Legislation is critical to expanding Self-Governance and reaffirming its tenants throughout the Federal government. Self-Governance Tribes seek to further the self-determination across the spectrum of Tribal programs, while building local capacity to meet local needs. Self-Governance Tribes are interested in a vast number of legislative ideas, but identified the items below as their key priorities for the 114th Congress.
To learn more about each legislative initiative and other Self-Governance goals for this session download the National Tribal Self-Governance 2015-2017 Strategic Plan & Priorities.
Amend Title IV of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.
Amending Title IV of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) has been a top legislative priority for Self-Governance Tribes for over a decade. Over the past 35 years, the ISDEAA has been one of the most successful mechanisms allowing Tribes to develop the capacity for government-building activities. Self-Governance Tribes must continue to advance the vision of the ISDEAA by working to amend Title IV of the ISDEAA to create consistency between Title IV Self-Governance in the DOI and Title V Self-Governance in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create administrative efficiencies for Self-Governance Tribes.
Enact legislation that strengthens and reaffirms the original tenants of Public Law 102-477.
The 477 Program provides Tribal governments with the flexibility to design employment, training, and economic development plans that utilize funding from several federal programs to best meet the needs of their local communities. While PL 102-477 is still technically a “demonstration project,” the 477 Program has existed for over two decades and currently over 250 Tribes and Tribal organizations consolidate multiple programs into a single 477 Plan. Despite nearly two decades of success, the viability of the 477 Program was jeopardized by two Federal agency actions. Legislation is necessary to make the 477 Program permanent and remove administrative burdens for Self-Governance Tribes.
Permanently reauthorize and provide full funding for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians.
Congress established the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act to address the growing epidemic of diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives communities. SDPI programs have become the nation’s most strategic and comprehensive effort to combat diabetes. Self-Governance Tribes believe the success of these programs require the permanent reauthorization and supporting funding for SDPI.
Enact Medicare-Like Rates for IHS outpatient services for IHS, Tribal and Urban facilities.
IHS, Tribes and Tribal organizations currently cap the rates they will pay for hospital services to what the Medicare program would pay for the same service (the “Medicare-Like Rate” or “MLR”). Currently, this MLR cap applies only to hospital services, which represent only a fraction of the services provided through the Purchase and Referred Care system. Proposed legislative fixes would amend Section 1866 of the Social Security Act to expand application of the MLR Cap. It would direct the Secretary to issue new regulations to establish a payment rate cap applicable to medical and other health services in addition to the current law’s cap on services provided by hospitals. It would make the MLR cap apply to all Medicare-participating providers and suppliers. Self-Governance Tribes support this legislative fix to leverage the limited resources provided to IHS, Tribal and Urban health programs.
Advance legislation to expand Self-Governance to other Health and Human Services agencies and programs.
Title VI of the ISDEAA required the Secretary of HHS to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of a Tribal Self-Governance demonstration project for appropriate HHS PSFA in agencies other than IHS. HHS submitted the required report to Congress in March of 2003. The report concluded that the demonstration project was feasible. Although Congress has considered legislation to authorize a Self-Governance demonstration project, legislation has not been enacted into law to date. HHS has since convened a Self-Governance Tribal Federal Workgroup (SGTFW) and issued a final report in September 2014. After repeated attempts to reconstitute the SGTFW to continue working on the report recommendations, Self-Governance Tribes will seek out legislative proposals to implement recommendations outlined in the report.
Download Supporting White Papers
Legislative priorities and goals do not often change, but strategy to move legislation forward changes based on external opportunities and information available. The White Papers below provide the most up-to-date administrative and legislative actions as well as strategy changes. Click the hyperlinks to download and share the White Papers.