Skip to main content

tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 14, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EDT

9:00 am
community policing, substance abuse, correction alternatives, and violence against women, just to name a few. since 2010, the department has awarded more than 1,400 grants totaling over $620 million to hundreds of tribal communities. i refer you to my written statement for more specific examples of our successes in indian country. many tribal communities have made great progress, very often by adapting traditional methods to contemporary challenges. but as this committee is well aware the challenges remain considerable. american indians and alaska natives continue to be
9:01 am
victimized at high and sometimes alarming rates. kpleks complex jurisdictional patterns still too often hamper investigations and impede justice and resources remain scarce. report by the tribal law and order commission noted the need for almost 3,000 tribal law enforcement officers, a 50% staffing shortfall. that's why the resources requested in the president's budget are vital. excluding funding for prisons, the budget allocates almost $300 million for public safety activities in indian country. this level of funding would be historic and it would allow us to build on our progress and make in roads into solving the enduring and intractable problems faced by our tribal partners. for one thing, the budget would take a page from ctask to dedicate specific funding to tribal specific initiatives. a flexible tribal grant 7% set aside for programs for my office would give tribes reliable
9:02 am
access to $111 million in grant resources. this would remove some of the unpredictability and anxiety around competition for federal funding for which underresourced tribes are often at a distinct disadvantage. the president's budget proposes to make targeted investments as well. $25 million from the crime victims fund would be devoted to meeting the needs of native american victims who remain chronically underserved. funds from the department's office for community oriented policing services would help hire law enforcement officers and train and equip them to protect their communities. and $56 million for the office of violence against women would support a variety of efforts aimed at reducing domestic violence, dating violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking and stalking in indian country. a portion of those funds would expand on a groundbreaking program that's reversed decades of injustice by giving tribes the authority to adjudicate domestic violence, dating violence and protection against violence cases against indian --
9:03 am
non-indian defendants on tribal lands. the justice department's work extends well beyond funding. our u.s. attorney's offices have established close working relationships with tribes and an active subcommittee on native american issues composed of u.s. attorneys provides advice and counsel to the attorney general. we are training tribal prosecutors and are bringing them hon to support prosecutors in federal court. we work to resolve trust mismanagement claims and tribal sovereignty. in all these efforts we coordinate our efforts closely with our federal partners to make sure we're maximizing resources and meeting every public safety need in the indian country. the department of justice is working hard across its components and across other agencies to give our tribal partners the resources they need to achieve justice in their communities, but there is no substitute for federal dollars. public safety in indian country is an investment we cannot afford to forgo. the president's budget request represents a thoughtful and
9:04 am
comprehensive strategy for supporting tribal justice, juvenile justice and victim services. the department of justice looks forward to working with the committee to fulfill our shared responsibilities to our tribal partners and to meet our collective goal of safer tribal communities. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony. now mr. roberts. >> good afternoon, chairman. vice chairman, members of the committee. i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify today. it is an honor for me to be here before you all as acting lmr(t&háhp &hc% affairs. i want to begin by thanking each and every one of you on the committee for your dedication to indian country. i know that you work every day to educate your colleagues on the challenges faced by tribes and the importance of upholding trust and treaty obligations. i want to begin by reflecting on our collective work and how it has particularly with tribal leadership made a difference in indian country. in fiscal year 2008,
9:05 am
appropriations for indian affairs was $2.29 billion. a $17 million decrease from fy 2007. budgets were steady or shrinking for indian affairs and tribes and career employees were asked to do more with less. there's no doubt that today's budget climate remains difficult. the washington post reported that the president's budget increased discretionary spending overall by less than 1%. unlike the rest of the discretionary budget, the president's budget request for indian affairs reflects a 4.9% increase. when compared with 2008 to today, indian affairs proposed budget of $2.9 billion, nearly $138 million increase over fy '16, i think we can collectively agree that strong bipartisan support for budgets is there to foster self-determination in strong tribal communities. the increase in appropriations and successes in indian country is due in large part to the work of tribal leaders.
9:06 am
since 2008 our career staff has decreased by approximately 1,600 employees. that's nearly 17% of indian affairs workforce. but we've seen that whether it is a direct service tribe or whether it is a self-governance tribe, tribal leadership has proven that with increased funding they can deliver results. we've seen it in the reduction of violent crime through focused resources in certain communities. we've seen it in the reduction of recidivism and we're seeing progress in the hawaii program. the president's proposed budget build on indian country's work in careful coordination with the tribes. the president's budget again includes full funding for contract support costs and proposes that it be mandatory funding beginning in fy '18. the '17 budget proposed $21 million increase to support objectives, including $12.3 million for social services, $3.4 million increase for indian child welfare act programs and an addition $1.7 million to improve access to suitable housing.
9:07 am
the president's budget reflects the needs to invest in indian families and promote safe communities at the outset to provide the environment that removes the barriers at the outset for native youth and adults. the fy '17 budget includes investments in education through scholarships through united states technical colleges and technical universities. it proposes a $1.1 billion budget for bie. the bie is focused on serving as a capacity builder and service provider to support tribes and schools and educating their youth and delivering a world class and culturally appropriate education across indian country. budget proposes full funding of tribal grants support costs for tribes that choose to operate bie funded schools to serve their students. finally, budget provides $138 million for education construction programs to replace and repair schools and facilities in poor condition. and to address deferred maintenance needs at the 183 campuses in the bie school system. the '17 request for bie school
9:08 am
construction continues with the fy '16 appropriation and provides funding stability necessary to develop an orderly construction pipeline. the president's budget continues the funding in fy '16 for the indian energy service center. center will expedite leasing, permitting and reporting for conventional and renewable energy projects on indian lands and provide resources to ensure development occurs safely and manages risks appropriately. the department is working with tribes to promote cooperative management. the president's budget requests subsistance management in alaska. funding will target areas across the state that promote tribal management for wildfire life and assistance on federal lands and waters. i guess i will close by saying in this difficult fiscal climate, the fy '17 budget
9:09 am
proposes increases for indian affairs at nearly $138 million above the '16 enacted levels. indian affairs is the second-largest total requested budget increase of any bureau within the department of interior. i know with your bipartisan support and leadership, the federal budget for indian country will continue to foster self-determination. i'm happy to appear before you today and i'm happy to answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you very much. miss ramirez. thank you very much for your partnership over the years and for this opportunity to discuss the 2017 budget request. specifically its proposed investments in native american, alaska native and native hawaiian communities. native american people hold a special place in our country's history. they've made lasting contributions to every aspect of our nation's life. our commerce, our culture, our character, and more. the sad truth is that far too
9:10 am
many members of this community face significant barriers to decent and affordable housing. studies show that native people are more than three times as likely to live in overcrowded conditions. i witnessed these challenges firsthand when i traveled to the pine ridge reservation in south dakota. i met families who were struggling to get by. when i asked them what one thing would make their lives better, a young girl from the community said -- a house. she wanted to know why her family couldn't find a decent place to rent, a place that she could call home. she explained that she has lived her entire life with her extended family in the small overcrowded house and that her mother has been on a housing waiting list for nearly a decade. in her tribal community and in many others, it is all too common to see three or four families living together in a single overcrowded home. she clearly recognized what we all do -- that safe, affordable housing provides the foundation that every american needs to achieve their dreams.
