On November 19, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Build Back Better (BBB), a plan that would help families, children, workers, and communities by strengthening essential programs like child care, housing, and education. The bill now sits with the U.S. Senate, where Senators should pass the bill to put us one step closer to making these needed investments.
The provisions summarized in this report are specific to Indian Country but are not specific to Montana. The provisions span programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of the Interior. These proposed investments give the federal government a chance to better honor its trust responsibility to tribal nations, which stems from treaties between the United States and tribal nations and provides federal assistance, such as health care and education, to tribal nations to ensure the success of tribal communities in perpetuity. Despite its obligation, the federal government has never fully honored its trust responsibility.
While this temporary infusion of federal resources would be meaningful, there is no denying that the federal government has held back tribal nations and citizens for too long by advancing anti-Indigenous policies and by chronically failing to honor its trust and treaty obligations. It is also important to remember that much of these pots of money are divvied among hundreds of tribal nations, and in some cases, tribal governments share the appropriations with other eligible recipients, like tribal organizations. For example, tribal nations (of which 574 are federally recognized), tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities, Indian-controlled organizations serving Indigenous people, and Native Hawaiian organizations are all eligible recipients of the $50 million in funding for workforce development programming through the Department of Labor.
This report outlines the tribal-specific carveouts in BBB by department and summarizes the provisions that are shaded in gray in the below table. While this report outlines specific carveouts, tribal nations and communities would not be limited to the below funding. For example, BBB includes funding to build the research capacity of minority-serving institutions, like tribal colleges and universities. That funding is not included in this report. To learn more about each of the provisions of the bill, refer to the Build Back Better Act.
|Build Back Better Includes Important Provisions for Tribal Nations and Indigenous People|
|Department/Program||Section of BBB||Total Funding|
|Grants to Land-Grant Colleges and Universities to Support Tribal Students||13001||$15 million|
|Small Business Administration, Office of Native American Affairs||100202||$10 million|
|Tribal Colleges and Universities|
|Institutional Aid||20025||$705.6 million|
|Retention and Completion Grants||20024||$37.5 million|
|High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program (Tribal Communities and Low- or Moderate-Income Households)||30412||$3.8 billion|
|Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (Tribal Consultations)||30445||$200 million|
|Environmental Protection Agency|
|Water Assistance Program||30302||$6.75 million|
|Health and Human Services|
|Universal Preschool||23002||$2.5 billion|
|Child Care||23001||$4 billion|
|Grants for Native American Language Teachers and Educators||20006||$200 million|
|Extension of 100 Percent FMAP for Urban Indian Organizations, Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems||30741|
|Indian Health Service||70106|
|Maintenance and Improvement||70106||$945 million|
|Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders||70106||$123.7 million|
|Priority Health Care Facilities||70106||$1 billion|
|Small Ambulatory||70106||$40 million|
|Urban Indian Organizations||70106||$100 million|
|Epidemiology Centers||70106||$25 million|
|Environmental Health and Facilities Support Activities||70106||$113.3 million|
|Pathways to Health Careers (Tribal Nations, Tribal Organizations, Tribal Colleges and Universities)||134101||$89.1 million|
|Nursing Home Worker Training Grants||134201||$33.9 million|
|Adult Protective Services Functions and Grants Programs||134201||$25.5 million|
|Housing and Urban Development|
|Investments in Native American Communities||40011|
|NAHASDA, Grants, Sec. 202||40011||$277.5 million|
|NAHASDA, Competitive Grants for Affordable Housing, Sec. 202||40011||$277.5 million|
|Community Development Block Grants||40011||$200 million|
|Program Administration||40011||$25 million|
|Technical Assistance||40011||$20 million|
|Tribal Climate Resilience||70101|
|Climate Resilience and Adaptation Programs||70101||$441 million|
|Fish Hatcheries||70101||$19.6 million|
|Program Administration||70101||$9.4 million|
|Tribal Electrification Program||70103|
|Tribal Electrification Program||70103||$294 million|
|Program Administration||70103||$6 million|
|Emergency Drought Relief for Tribal Nations||70104||$25 million|
|Native American Consultation Resource Center||70105||$33 million|
|Tribal Public Safety||70107|
|Public Safety and Justice||70107||$490 million|
|Program Administration||70107||$10 million|
|Roads and Tribal Transportation Facilities||70108||$715.4 million|
|Program Administration||70108||$14.6 million|
|Native American Programs (Workforce Development)||22009||$50 million|
|Treatment of Tribal Nations as States with Respect to Bond Issuance||135301|
|New Markets Tax Credit for Tribal Statistical Areas||135302|
|Inclusion of Indian Areas as Difficult Development Areas for Purposes of Certain Buildings||135303|
Program: Grants to Land-Grant Colleges and Universities to Support Tribal Students
Appropriation: $15 million
Section of Bill: 13001
For Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, BBB would appropriate to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture $15 million for grants to land-grant colleges and universities to support tribal students through recruitment, tuition and related fees, experiential learning, and other student services. BBB would waive the matching fund requirement. The appropriation would remain available until September 30, 2031.
