Soon after the White House confirmed last week that 2014 tribal contract support costs would be fully funded, administration officials are confirming this week that the president’s 2015 budget also calls for full funding in this area.
The decision is a dramatic reversal from the White House’s plan last year to cap tribal contract support costs owed to tribes.
“While the discretionary funding caps in FY 2015 required tough decisions, the administration has given priority to Native American programs,” said a White House official.
“This approach is consistent with recommendations from tribes,” the official added. “We look forward to consultation with tribes on how to address contract support costs in the future. Formal consultation will be led by IHS [the Indian Health Service] and BIA [the Bureau of Indian Affairs] and begin in March.”
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget is scheduled to be formally released on March 4.
“It’s a major victory,” says Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who played a role in getting the administration to change its decision.