9:11 am
we've requested $700 million for the indian housing block grant program. the largest single source of funding for affordable housing under the native american housing assistance and self-determination act. we expect this 8% funding increase to support block grants to 567 tribes in 34 states. hud also requests $5.5 million for the indian housing loan guarantee program to assist native americans across the income spectrum in buying a home and building wealth. we want to help local leaders surround this housing with the assets that every community needs to thrive, such as jobs, roads, and infrastructure. so we're seeking $80 million for the indian community development block grant program, an increase of $20 million, to spark economic development in tribal lands. i saw the impact of this funding
9:12 am
during a recent visit with a tribe in arizona. the tribe leveraged ihbg and icdbg funds to finance and build 122 new affordable housing units, including elderly housing and a community park in the town of guadalupe. we want opportunity to reach every segment of society, whether they are young or elderly, a family, or a veteran returning from service overseas. that's why our request honors the president's commitment to native american youth by dedicating $20 million to further generation indigenous, a government-wide initiative to improve the lives and opportunities for native youth. it is also why we're working to ensure that every veteran has a home. i thank members for this committee for helping create the tribal hud administration to help brave native-americans who served our country and are now
9:13 am
experiencing homelessness. hud and the va awarding $5.9 million in rental assistance to 26 tribes to assist 500 veterans. hud is working closely with the va and tribal partners to ensure that this demonstration succeeds in indian country. and in fy 2017, hud requests 7 7 million to renew tribal hud. we recognize the right of indian self-determination and tribal self-governance and we have fostered relationships that provide tribes the flexibility to design and implement housing programs according to their local needs and customs. we strongly support the reauthorization. the tribes have made great tribes even in their challenging environments. hud looks forward to working with this committee and this congress on this vital piece of legislation. finally, hud's fy 2017's budget
9:14 am
represents the administration's strong commitment to indian country and recognizes the positive results that have been achieved through our native american programs. we are proud of the strong and growing capacity that our tribal partners have demonstrated, including our limited resources to work and in increasing their ability to leverage federal dollars. thank you again for the invitation to discuss our budget proposal. i look forward to the conversation today. >> thank you, miss ramirez. miss smith. >> good afternoon, chairman. thanks so much for this opportunity today. i'm mary smith, principal deputy director of the indian health service. i have only been in my job as principal deputy director for a little over a week, although i have been at the agency for slightly longer, i served approximately five months in the role of deputy director. it has become quite clear to me that while the ihs is firmly committed to the mission of providing quality health care for american indians and alaska
9:15 am
natives, we face steep operational and quality of care challenges. this situation is unacceptable. i to want to thank this committee. i know it was little over a month ago this committee held an oversight committee on the indian health service, and we appreciate the opportunity and leadership that you've shown to shine a light on these issues. i firmly believe that if we are not talking about them, then we are not addressing them. i appear before you today to underscore my commitment to fixing these challenges, including those in the great plains and the more systemic issues we face as an agency such as staffing and housing. we are committed to fixing these issues not simply in the short term but so that the changes are sustainable over time. i and the rest of the team at ihs am committed to creating a culture of quality, leadership and accountability. it is far from business as usual at the indian health service. with that preamble, i'm pleased to provide testimony on the president's proposed fy 2017
9:16 am
budget for ihs which will allow us to continue to make a difference in addressing our agency mission to raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of american indians and alaska natives. i am committed to working with our partners and including this committee to provide access to quality health care to native americans. the fy 2017 president's budget proposed to increase the total ihs program budget to $6.6 billion, which will add $402 million to the nq 2016 enacted level, and if appropriated, this funding level would represent a 53% increase in funding for the indian health service since fy 2008. the overall funding increases proposed in the president's budget are consistent with tribal pry orties and will continue to address long-standing health disparities among alaska natives and americans indians. specific investments include expanding behavioral and mental
9:17 am
health services, improving health care quality, capacity, and workforce, supporting self-determination by fully funding contract support costs, and ensuring health care access through addressing critical health care facility infrastructure needs. the president's budget proposal includes funding for pay cost, inflation and population growth increases that are critical to maintaining the budgets of our ihs and tribal hospitals. the budget includes program increases of $49 million, of which $46 million will be focused on critical behavioral health services, including generation indigenous substance abuse and suicide prevention projects to increase the number of child and adolescent behavioral professionals. continued integration between medical behavioral health and tribal community organizations. and domestic violence prevention programming. i'm pleased to report that the budget includes a new proposal. it is a two-year mandatory proposal to address mental and behavioral health. this proposal includes a new $15 million tribal crisis response fund which would allow ihs to xd expeditiously assist tribes
9:18 am
experiencing behavioral health crises, and an additional $10 million to increase the number of behavioral health professionals through the american indians and to psychology program and i. s scholarships and loan repayment program. the budget also includes funds for infrastructure that is critical to health care delivery and to fund newly constructed facilities. i do want to acknowledge that we are working aggressively to address quality of care issues at all three of our facilities in the great plains area. omaha, winnebago, rosebud and pine ridge. challenges there are long
9:19 am
standing, especially around recruitment and retention of providers, but the deficiencies cited by cms are unacceptable. we have an intense effort under way right now and we have deployed commission officers from throughout hhs and the acting deputy secretary is convening an executive council on quality that will bring to bear all the resources of the department to assist ihs. we have also established a new deputy position to focus on quality of care. we look forward to working in partnership with you to enact the president's budget, and i just want to emphasize that we take these challenges to delivering high quality care very seriously and you have my commitment that we will work tirelessly to make meaningful, measurable progress. >> thank you, miss smith. >> chairman and members of the committee, on behalf of the national congress of american indians i'd like to thank you for holding this important hearing.
9:20 am
federal budget for indian programs is one of the key measures of how and whether the federal government is fulfilling its travel responsibility to travel governments. respect for travel self-determination is essential to meet the basic public needs of our citizens due to historical under funding, inconsistent federal budgets and recent fluctuations in federal funding triebls have faced great needs for their citizens. many more recommendations have been developed in the fy 2017 indian budget request and we ask the document be entered into the record. overall we appreciate the cross agency coordination on this budget request and encourage congress to recognize that the budgetary needs of indian country must be addressed across federal agencies to be successful. it is not enough to boost
9:21 am
funding for education and public safety without also addressing the need for housing for teachers and law enforcement personnel. a great example of collaboration is the tawahi initiative which is a pilot program that addresses family and community well-being. we have to tackle the interrelated problems of poverty, violence, substance abuse and unemployment in indian country in a holistic manner. we have seen tremendous progress in the last few years and the congress' support for indian country and self-determination in the federal budget. fy 2016 omnibus included substance amitriptyline increases for via, ibe and other core travel government programs that we are hopeful that the fy 2017 budget will build upon and those investments made in indian country. though tribes have made some progress, there are key examples of egregiously underfunded services. i am appalled by what happened in flint. over 200 of my members in my tribe were affected by this. i'm glad that congress and the
9:22 am
rest of the nation is paying closer attention to what can happen when community infrastructure breaks down. i'm equally appalled that no one is paying enough attention to the infrastructural needs in indian country which lag far behind the rest of the country. our citizens have been living under comparable conditions for decades with no plan for addressing the infrastructural problems in indian country. i ask you to consider this when the u.s. commission on civil rights issues its updated report on the quiet crisis later this year. this independent bipartisan commission is undertaking a congressionally requested review of the federal funding that of unmet needs and obligations in indian country. we call on congress to consider that long-term prioritization of core travel programs is necessary to reverse the trends and underfunding that have long standing detrimental impacts on the nation's first people. dia provides the core travel for services such as law enforcement and travel courts, indian child
9:23 am
welfare, social services, education, roads and energy development. ncia urges congress to adopt at least the 5% increase for the budget to counteract the historical underfunding of this agency. fy 2013 funding has increased by about 24%. we are grateful for that. but when adjusted for inflation, the fy 2016 enacted level is below the fy 2003 level by 5%. ihs faces major funding disparities as well compared to other federal health care programs. the administration's budget proposes an 8% increase for ihs overall for a total of $5.2 billion. we're grateful for that. yet ihs travel budget suggested $2 billion to maintain current services and provide for areas in preventative and behavioral medicine. this would be a great step towards meeting the $30 billion overall need in ihs. lastly, i want to address a few of the legislative proposals in the fy '17 budget request that
9:24 am
we want the akt si to consider to support. reclassification of contract support costs as mandatory which we've worked on. permanently authorizing the special diabetes program for indians. including language in appropriations bills or passing legislation in these areas would provide great benefits for indian country. congress must answer the moral and legal call to action so native peoples can look forward to forward prosperity and progress for future generations. tribes exercise self-determination, success stories abound. we need partnership to pass a federal budget in the indian country that reflects and hon norps the trust responsibility of the united states. thank you and i'm happy to answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you very much. appreciate your comments. miss smith, i'd like to start with you. i agree with your comments about the challenges, the situation being unsuccessful saying if we aren't talking about the problems, we aren't addressing them.