Program: Small Business Administration, Office of Native American Affairs
Appropriation: $10 million
Section of Bill: 100202
For FY22, BBB would appropriate $10 million to the Small Business Administration to establish the Office of Native American Affairs to serve American Indians, Native Hawaiian Organizations and their members, and tribal nations. The funding would remain available until September 30, 2029. The Office would administer an outreach program to ensure tribal nations, organizations, and citizens have access to Administration programs, services, and resources. Services would include things like financial education related to applying for and securing credit.
Program: Tribal Colleges and Universities, Institutional Aid
Appropriation: $705.6 million
Section of Bill: 20025
For each of FY22-FY26, BBB would provide tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), of which there are 37, with $141.1 million in grants. To give context to this amount, if each of the 37 TCUs were to receive an equal amount of funding, they would get roughly $3.8 million per year. For each of those years, the funding would remain available until September 30, 2028. Grant funds could be used to plan, develop, undertake, and carry out activities to better serve Indigenous students. Examples of allowable activities include buying, renting, or leasing scientific or lab equipment for educational purposes; tutoring, counseling, and student service programs designed to improve academic success; and construction, maintenance, renovation, and improvement of certain facilities.
Program: Tribal Colleges and Universities, Retention and Completion Grants
Appropriation: $37.5 million
Section of Bill: 20024
For FY22, BBB would provide $37.5 million in competitive grant funding for tribal colleges and universities to use evidence-based reforms or practices to improve student outcomes. If each of the 37 TCUs were to receive an equal amount of funding, they would get roughly $1 million per year. The funding would remain available until September 30, 2030. BBB would not require tribal colleges and universities to provide matching funds.
Program: Universal Preschool
Appropriation: $2.5 billion
Section of Bill: 23002
For FY22, BBB would appropriate $2.5 billion to tribal nations and organizations to provide universal, high-quality, free, inclusive, and mixed-delivery preschool services. Funding would remain available until September 30, 2027. Activities of the program would include program administration, ongoing quality improvement of the program and providers, and outreach and enrollment support for families. Tribal nations and organizations would need to apply to receive funding.
Program: Child Care
Appropriation: $4 billion
Section of Bill: 23001
For FY22-FY24, BBB would award a total of $4 billion in grants to tribal nations and organizations to carry out a child care program, including providing high-quality, affordable child care for children age birth through 5, increasing wages for the early childhood workforce, and expanding the availability of child care. The money would remain available until September 30, 2027. The Secretary of Health and Human Services would determine eligibility criteria for children from tribal nations. Tribal nations and organizations could receive an unspecified amount of additional funding for FY25-FY27.
Program: Grants for Native American Language Teachers and Educators
Appropriation: $200 million
Section of Bill: 20006
For FY22, BBB would provide $200 million for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to eligible applicants, including tribal governments, to prepare, train, and offer professional development to tribal language teachers and early childhood educators. The purpose of the grant funding is to ensure the survival and vitality of tribal languages. The funding would remain available until September 30, 2031. BBB would not require grant recipients to provide matching funds.
Program: Extension of 100 Percent FMAP for Urban Indian Organizations and Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems
Section of Bill: 30741
BBB would extend for an additional two years the 100 percent Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for urban Indian organizations and Native Hawaiian Health Centers that the American Rescue Plan Act first authorized. This could benefit the roughly 40 percent of American Indians in Montana who live in urban communities. The FMAP is the share of costs that the federal government covers for health services provided to Medicaid-enrolled individuals. FMAP applies to most medical services. Prior to ARPA, urban Indian health organizations were the only part of the Indian health-care system not eligible for 100 percent FMAP. The extension of 100 percent FMAP for urban Indian health programs does not impact Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal funding, as FMAP is not a factor in creating the IHS budget or mandatory spending for Medicaid at IHS and tribal facilities.
Program: Indian Health Service
Appropriation: $2.3 billion
Section of Bill: 70106
In total, BBB would appropriate more than $2.3 billion to the Indian Health Service (IHS). Of that:
The funding for all these programs would remain available until September 30, 2031. Tribal nations and organizations that receive funding under self-determination contracts would receive the funding on a one-time basis, none of which would count toward IHS support costs of those contracts.
Program: Investments in Native American Communities
Appropriation: $800 million
Section of Bill: 40011
In FY22, BBB would appropriate funding to a variety of housing programs in Indian Country. The following investments amount to $800 million.
These funds would remain available until September 30, 2031.
Program: Tribal Roads
Appropriation: $730 million
Section of Bill: 70108
For FY22, BBB would appropriate a total of $730 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for tribal roads. Of that amount, $715.4 million would go toward road maintenance; planning, design, construction, and reconstruction activities; and the deferred road maintenance backlog at the BIA. There would be another $14.6 million for the BIA to administer the program. These funds would remain available until September 30, 2026.
Program: Native American Programs (Workforce Development)
Appropriation: $50 million
Section of Bill: 22009
For FY22, BBB would appropriate $50 million to the Department of Labor to support employment and training activities for Indigenous people. The funds would remain available until September 30, 2026. Under this existing program, the Secretary of Labor awards competitive grants or enters into contracts or agreements with tribal nations, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities, Indian-controlled organizations serving Indigenous people, and Native Hawaiian organizations, who then carry out the workforce development activities.
Program: New Markets Tax Credit for Tribal Statistical Areas
Section of Bill: 135302
This provision would create a new, annual New Markets Tax Credit in the amount of $175 million for calendar years 2022-2025 for communities on low incomes in tribal areas and for projects that serve or employ tribal citizens.
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