Tester Moves Bills Forward to Invest in Tribal Law Enforcement, Health Clinics, and Water Infrastructure

Senator Prioritizes Indian Country in Annual Appropriation Bills

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester has secured a funding increase for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Indian Health Service (IHS), and Tribal Law Enforcement in critical 2019 appropriations bills.

Tester used his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to prioritize investments in Indian Country and worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the important funding bills out of the committee and onto the Senate floor.

“I will relentlessly hold the federal government accountable to uphold its trust and treaty responsibilities to all of Indian Country,” Tester said. “These investments are a step in the right direction, and I will continue to go to the mat and ensure that tribal governments have access to the health care, education, and law enforcement resources needed to move Native American communities forward.”

Tester secured the following resources in the 2019 Interior and Commerce Justice and Science Appropriations Bills:

  • $3 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • $5.7 billion for IHS.
  • $407 million public safety and justice initiatives at BIA.
  • $359 million for BIA Construction, including $18 million for the re-start of facilities replacement and construction of BIA Public Safety and Justice facilities.
  • $34 million for tribal road construction and maintenance.
  • $899 million for the Bureau of Indian Education.
  • $2.1 billion for the tribal water and drinking water infrastructure.
  • $3.4 million for the implementation of Tester’s NATIVE Act, which is used to rebuild infrastructure and invest in tourism opportunities.
  • $91 million for tribes from the Crime Victims Fund for survivors of violent and sexual crimes.

Tester recently helped pass the 2018 Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, which included critical housing resources for Indian Country.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is responsible for writing the 12 annual bills that fund the federal government.