9:25 am
aggressively working in the great plains area. members of the senate a couple weeks ago who weren't on the committee such as senator thune were here because of the concern that we have with regard to the conditions of the indian health service in the great plains areas specifically. in fiscal year 2016 -- i know you've only been on the job for a short period ever time -- congress appropriated $2 million specifically to help address some of these emergent issues. despite the dire conditions in the great plains area, it took the administration several months to even figure out what to do with the $2 million in appropriated funds. i know you weren't there at the time. meanwhile, the facilities in the area have lost their medicare provider status, on the verge of losing it. patients at the facilities are ultimately paying the price. i note funds wouldn't have solved all problems in the area with be but they were appropriated for the specific purpose and i think they could have made a difference. do you know what it is that
9:26 am
takes the administration so long to figure out what to do with the funds? >> thank you, senator. first of all, i do want to thank the senators for this funding. i think the funding you are referring to is -- it was funding allocated to any facility that had received a notice of deficiency from the centers of medicare and medicaid, and that was $2 million. and we are greatly appreciative. i will let you know that we had decided to use that funding to replace equipment needs. some of the needs that were cited by cms. we started replacing that commitment and in getting the procurements in process before we were able to apportion the money. but i will tell you, it was a process and it was a thoughtful process because we wanted to make sure that the funds were distributed equitably. so we had three facilities that were eligible for this funding and what we agreed to do was for
9:27 am
the first million we would divide them up equally. it was a process, and it was a thoughtful process because we wanted to make sure the funds were distributed equitably. what we agreed to do was for the first million was divide them up equally. we wanted to make sure the tribal communities had access to the funds, and then the second million, we wanted to make sure that we went with the senate's intent on that money to replace a possible lost billing. and then went to collections. and then we went through what equipment is needed, but i will make clear that for the equipment at rose bud that was cited by cms, we had already either replaced that equipment or put it in procurement. that's money on top of the $2 million and what we decided to do with the $2 million is we will replace at each facility the central monitoring unit, which is a unit that pretty much holds the whole hospital together. and i understand that those funds will be available to the area this week. thank you, again. >> attorney, if you're looking
9:28 am
at the whole funding issue, the health and human services acting deputy secretary mary wakefield testified in this committee that funding for the indian health services increased about 42 -- i'm sorry, 43% over the past number of years and continue to hear they're underfunded in the service. aye big part of the problem seems to be related to transparency, accountability. you used some of those own words in your testimony. people don't know where the money is going and i'm hoping you can help us get a better understanding. you may have to get this back to us for the last fiscal year and prior years under this administration. what percentage of the appropriated funds was used for patient care, because that's what we heard a lot of in the discussion. less for patient care is being used, whereas a larger percentage is using for administrative and other purposes. so if you could get that to us in terms of the percentages and
9:29 am
actually dollar figures, as we're all looking for this accountability in getting this understanding. >> certainly, we'll get that to you, senator. >> you raised the issue of the great plains. the committee got a letter from the tribal association about the situation, the great plains, you're familiar with the situation, obviously. it asks that we take swift action to ensure that the indian health services is working to address the immediate needs of indian people in the great plains. it goes on to say that the crisis in the great plains continues to escalate, even after the hearing last month. an example is the impact of diverting patients from rose bud. indian health service emergency room. people dying in transit to non-indian hospitals and surrounding communities. the other hospitals are getting overwhelmed. about a 67% spike in patients. they report to us that the indian health services have been communicating with the hospitals where the patients are going to to ensure patient safety. the tribes really continue to be outraged and i think they have a
9:30 am
right to be. this is a bipartisan issue, trying to help here. you need to know, we need real swift action. no band-aids, no more recycled plans to make plans. could you help us talk about specifically what the indian health services will do to make things right in the greater plains area? >> thank you, senator, and we have seen the letter as well. i agree with you. i perfectly understand the frustration of the tribe, and the situation is unacceptable. there is an urgency at the indian health service. and we are working on it. like i said, i've only been in this position for a week, but there is no more important thing than we need to work on than getting the three hospitals on track. we -- one of the major challenges with the hospital is the staffing levels. so we have a three-pronged approach that we're working on to address the staffing issues.
9:31 am
in the short-term, we are doing the deployment of commission corps officers to get the emergency department at rose bud specifically back up and running. we are also working on a contract to contract for providers and long-term strategies for permanent hires. in fact, i have one little bit of good news. one of the challenges we face is the pay that we're able to pay, certainly versus the private sector, but even other government agencies, even the v.a. just this week, we got approval for a pay package, so that we are able to provide line doctors, our emergency room doctors, $300,000 and able to pay supervisors $325,000. that will help in our permanent hire. we are attacking it on many levels. >> thank you, miss smith. senator cantwell? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the vice
9:32 am
chairman for allowing me to proceed. and i want to ask miss ramirez about the low income housing tax credit, as it is used in indian country. i know you described the president's budget and $50 million in indian housing after years of stagnant funding, but as a member of the finance committee, i have actualline been to montana where we saw low-income housing projects being used. so i'm wondering how you think that that tax credit could be used to leverage housing development in indian country. >> thank you, senator, for the question. you're absolutely correct. it is, as we all know, a financing resource that enables tribes to be able to build affordable housing or mixed income housing. in fact, during my testimony, i referenced that i had an
9:33 am
opportunity to visit the yakey nation and they were successful with securing five low-income housing tax credits designations. we are very focused on increasing the public and private partnerships. and just to that point, we are working closely with tribal leaders and also with senator highcamp on pulling together a housing forum that will enable tribes to understand other private sector funding resources that are better able to address the need. >> you'd say it's a valuable tool? >> it is a very valuable tool, yes. >> good, thank you. mr. roberts, senator tester and i also introduced the safety act, which is about facilitating the tribal school construction improvements. i'm pleased to see the $138
9:34 am
million, the bump-up, was maintained but clearly not enough to deal with the short fall. one of the issues seems to be the facility conditions index. for example, the tribal school that is at capacity and has two modular units but when you applied for the grant, they said it was operated for 37 years but the building was only 50 years old. i feel like there's always a lot of mystery here in what gets funded. i am getting nods. it shouldn't be a mystery. how are they fixing the index? >> thank you, senator, for that question. i will say in terms of the process that we're going to address new school construction for campus-wide facilities, the rules are very clearly laid out through the negotiated rule-making that tribes were a part of in that process. i will say that having observed that process, come into that process a little late in the game, i think there are ways
9:35 am
that we can work with tribes in terms of future funding in terms of better addressing and making common sense choices. facility condition and index is key, right? and as part of this process for those ten schools that were invited by the committee to present, we reached out to all the tribes to say, hey, we need to make sure that all the tribal schools make sure that the facility condition indexes were up to date. so we did a lot of outreach over the course of the last year, to reach out with each of those schools to offer technical assistance and, also, we visit -- we have contractors visit those schools every three years to do a facility condition index. having said all of that, moving forward for schools, quite frankly, i think some of the schools, we need to take a look at how many students they are serving. i don't think that was a metric within the proposed rule making, or the negotiated rule making
9:36 am
that was resolved. i do know that the facility condition index was 85% of the total scoring and a 15% scoring for those top ten schools that i worked in construction moved forward. i hope that answers your question. i think the facility condition index is vitally important. >> i'm not sure it does. i think -- here would be my goal. it reminds me of transportation funding, at least in our state that you have projects. and you have a certain degree where you are on the list. and where funding meets a certain level, you might actually get funded. and i think here, there are people they feel like they are on the list for decades and never know when they're going to get funding. it seems to be a mystery. i get that you want to have an index, and i think the index is great, but i think we need to have predictability for indian country when their project is
9:37 am
likely to be funded, if ever, or if it's a constant thing where other projects because of population. that gives policy makers the ability to look at policies as well and maybe make suggestions or changes if people are falling through the cracks. so. >> thank you, senator. that gets to one of the statements senator tester made in his opening statement, and that is that while we are completing the school construction for the schools that were on the 2004 lifs and we are selecting the five schools for the 2016 list, the department is going to be internally working at a long-term program to lay out for this committee and for tribes generally sort of, okay, here's where we are. here's the funding that's needed. and here's how we propose to move forward. >> my time is expired, thank you. >> thank you senator cantwell. senator danes. >> thank you. they get hit with massive fines because of the obamacare employer mandate.
