Support for Passage of all Appropriations Bills for FY 2017 Prior to the Expiration of the 114th Congress of the United States

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The National Congress of American Indians
Resolution #PHX-16-041

TITLE: Support for Passage of all Appropriations Bills for FY 2017 Prior to the Expiration of the 114th Congress of the United States

WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and

WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and

WHEREAS, typically the United States Congress passes 12 major appropriations bills that fund the departments, agencies and activities of the United States government prior to the expiration of the fiscal year (FY) on September 30 of each session of Congress, based on the budget as proposed by the Presidential administration in February of the year in which the new fiscal year starts; and

WHEREAS, almost all of the major appropriation bills for each fiscal year contain funds for programs that benefit American Indians and Alaska Natives; and

WHEREAS, in the second session of the 114th Congress, no appropriations bills for FY 2017, which starts on October 1, 2016, have been passed by the Congress; and

WHEREAS, because 2016 is a presidential election year, with a new president coming into office on January 20, 2017, Congress will be recessing by September 30, 2016 to allow a period for campaigning for office and it is highly unlikely that appropriations bills will be acted upon prior to the start of the new fiscal year; and

WHEREAS, as a result of its early recess, Congress will likely pass what has become known as a “Continuing Resolution” to fund the federal government for a short period prior to the end of the 114th Congress in January, 2017, which includes all funding for Indian programs; and

WHEREAS, without certainty as to funding levels for FY 2017, Indian tribes that are dependent on federal funding for much or all of their operations are yet again unable to properly plan for activities and continuation of essential programs, which is a very stressful and unsettling process for all tribal citizens who receive services from the programs funded for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians hereby urges Congress to pass as quickly as possible all major appropriations bills for FY 2017; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI urges that in any temporary CR funding levels for FY 2017 for programs benefitting American Indians and Alaska Natives, funding for such programs be at least as great as they were for FY 2016, without significant cuts to any funding level under sequestration or otherwise, except for one-time funding that was not expected to continue to FY 2017; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI urges Congress to act in a responsible manner in the future and act on all major appropriations bills in future Congresses prior to the start of each fiscal year; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.


The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2016 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, October 9th- 14th 2016, with a quorum present.