emergency, dental, public health nursing, and preventive health care. The IHS does not have a defined medical benefit package that includes or excludes specific health services or health conditions. The majority of IHS facilities provide outpatient care, focusing on primary and preventive care including preventive screenings and health education. IHS provides services directly when possible; when needed services are not available, IHS beneficiaries may be referred to private providers for care. This is called...

Indian Health Care: Impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law a comprehensive health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148). The law, among other things, reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (P.L. 94-437, IHCIA), which authorizes many programs and services provided by the Indian Health Service (IHS). In addition, it makes several changes that may affect American Indians and Alaska Natives enrolled in and receiving services from the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—also called Social Security Act (SSA)...

The Indian Health Care Improvement Act Reauthorization and Extension as Enacted by the ACA: Detailed Summary and Timeline

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law a comprehensive health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148). Among its provisions, the ACA reenacts, amends, and permanently reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). IHCIA authorizes many specific Indian Health Service (IHS) activities, sets out the national policy for health services administered to Indians, and sets health condition goals for the IHS service population to reduce “the prevalence and incidence of preventable illnesses among, and unnecessary and premature...

FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs

The Administration requested $64.3 billion in FY2010 supplemental appropriations: $5.1 billion to replenish the U.S. Disaster Relief Fund administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); $33 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) primarily for deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan; $4.5 billion in war-related foreign aid; and $2.8 billion for Haiti earthquake-related relief and reconstruction aid; $243 million for activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; $600 million for border security, and $129 million to reduce backlogs in patent requests;...

Selected Health Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the economic stimulus legislation signed into law on February 17, 2009 (P.L. 111-5), included supplemental FY2009 discretionary appropriations for biomedical research, public health, and other health-related programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Generally, the appropriations are to remain available through September 30, 2010. P.L. 111-5 also incorporated new authorizing language to promote health information technology (HIT) and established a federal interagency advisory panel to coordinate comparative...

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for agencies within other departmentsincluding the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Indian Health Service (IHS) within the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes funding for arts and cultural agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous other entities.

The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-88),...

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2009 Appropriations

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for two agencies within other departmentsthe Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Indian Health Service (IHS) within the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes funding for arts and cultural agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous other entities.

On February 17, 2009, the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5, H.R. 1)....

Thirty-Five Years of Water Policy: The 1973 National Water Commission and Present Challenges

Concern about the availability and use of water to support the nation’s people, economy, and environment has bolstered interest in establishing a national water commission. The commission structure proposed in recent legislation (e.g., H.R. 135) is similar to that of the 1968-1973 National Water Commission (NWC or Commission). As proposed in H.R. 135, the commission would assess future water demands, study current management programs, and develop recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy. Questions about a commission as an effective model and which topics a commission might...

Indian Health Service: Health Care Delivery, Status, Funding, and Legislative Issues

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides health care for eligible American Indians/Alaskan Natives through a system of programs and facilities located on or near Indian reservations and in certain urban areas. The IHS health delivery program is organized into 12 regional area offices and 161 local service units, and serves federal reservations, Indian communities, and urban Indians. In general, persons eligible for IHS services must be in IHS service areas and belong to federally recognized tribes.

The IHS-served population...

CRS Issue Statement on Child Well-Being

The nation's future depends in large part on its children's ability to develop into contributing adult members of society. For that reason, and for what many would consider a society's moral responsibility to care for the young and vulnerable, Congress and the nation take an interest in promoting children's well-being. It can be argued that children are the nation's most valuable resource, constituting the next generation of workers, taxpayers, and parents. Their well-being and ability to develop into productive adults in an increasingly competitive global economy is influenced by a...

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008: Senate Amendment 5662 as Submitted on September 26, 2008

Senate Amendment 5662, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008, was submitted as an amendment intended to be proposed to H.R. 5151 on September 26, 2008. Two existing packages have been paired to form S.Amdt. 5662: S. 3213 is a collection of over 90 individual bills which is on the Senate calendar, was combined with an additional 53 bills that were approved by a unanimous vote of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on September 11, 2008.

Given the large number of individual bills that make up this omnibus amendment, it has numerous supporters and detractors....

Public Health Service (PHS) Agencies: Background and Funding

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2008 Appropriations

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for two agencies within other departments—the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Indian Health Service (IHS) within the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes funding for arts and cultural agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous other entities.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2008 (P.L. 110-161) included $26.89 billion for Interior, Environment, and...

K-12 Education: Highlights of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110)

On January 8, 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, legislation to extend and revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), was signed into law as P.L. 107-110. This legislation extensively amended and reauthorized most federal elementary and secondary education aid programs.

Major features of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 include the following: (a) states were required to implement standards-based assessments in reading and mathematics for pupils in each of grades 3-8 by the end of the 2005-2006 school year, and at three grade levels in science by the end of the...

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2007 Appropriations

The FY2007 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for two agencies within other departments—the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Indian Health Service within the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes funding for arts and cultural agencies; the Environmental Protection Agency, which was recently transferred to the appropriations subcommittees that deal with Interior and Related Agencies; and numerous other entities and...

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations

The FY2006 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for two agencies within other departments—the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Indian Health Service within the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes funding for arts and cultural agencies; the Environmental Protection Agency, which was newly-transferred to the Appropriations subcommittees that deal with Interior and Related Agencies; and numerous other entities and...

Appropriations for FY2005: Interior and Related Agencies

The Interior and related agencies appropriations bill includes funds for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for some agencies or programs within three other departments—Agriculture, Energy, and Health and Human Services. It also funds numerous related agencies. H.R. 4568, the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY2005, was passed by the House (334-86) on June 17, 2004. The bill contained $20.03 billion. The Senate companion bill, S. 2804, was reported by the Senate Committee on Appropriations (S.Rept. 108-341) on September 14,...