9:38 am
for example, the black feet tribe is going to face $1.1 million in penalties. the crow tribe will be hit with a $1.6 million penalty unless something changes. i've introduced the tribal employment and job protection act which will exempt tribes and tribal employers from the obamacare mandate and prevent these unreasonable, i would argue outrageous fines. the national congress of american indians and the national indian health board have endorsed this bill. and while the president recognizes the impact of obamacare on many and requested changes to other provisions like the cadillac tax, fails to be concerned with the employer mandate on indian country. for secretary payment on question, could you speak to the burden that the employer mandate places on tribes and the need for this legislation to exempt them from this mandate? >> the question is catered to me
9:39 am
because i have been echoing this and speaking loudly on this issue. an example, i'm here to speak for nci but i have an example, the cost for the full implementation of the employer mandate is likely to be $3 million for my tribe. so we're beginning to see some of the gains under the affordable care act and the reauthorization of the ihs under the affordable care act. we're grateful for the affordable care act and permanent reauthorization and seeing some of the gains we received be erased because of the consequence of the employer mandate. probably more importantly on a broader sense and we met with representatives from the white house is we need to understand the full impact and the unintended consequences before implementation, not afterwards. so we've asked for that. there's a way the funding gets to indian tribes through self-governance tribes.
9:40 am
then there's also tribes have insurances, some tribes don't have insurance. there's a complex maze to figure out what the unintended consequences are going to be, but i would venture to guess it's over $15 million in indian country, the negative consequence of the employer mandate. i would ask that this be put on hold until after we do consultation with tribes and we fully appreciate what the full costs are going to be. >> thank you, secretary payment. i want to shift gears and talk about wildfires. in 2015 montana experienced one of its worst fire seasons and montana tribal reservations were no exception. the fires in the black river reservation were so severe that the tribe opened a separate facility for elders and those with special health needs that were displaced by area wildfires. here's one of the challenges. oftentimes, these fires start on federal lands and then spread to tribal lands. the tribal force protection act of 2004 did attempt to address that problem and a proposal
9:41 am
passed the house to provide tribes more freedom to protect the tribal resources. mr. roberts, do you support increasing tribe's authority to more actively manage the tribal lands and the neighboring federal forest lands? >> thank you for the question. i am not familiar with the act but i am generally supportive of obviously greater tribal self-determination and sovereignty and i understand that the act is particularly focused on the department of agriculture. so i understand that it does provide deadlines for certain types of funding to be provided to tribes. i think generally, we're supportive of deadlines. so i would like to talk more with my colleagues at the department of agriculture and circle back with my staff on questions that we might have. >> we saw some very clear examples of proper forest treatment management to stop
9:42 am
from spreading but wildfires are not a respecter of boundaries. that interface is very important, so what i'd like is to get your commitment to work with me and the usda to address these tribal forests. >> absolutely. >> thank you mr. chairman and vice chairman for letting me go first. you know, i think when we usually do these hearings and other committees, there is one agency sitting in front of us who we can hold accountable for outcomes. one of our great challenges is the siloing of services for the tribes, whether it's health care with ihs, which is really hhs, whether it is housing or hud, whether it is all of the issues that fall in all of the above with the department of interior and obviously the department of justice. and i want to say i applaud this administration for doing the most that i've ever seen to try
9:43 am
and coordinate among all of you to try to build relationships across the agencies to change outcomes. but with that said, we continue to see incredible challenges, whether it's housing or indian education, indian health care, law enforcement, respect for sovereignty and respect for consultation. and so i just start at that juncture, and i kind of be rapidfire here because there's so much to talk about. miss mason, obviously, we've extended an invitation to director comey to come to north dakota and come to even montana and see what's happening with the lack of law enforcement personnel, the lack of really protection for a very vulnerable population hasn't responded and i hope you will go back and ask him once again, given that you
9:44 am
have primary jurisdiction in many of our states. >> i will share that information with the director, but i would also like to point out that in partnership with the department of interior, the office for victims of crime and the office on violence against women have been working collaboratively to provide services. >> it hasn't stopped drugs from coming onto the reservation, trust me. we're debating right now an opioid bill, a heroin bill. let me tell you, if you want children born under conditions they should not be born come to any one of my reservations, and there are people operating there with impunity. and that crosses over to the problems that we have in indian health and in housing. i want to applaud the great work of secretary castro. we've had a number of meetings. thank you for mentioning our efforts to get a major summit. i am curious about the report, when you expect it to be done,
9:45 am
and when we will be seeing you all in north dakota or even maybe montana. i've offered maybe to share the responsibility, but we know we have a housing crisis. >> right. thank you, senator, thank you very much. and we very much appreciate the opportunity to continue to do what we can to foster private and public partnerships. with regard to the housing needs, a study report will be completed this year. we are looking at the preliminary -- >> can you narrow it? this year is a pretty big -- >> yes, i can. i definitely can. in july of this year we will release the preliminary findings stemming from the report. at that time, the report will be made available to the tribes for further tribal consultation. we welcome the opportunity to present to this committee the findings of the report. the final report will be completed by no later than december of 2016. >> terrific. i think that's critically
9:46 am
important we look beyond the hasda, we look beyond what we're doing right now. it's obviously not getting the job done as it relates to indian housing and that exacerbating whether it locating law enforcement and whether crimes are committed or getting medical personnel into critical jobs. so i guess my last question would be for miss smith, recognizing that you haven't been at it very long. but i think to follow up on the chairman's comment, you know, we're being asked to provide more resources, and most of you know that i am in that camp. the resources we're currently providing right now are not adequate to treating obligations and not adequate to fulfill our responsibility, but we need to make sure that what's being spent is being spent appropriately, and we look forward to hearing the outcome of what deputy secretary wakefield told us was the new structure for analyzing these problems and working across the
9:47 am
line. but i will encourage you. so many members actually qualify for medicaid and could provide a third party reimbursement funding source that would, in fact, satisfy some of my hospital's concerns that ihs doesn't pay the bills. i mean, that happens. so i want to continue to encourage you to encourage tribal members to enroll in medicare and medicaid and somehow, i know that this is a great concern that somehow that's an aggregation or inappropriate given the treaty obligation. hope the national congress can work with us to get the message out and maybe we can fashion a program that could, in fact, make indian people more comfortable with getting health care through a third party fee-for-payment service.
9:48 am
>> thank you, senator, for the question. yes, we are working very hard on encouraging people to sign up for medicaid and i actually spoke to tribal leaders in bismarck, north dakota, two months ago about medicaid expansion, and that's exactly the topic we were talking about. we are collaborating closely with cms. >> i will tell you, tribal leaders get it. unfortunately, many tribal members don't. and somehow, we're missing that. and i think the more advocacy that we can get out there, the better the opportunity to expand services and give native american people a choice on where they get their health care. thank you, chairman. i'm sorry i went over. >> senator murkowski. >> thank you chairman and for each of you, thank you for what you do. i want to begin this afternoon by general comment about consultation. over the past few months, i can't tell you the number of
9:49 am
conversations that i have had with alaska native people both here in washington, dc and in alaska that are expressing more concern about the processes and the policies around consultation. we all know the imperative behind consultation. the federal government has a duty to consult with tribes and do so in a way that is meaningful, not just to check the box exercise. and in terms of responsibilities that you all have with your respective agencies, i look at it and it's got to be one of our top agencies. i urge all of you as you develop your budgets, as you update your procedures in your day-to-day operations, keep these consultations as a very high priority because some of you, i think, are doing a better job than others. i'm not going to single anybody out, but i will put it front and
9:50 am
center that when you are doing all that you do on a daily basis, do not forget the consultation part of that. i did have an opportunity to spend a fair amount of time for you this morning.
