NAFOA Presents Testimony to House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

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Earlier today, NAFOA Director of Policy, Nicholas Lovesee, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies as part of the “American Indian and Alaska Native Public Witness” hearings. The testimony included the following appropriations requests that would greatly benefit Indian Country and tribal business development.

  • Transfer programs from discretionary to mandatory funding – Reclassifying programs would assist tribes with their financial planning and make budget forecasting far more accurate. Ensuring mandatory funding is important to the business development of tribes who rely on these federal programs and funds.
  • Funding and Authorization for Technical Support and Assistance for tribal programs across the board – Funding needs to be made available with authorizing changes attached to ensure that all tribal programs, grants, loan opportunities, and more have across-the-board technical assistance to help answer all the questions that tribes and tribal entities might have.
  • Permanent Authorization and Funding for the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs (OTNA) at the Department of the Treasury –  As outlined by the Department of the Treasury, the OTNA is established to: (1) to advise on Tribal policy and program implementation; (2) coordinate Tribal consultations; and (3) manage the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC). Currently, the Office has a budget of $2 million and employs 8 staff, and even in the short time the OTNA has been in existence it has already had a positive impact far exceeding its cost.
  • Increased lending authorization for the Indian Loan Guarantee Program (ILGP) – The amount that loans are applied for has increased dramatically over the past few years. Since the program constantly reaches its maximum authority, this significantly reduces the amount of loans that can be offered. The ILGP has been a major economic benefit to tribes of all sizes, helping to establish credit, and creating new job opportunities that would otherwise not exist.

NAFOA also supports a number of specific increases in the President’s Budget for 2025 for tribal programs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

For any other questions or concerns, please contact Nicholas Lovesee, Director of Policy, at nicholas@nafoa.org

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