9:51 am
9:52 am
tribal consultations. this is one reason there has been a delay. we are working very closely with the alaska tribes. we held two tribal consultations. senator, i know to your concern and i will follow up. >> i appreciate that. again, it's 3 out of 229 and these are very small communities for the most part. i want to ask you a question, mr. roberts, regarding tribal courts. i have made tribal courts in alaska a priority, as well as other pl-280 states. we had language included in the omnibus last year that -- well, no, in '15 that directed a study of the budgetary needs of tribal
9:53 am
courts and then last year in the omni there was $10 million for b.i.a. tribal as as soon as. we have our foot in the door. my can question is whether you an update for me on thousand this may move forward. and also the budget in 2017 plans to cut our funding of $10 million by $8 million. >> thank you, senator, and thank you so much for that funding. i've heard from a number of tribal leaders from alaska about that funding. one of the things we're going to do is it's very important to get
9:54 am
that funding out as quickly as possible but i think it's also important to consult with the tribes and the ph -280 states. so we're going to have telephonic consultations within the next 30 to 35 days, we'll have telephonic consultations with those tribes in the pl-280 states. i think it's important to have court assessments but important to implement some of that money within the tribes themselves. the fy-17 request had a bump up of about $2 million. we really appreciate all the support. because the '16 budget was
9:55 am
passed in the closing days of the year, we weren't able to necessarily maintain that funding for the '17 request but i know we're going to be talking to tribal leaders as part of our tribal council in the coming weeks. i hope weep can build on the budget. >> i appreciate that. we really do want to try to make a success of this. i do want to add, mr. chairman, i was prepared to kind of jump on mr. roberts here this afternoon about some payments as they relate to compact funding due to the second largest employer in this region. this were looking to lay off or
9:56 am
furlough some of their employees because they hadn't received their fy '16 compact funds. i received this afternoon that the issue has been resolved and the remaining funds have been received. they are very appreciative that this has been resolved so thank you. >> senator murkowski. >> thank you, mr. chairman and vice chairman for holding this hearing. mr. roberts, ever since i first came to the senate, i've been raising an alarm, i guess, about the school on leach lake reservation in minnesota, i've been pushing very hard every year to get truconstruction mon to rebuild the school.
9:57 am
i was very happy that secretary jewel came to leach lake reservation, to spend real time there and see the deplorable conditions herself firsthand and what the teachers and the students have to deal with every day. and this is -- this is kind of disgraceful, this school. have you had a chance to go to the bug school? >> i have not yet, senator. >> okay. it is drafty. it is cold. structurally it's not sound enough so that if the wind blows hard, they have to leave the school. in minnesota it gets really cold. and if the wind is blowing more it and a certain amount, they have to leave and run to another building, but it is -- it's a
9:58 am
deplorable condition. and so my question -- you know, i've been trying to get this thing built every year. what is the status? can you tell me? >> thank you, senator, for the question. as you mentioned, secretary jewel has been out there, my predecessor, kevin washburn, had visited. everyone i talk to within the department notes the horrible condition of the building. and it's a building that was never really intended for educational purposes at the outset. so there were some questions by your colleagues about the b.i.e. camp campus-wide replacement. the bug school does not fit in that category because it's a single school. i'm hoping that we'll have an answer for you.
9:59 am
i am meeting with the chairwoman of leach lake later this month but i'm also meeting internally with the team. everything i've heard is there isn't necessarily a building in worse condition there. so i don't have anything for you today except i am very well aware of it and focused and i appreciate you championing this issue and i -- you know, i've been to some of the schools that are on the campus-wide construction list and the process that we have for school replacement right now, we need a lot more resources. >> well, we usually only have these budget meetings, that becomes abundantly clear. i just want to say to my colleagues again who are on this committee that i believe it's our job to go to our caucuses and tell them. because we're the only ones that hear this testimony from indian
10:00 am
country and about our native people, and we need to -- we are not honoring our moral obligations, our treaty obligations. and it's -- i think it's something we need to be -- all of us on both sides of the aisle need to be telling our caucuses. especially when we have this hearing reporting on the budget, it becomes especially apparent. i want to talk about opioid use. it has become epidemic in indian country in minnesota and in urban settings. while american indian infants in minnesota make up only 3% of kids born in public assistance programs, they make up 28% of the infants born with neonatal
10:01 am
abstinence syndrome. i know the initiative is intended to in part address this. are you hearing about similar rates of opioid abuse across indian country as i am hearing from minnesota and how will the initiative or other programs and the budget fight this rapidly increasing problem in my state and around the country? >> thank you, senator, for your question, and for your leadership on that topic. unfortunately, there is a real problem with opioid abuse in indian country. in our budget we have included $15 million for additional
10:02 am
funding for our substance abuse initiative. we have a policy that goes out to our providers as to how to prescribe corrects dosages. we have mandatory training for all our providers and in terms of treatment, we utilize what's called medication-assisted treatment, mat, to address this epidemic. >> that's methadone? >> since we're on this panel, it's not a solution but it is one of the things that helps with the problem. we are cooperating with the bureau of indian affairs. we have provided naloxone and we
10:03 am
are going to moch that to other areas. >> for o.d.s. >> i'm out of time. i just want to say that that epidemic is it very tied to the poor housing, poorer health care, the poorer, the job situation and the sense of hopelessness that people get when they're living in those kind of conditions. thank you. >> thank you, senator franken. senator hoban. >> recently i was informed the credentials process required under ihs. i've heard this process is cumbersome because it has to be renewed every year.
10:04 am
i'm concerned this will qualify professionals from working in some of these underserved areas. i just wanted to get your thoughts on that, what's the purpose of the credentialing, having to go through it every single year and do you think it does have an impact on attracting and retaining qualified staff? >> we do have a number of challenges there. in terms of the credentialing, obviously credentialsing is necessarily that we are providing kwaul but i do think there are improvements that can be made. we have a lot and one of the areas they're looking at that would allow more flexibility for
10:05 am
providers. so i appreciate your question. >> is that a change you and miss patriot you will be making or is it something that you're looking i don't have an answer today whether that will go food but we definitely will make changes to streamline the process. >> do you have any estimate on timeline for that? >> i would hope we'd be able to do something year. >> you know there have been serious problems at the ihs facilities. in some cases they were due to lack of funding, no question about it. but in other cases it's a lack of accountability. my next question is in your
10:06 am
opinion, how does the president's budget leverage resources to empower ihl facilities and hold them accountable? one of the things we tried house of representatives do you get accountability and -- >> thanks for the question. i think it is not easy sometimes but i think it's creating a culture of quality and accountability and i think it starts at the top. i think that you need key leadership positions and one of the things we're doing, there's $2 million for our quality consortium. we have created a new position, deputy director of quality. we are going to be setting up a quality system, a compliance system with training and we're
10:07 am
going to be working to ensure that the systems are in place and that people are held accountable. and i think that was one of the problems that -- why those problems arose on the great plains so that is one of the top priorities we will be addressing this year. >> i think there are other service providers can you partner with to leverage your resources. but part of that, too, and this goes to accountability, is reimbursement to hospitals, clinics, doctors or others that do provide services on or off the reservatiervatioreservation. they had making heuer shah ihs gets health care out to the timely basis but will help
10:08 am
general racial beth on and of a the reservation for needed people. there thank you, senator. i be agree. leveraging the resources and ensuring prompt payment. i was talking to person who runs our purchase referred carethe process she's putting in place to treatmentline that process. >> anything you can do there. we really. >> thank you. -- the grant was at $5 million. last year it was at 2.5. you can correct me if i'm wrong. is 5 million going to be adequate? >> in march of '15, we went into full implementation of the
10:09 am
expanded to prosecutor nonnative offenders for domestic violence. we've got 45 tribes participating in our verb working group pe we expect we'll have many more people applying for the money -- >> so is 5 million going to be adequate? >> we will make it adequate but the need exceeds that. >> that's all i need to know. >> the d.o.j. appendix indicates advocating $1 million for research on violence against native women. is that 1 million coming out of the 5 million or is that separate? >> no, that's a separate funding source. >> that's good news. now over to you, larry. you've heard this before. we will come in and talk to you about different kind issues in indian country and they've got a lot of them. we often say to you you got to
10:10 am
fight harder during the budgeting process to make sure this bunk meets the needs of indian country. >> does this budget meet the needs of indian country? >> thank you, senator, for the question. i do think the budget reflects the president's commit comment moe the indian country -- >> i got you but that wasn't my question. >> i know. tribes still haven't regained the footing from sequester that was a hit. that was $142 million. i know many ofnhç@ you from the budget helped us. >> what i'm hearing you saying is this is the best can you do but still not adequate. >> i think everyone knows there's still addition an needs
10:11 am
in indian territory. >> if you've got metrics you can bring to the committee to justify these last -- they had a long ways to go. >> so some of the metrics that we can provide tomorrow are the great work that we've done in indian country with tribes on preventing violent crimes, reduce being recidivism. >> yup. i got it. over wise we'd just bring you in and hammer you. that's why it's important, okay? we have an obligation, too. loan guarantee program, we've heard from tribess are entities, we've heard that the b.i.a. program is a great economic
10:12 am
development tool. this is level funded. is that because the request for the b.i.a. lon guarantee program have been flat? >> it's a great program. we could use more. we can't always bump up everywhere across the budget, right, so we're focused on schools and youth and social services and so it is a great program. we're doing the most that we can. it leverages dollars for indian country. >> okay. want to go to ms. ramirez. this year's budget proposal includes a $50 million to indian block housing program, which is good. stagnant has been housing for almost 20 years. so i appreciate the advocacy for a bump up. do you feel, number one, that these dollars, these additional
10:13 am
dollars will be able to get out the door? >> yes, senator, i definitely believe the dollars will be able to get out the door and the tribes will be able to invest and make use of these dollars. >> do you think this program is critically important in when toms o to -- is this one of the big programs or is this an ancillary program? >> this is the single source of funding that provides tribes an opportunity to develop affordable housing -- >> if this is the primary one, have you guys done an assessment on the standard of housing in indian country? like are they -- what percentage are substandard? you have been able to do any of that? >> we have, senator. i mentioned earlier that we are in the process of completing a
10:14 am
housing needs study that speaks to the condition of housing across -- >> what does that show, they're 15% substandard, 20%, 30,%, 5%. >> a few key statistics that were you there and in indian country three or four times that of the national average. we also know that tribes are having to use more of their funding to rehabilitate and renovate existing stock and less go into affordable housing. >>. >> thank you, mr. chairman. a couple things, and they don't go necessarily to this budget but they go to the potential for
10:15 am
change. and one is obviously something that we've been working on in this committee and that is looking across the board on trauma and making sure that we have trauma-informed health care professionals in our bureau of justice and just making sure everyone understands this new brain research that is going on. i will warn you i will continue to be a broken record as it relates to trauma as a potential path forward for change. the other thing obviously we've been talking a lot about this week has been opioid abuse, heroin abuse. i met yesterday with a number of folks, it's that time of the year, but one of the meetings
10:16 am
that sparked a great deal of interest in me was when i met with the women who were helping the obgyns. and they believe that there are prescription medications that are dispensed in a different y way. i'm wondering whether indian health has taken an active look on other kinds of treatment options that they have for addiction, especially with pregnant women? >> thank you, senator. we are working on a multi-prong approach with opioid dependence. we have a whole division of
10:17 am
mental health and i know we're looking at a number of different things. we can get you if we are doing anything specifically with respect to pregnant women. i can get you that information. >> we've been looking at it but in the meantime this has basically ballooned into a full-blown, absolute horrendous crisis, across the country but especially in indian country in north dakota. if we are aren't offering help when people come in who desperately need help, obviously from the standpoint of very many of the people who provide services to pregnant women, there is a big incentive for women to look at addition and change behavior. to me there's a real option to get this done. and one of the frustrations i
10:18 am
have with indian health is you continue to do what you've always done over and over and over again and expect a different result in indian country. it's not going to happen. we've got to change how we approach and you've a system that treats the family, the individual and say, okay, here's medication for your diabetes and expect the individual to be complaint. it's just not going to happen. i would appreciate any kind of information on the structure that you plan on pursuing, especially for addicted pregnant women, which has become a crisis. in fact, we've heard reports as high as women 50% of the babies are born from women who are addicted. i've heard the same kind of information up at turtle mountain. that's just not a formula for a
10:19 am
successful society in any case. so it falls on your shoulders and we expect to know wa we're doing about it. so thank you, miss smith. >> thank you. >> ms. ramirez, your plan to raise the annual fee for annual housing from 15 points to 25 points, it equates to about $130 a year. this increase is now going to be assessed to some of the people who are most at risk as homeowners. further on in the proposed budget you stated tribal consultation will take place prior to implement of this change raising it from 15 basis points to 25. currently you use negotiated rule making could conduct true and meaningful tribal consultations. this appears to be a successful
10:20 am
model for hud tribal consultations. are you going to be open to using this negotiated rule making to implement this increase in the 184 program annual fee and how do you plan to go ahead with that. >> thank you, chairman, for the question. as you stated, the loan guarantee program is a critical program in indian country. we know that this is a program that works and that enables the opportunity for homeownership. with regard to the modest annual fee increase, this modest annual fee increase is driven by the credit reform act of 1990. it is not a program of nahasta, hence it's not subject to negotiated rule making. however, chairman, you have our full commitment that as we begin to have further discussions with tribes, we will engage in tribal
10:21 am
consultation on the changes to the 184 program, but also on opportunities for the department to be able to improve the program in general. >> thank you. mr. roberts, the b.i.a. road program is responsible for maintaining almost 30,000 miles of b.i.a.-roads and bridging constructed with federal funds. this year's funding provides a level to maintain only 16% of the road and 62% of the bridges in acceptable condition. the funds are used to simply maintain the current condition. far too many roads are in poor or failing condition as i drive wind river reservation. if only 16% of the roads and 62% of the bridges are going to be in acceptable conditions, how can we safely drive kids to
10:22 am
school and people to the hospital in we don't have safe roads to drive? is the budget too low -- >> the department of transportation takes the lead on those funding issues. i will say the president's budget, as you said, chairman, reflects maintaining the roads that you identified as in moderate or fair, acceptable condition. it's extraordinarily challenging to improve infrastructure in this fiscal climate. i share your concern about the issue. >> we go to education in the president's fiscal year 2017 funding request has increased. we all understand the urgent need to fix the broken school systems. i'd like to bring to your attention $28.4 million for
10:23 am
"education management." can you talk about what type of services education management provides? >> absolutely. the president's budget requests an $8 million plus up for $24 million overall for that line. the plus up is essentially for 15 positions, contracting, acquisitions, construction planning, i.t. education specialists. it's the 15 positions that we need for b.i.e. to address those services under the reorganization. it's really looking at a human resource specialist, recruiters, budget planning, those types of things. i'm more than happy to provide additional information to your staff on that funding. >> and senator, do you want to talk about current crime victimizati
10:24 am
victimization. the president's budget request includes a project grant for tribal victims of violence. can you talk about how you're going to -- how will the development of these grants be tailored for tribal communities and incorporate tribal consultation prior to announcing the grant? >> thank you for the question. the $25 million request in the president's fiscal year 2017 budget is designed to give us more flexibility than we currently have with the voca funding. we have a history of consulting with the tribes. this requesting is art of -- i do. thank you, mr. chairman.
10:25 am
there's a request in here i think you discussed in your testimony, a $4 million for native one-stop initiative. is it -- it is an internet site. is there more to it than an internet site? >> absolutely. the internet site will basically -- all of different agencies across the federal government will feed their information into this internet site to provide tribes and individuals -- you know, they can access the programs. let's say they have a housing issue. they can say hud's got a program, we've got a program -- >> let me refine my question. is there -- is there funding for a physical site, too, to go to or is it all an internet site? >> my understanding it's all internet at this point. >> okay. so $4 million, this must be one hell of an internet site. that's a lot of dough for an
10:26 am
internet society working in indian country, there is quite a a are the -- so are we building something that they will not have access to? perhaps -- i think it's a great idea but if they don't have internet service, how are they going to access the web site? >> so the president's budget does support additional broadband access to b.i.e. schools. there is increases. i'm not sure what other federal agencies have for broad brand but i don't think this internet site needs the highest abilities. tribes have been asking for a one-stop that they can identify the services that serve them.
10:27 am
hopefully it saves tribes a lot of money as they're going through the process. >> your testimony also talks about suggesting services to work with existing tribes in adopting and updating their travel could you recall code and the same thing for uniform commercial codes. >> i believe it. i would have to get you more information on that. >> if you could. i think it's a great idea. my next question would be do you have the infrastructure to do this? >> we have a great team at o. > j.s. i just don't have the information yet. >> i have one more question that has to do with the home loan guarantee program. this is one of the programs.
10:28 am
we saw cut from last year's budget. and quite frankly, the native americans -- they want this expanded to native americans who live off reservation. i have two questions for you. number one, would you support that if this program was expanded, to be able to use these loan guarantees for homes outside the reservation borders? >> in principal, i would support it. i would need to look into the sort of technical requirements behind the loan guarantee program because i know it was designed for indian country. but i think anything we can do to expand and increase homeownership opportunities. >> that's good. and the second thing is that it's kind of the same question i asked different other people in other programs but this is a pretty dog gone good program and
10:29 am
it's being cut. what is the justification? is it simply dollars? you had to cut somewhere so this is the one that cut the ax? >> our request for $5.5 million in fy-2017 takes into account carryover funds that we are projecting from prior years. >> all right. so how much carry overdo you have? >> close to a million dollars. >> on the one hand that's good. we'll just leave it at that. mr. chairman, thank you, i appreciate it and i appreciate all your testimony. i grilled mary pretty hard this morning so i told her i'd let her off the hook this afternoon. and aaron, i'm sorry, i'll catch you next time, okay? >> thanks. thank you, senator. aaron, just following up and asking a question of mr. robertson, broad band efficiency in indian country, can you talk
10:30 am
a little bit about how the need are because there is some infrastructure lack in the community. >> so i testified earlier of some of the hard infrastructure, when you think of infrastructure like pipes. indian country is largely neglected with that. indian country we've built basically what we do have. in my situation we've recognized late. mostly what we were acquire was old swamp land. we're in rural community and old swam many land and we have to build the infrastructure ourselves. broadband is certainly a critical need in indian country. we are not as rural as other communities, so we is some access but it's limited. and our staff they live with that day to day and try to do
10:31 am
their jobs day to day. i would say absolutely the program we're talking about is a wonderful concept to connect across agency, to try to get some permanency across agency, but if that's going to work, tribes have to have access, otherwise we're building a structure that's not going to be used by indian people. >> a loss of opportunity to use the resource is there. >> i don't want to get in the middle of a fight. i would say that you need to -- >> rrall right. the hearing record will remain open for two weeks. i want to thank all of you for being here for your time and your testimony today. the hearing is adjourned.
10:32 am
today the house energy and commerce committee hold as hearing on concussion and head trauma. the panel features people representing the medical, military and athletic communities. that's live on c-span at 2 p.m. and later we continue with a campaign rally, live, 6:00
10:33 am
eastern on c-span3. >> primaries are taking place on tuesday in swing states. live coverage of the election results and viewer reaction begins at 7 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio and >> tonight on "the correctors," jim halpert and jim wilson discuss how and whether the fec should develop communications conditions for the internet. >> it can no longer regulate that aspect.
10:34 am
there is now a rule making coming up where the ftc will decide what to put in place in lieu of or perhaps replicating the ftc's rules but under the new ftc authority. >> most of the rules that exist existed in the world of telephones. now that they've extended by reclassification the situation to cover isps, they have to come up with rules that are appropriate to the world of the internet, not just the telephones. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> during his first official visit to the united states, prime minister justin trudeau spoke and took questions from
10:35 am
students. >> thank you for coming out today. i have to admit this is something that really matters to me. as much as i could over the past years, i'd get out to universities, high schools, to colleges and do what i'm about to do here. i'm very aware that this is a place where there's a great tradition of politicians coming forward and giving important speeches. j.f.k. being an extraordinary example but president obama more recently, except i'm going to try and turn that around a little bit and instead of focusing on what the leader has to say to all of you, i'm very much interested in hearing from all of you and what you have to say to me. because ultimately the work that i'm doing right now, the work that president obama and i did yesterday wasn't so much focused on, you know, the coming months as much as the coming decades.
10:36 am
we're focused on your future. and in order to stay focused on your future in the right way, because that's the only way of building the kind of prosperity we need in our country. whether it's international engagement, development security issues is to keep in mind the people we're doing it for and who willing the ultimate beneficiaries of the decisions we make these days. we're in an incredibly short-term world when it comes to so many different aspects of our lives, whether it's not being satisfied with a pizza in 30 minutes, we now need it in 30 seconds out of the microwave. you know, when we look at citizens and electors at the political process, there's a
10:37 am
real instinct to say what are you done for me late when you look at so much of what politics is all about. it's not because people don't want their leaders to be focused on that. it because largely there's a degree of cynicism about the capacity of the political system itself to effectively deal with ten years out, with 20 years out. there's a tendency to want to throw up our hands and say, okay, we can't do much about it so let's just focus on what's going to help me right now in the immediate and we'll hope that eventually things will work out. well, unfortunately that doesn't quite work as much anymore. the pressures we're facing are
10:38 am
global, are broad, are deep. we need to start thinking realistically about the impact that our actions today, this month, this year will have five years from now, ten years from now, 20 years from now, long after the current crop of people in power are actually making decisions. and for me, one of the best ways to make sure that that thinking is folded into the political process and the process of governance is regular contact with and empowerment of young folks like all of you. it's not just about -- and people talk about this all the time, the need to mobilize young people who are often disenchanted with politics to get out and vote. it's more about recognizing that the mindsets that you bring with you, the openness to change because your lives are all about
10:39 am
change from one -- you know, from living at home to living at university to starting a career finding your own space and starting a family, massive transformations of your lives that are just par for the course of what you're going through and what the reality of this decade you're part of right now, whereas people who are settled in a career path, responsibilities, mortgage, of you are much more set in the status quo and we need you to be thinking and challenging us why we're doing this, why we're not doing this, how we're doing this differently. and that means not just speaking up, but it also means getting involved. it also means understanding that your voices are an essential part of the mix to challenge us to think about your future instead of just our short-term
10:40 am
future or a future that could be seen as a linear extension of the short term, whereas we know we're going to need leaps, to rethink an awful lot of things in the coming years. climate change being a great example. what we agreed to in couldna continental approach yesterday will go a long way to setting the groundwork for the understanding that people of this generation get that can you no longer make a choice between what's good for the environment and what's good for economy. they go together. the future will have renewable resources and renewable energy sources. and that idea of giving up on economic progress so we can protect the environment no
10:41 am
longer makes sense because the only way we're going to build a strong, sustainable economy is by cherishing the ecosystem services and the natural renewable resources that underpin everything else that we do as human activity. so making strong commitments on protecting the arctic, working towards continental energy and resource strategies, these are the kind of things we need to build on, particularly following the success of the paris agreement. which people can talk about the kind of impact it will actually have but every country in the world stepped up and said we need to do this, we need to be part of this and that sends a message to citizens and businesses and innovators and entrepreneurs, that this is the way the world is going. now it's a race to see who can get there successfully fastest and make the most benefit of it this -- on top of that there are
10:42 am
issues of diversity and in a great school like school of university, i'm expecting to see a broad variety of background that i look at. walk down the streets in our country, our two great countries and we see a tremendous diversity of people and views. we know that global migration, refugee crises, the challenge that the world is facing is going to mean a greater flow of people across borders, living here, settling there, working here, working there. and we have diversity is a
10:43 am
tremendous source of strength, being able to draw on different perspectives, particularly when they're brought together around shared values, values of openness, respect, desire to succeed, willingness to work together, compassion, kinds of values that have created our free, democratic societies. needs to be something that we embrace and understand is the path to success for our world in the 21st century. so i'm excited to see the extraordinary mix here at american university, but know that this is again something that this generation gets to a greater degree than previous generations. and it's a place we can lean on and we need to. mover more than that, how do we continue to engage around big
10:44 am
issues around growing our economy. making sure we're creating opportunities for people to succeed torque follow their own potential, to contribute in ways that are different than used to be. i mean, the model of success in the past was, you know, depending on how good grades you got in school, you'd get a good job, you'd start in the mail room, you'd work your way up to vice president, you'd get a gold watch at the end of your career. you could make it to the president of the company if you married the boss's daughter, but that's an old way of looking at things. right now the career paths that we're going to have will jump around everywhere. the experiences that we accumulate along the way in multiple career paths and
10:45 am
multiple engagements that define us and shape us as individuals and leaders are extremely important, extremely varied. and that's one of the really exciting things for me about this generation. about how we're engaging with the world. so, you know, people have looked a lot at how, you know, we -- how i personally pull together a team that got elected in canada under particular circumstances and a surprise to a lot of people that we could come from distant third place to win a majority government. but a big part of the secret was spending a lot of time listening to people talking about, okay, if you could take away all the cynicism from politics, if you could just design and invent the kind of society, the kind of world you'd like to live in, it can't happen, we know it can't happen, but if you could imagine
10:46 am
the kind of country you'd want to live in, what would it look like? and we built a platform and an approach to politics that reflected what people really, prsed they wanted to see, clab drawing on positive inconstituents rather than our fears and divisions, it makes it harder to govern in the long term. we presented that to canadiens. people said, no, attack ads work, negativity works. i said, yeah, sometimes. but we're going to try something different because i know people are tired of that. we did it and succeeded. that leaves us a certain leeway now to try and govern in a certain way that takes real decisions that are sometime unpopular but engage with a p
10:47 am
preand continually challenge ourselves to do things better, to do things differently, to improve the way things have been done. quite frankly, i couldn't have done it if it hadn't been for the voices and the challenges from rooms like this one right across canada and to a certain extent around the world. so i thank you in advance for all your great questions and i look forward to engaging with them. thank you very much. merci. [ applause ] >> so we do have mics on the right and on the left and i'm going to alternate back and forth and i'm going to try and keep my answers short. i'd very much appreciate it if you guys kept your questions short. but the more we can get through, the better we'll be. wow. start going over to the mikes on this side, guys.
10:48 am
i think that's pretty much it. if you're still sitting down, you're not getting a question unfortunately. but we'll start right here. >> hello, can you hear me? >> yes, i can. >> first of all, thank you very much for doing this. i think this is a great opportunity to be able to talk to leaders internationally and be able to connect in a way you mentioned. my name is lucas oleson. i had the opportunity to study at the university of alberta, undergrad. you've been vocal about this issue -- what you have learned from the experience of indigenous people in the u.s. and what could the u.s. learn from canada? >> i mean, i don't know that we
10:49 am
have an awful lot to teach anyone on how to engage and empower and respect indigenous peoples in canada. we've made attempts over the past years. but they've all fallen sort. quite frankly, for a country that prides itself on its reasonable ne reasonableness, its defense of human right and positive role modelling in the world, we haven't done a good job over the past generations, indeed centuries with the first peoples who quite frankly if you've ever been up to canada in february, the first settlers wouldn't have survived without the friendship and guidance and support of people who figured out how to live in this extraordinary place for a millennia before us.
10:50 am
we have an awful lot to do to restore this partnership, to understand we share it land as respect for the natural world, an integration of economy and environment, we could do worse than draw on the cultural teachings and historical knowledge that indigenous communities have about how to create prop proper balance with the land and how to respect it. so, we have an awful lot of work to do, but i am serious about doing that, and quite frankly, naming as attorney general of canada and minister of justice, an extraordinary, indigenous woman, was a really important step in that. and as we look to the high arctic and the importance of the arctic and climate change, it was important to me as well to
10:51 am
make sure that the person responsible for our fisheries and oceans, and indeed, our coast guard, was a strong, indigenous voice, and i'm happy to introduce to you today hunter tutu, our minister of fisheries and oceans, from the high arctic. [ applause ] >> prime minister, such a pleasure. my name is andra danko. i'm from mexico, so i'm actually here to ask you to talk more about how do you envision the north american trade agreement happening in the next years? i think it's very -- it's great that you're putting a lot of emphasis on climate change. so, climate change is going to have to be included in a new envisioning of north america alliance. so, how's your administration going to tackle that issue and how do you imagine the trilateral relationship? >> well, i've already had some wonderful conversations with
10:52 am
president benin aquino about the climate strange. i mean, there is no question that the continent from mexico to the you'd to canada together working on energy issues, on addressing environmental concerns and figuring out how to get things right here will make a significant dent, not just in global emissions, but in the narrative that we engage with the world on. and if we can develop the kinds of solutions that, quite frankly, developing countries around the world, from the big ones like india and china to small caribbean and pacific island states, we can make a tremendous impact. in fact, we have to if we're going to keep warming to under two degrees and perhaps even reach the great target of 1.5 degrees. but in order to do that, we need to be a lot more collaborative with our neighbors and re-engaging in a positive way with our nafta partners, making
10:53 am
sure that irritants like the mexican visa requirement on business to canada is done away with, coordinating, collaborating and looking at the integration of our manufacturing supply chains in a positive way, instead of always a negative either/or. i think there's tremendous work to be done, and i'm looking forward to bringing together all the president obama and the president to canada this summer for our north american leaders summit so we can exactly engage in these issues. >> gracias. >> denadia. >> thank you, mr. prime minister. i am jihan, an international student from pakistan. from punjab region. it's great to see so many punjabis in your cabinet. >> yes, i have more sikhs in my
10:54 am
cabinet than modi does. >> so, my question is, like, from yesterday's conversation with president obama, there was a similar question that he is being criticized -- that's quite ironic but real -- that he's being criticized for the rise of the conservative hard-liners, especially donald trump, because, like, he's being blamed like it was his policies that has resulted in this. so, like, what are your plans to stem a similar rise of right-wing or conservative, another trump in canada? >> we had an election in the fall that featured a number of different narratives that are repeating themselves around the world, in, you know, certainly in europe with some of the challenges they're facing with migrants, here in the states to
10:55 am
a certain extent during your primary season. we had a, you know, conservative government that was, you know, talking about fear and division as a way of moving forward, whether it was talking about snitch lines for barbaric cultural practices, so soe you could call up if your neighbors were engaged in barbaric cultural practices. they could never quite explain why 911 wasn't an effective line when you see mistreatment or such. there was also real division around head scarves and a sort of tone of, well, negativity that was very compelling and certainly gained a certain amount of traction. but i found that canadians, in any case, find it hard to
10:56 am
sustain anger and fear for very long. we are an optimistic, hopeful people. we know and generally like our neighbors. i meant that within canada, but it applies to the united states, too. and having an approach that really emphasized that, you know, whenever you grab any disparate group of people together and have conversations, you realize that the things that unite us are always far greater than the things that divide us. and i think that ultimately is what democracies keep moving steadily towards. so, i have confidence in the american electorate and look forward to working with whoever you elect come november. >> hi, my name is ford fisher and i'm a student at the school of communications at american university. my question has a little tinge
10:57 am
of humor to it, but also a serious element. as was just asked in the last question, we have a presidential candidate right now who says he would build a border wall with mexico and make them pay for it, and we have a lot of americans who earnestly say i would leave and go to canada if we elected trump as president. so, my question to you is, how would you deal with an influx of american immigrants to canada? would you open your gates to american immigrants or would you build a wall and make america pay for it? >> every election season there are people who swear that if the candidate they don't like gets elected, they're moving to canada. if over the past decades that had been the case, we'd have more people in canada than the united states right now instead of being one-tenth your size. it becomes an easy, you know,
10:58 am
thing to cry out. every year there are canadians who move to the united states. every year there are americans who move up to canada. that's just the nature of our friendship and relationship. and to link it too much to politics is, as you point out, humorous and a trope that comes up through election seasons, but the reality is, the integration of our countries, the work we do together, the engagement on so many different issues means that there will always be flows back and forth, and one must never fret or be disappointed with that at the same time. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thanks for being here. you are an inspiration for many young people like me. i am a graduate student of international development. i have been actually following canada's economy for personal
10:59 am
reasons. i'm interested in it. i have two questions for you. first of all, the sector in canada has been struggling, particularly in alberta, and many people are frustrated. so, first question, what's your plan to improve the situation? second question, i have two friends who are big fan of you. can i have autograph for them? [ laughter ] by the way, i am happy to advise you, if needed. >> thank you very much. i think you can stand by the door when i leave for the second question. for the first one, the energy sector. obviously, the drop in oil prices has hit energy-producing countries very hard right around the world, and canada certainly is no exception. one of the challenges we have to face is to make sure that we're properly diversifying our economy.
11:00 am
canada has tremendous natural resources, including energy resources, but i always feel that our greatest strength is the human resources that we apply to both the knowledge economy and our natural resource sector, the innovation, the science, the research that we're doing to make sure that we're always doing better with that. so, we're going through a tough time right now, but at the same time, it gives us an opportunity to rethink, you know, certain sectors and to ensure that when oil prices start to rise again, we have taken advantage of this lull to make sure that we have innovated in terms of efficiency, in terms of environmental responsibility, in terms of how we're engaging in, you know, cutting-edge, thoughtful ways to get through the years where we will still be dependent on fossil fuels and make sure we end up as quickly as possible into a world where


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on