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Mullin, Tribal Priorities Included in Budget Agreement

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Washington, February 9, 2018 | comments

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement after his bill, H.R. 3917, to extend funding for the Indian Health Service’s Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), the Indian employment tax credit, and accelerated depreciation for business property on Indian reservations passed as a part of the budget agreement signed into law by President Trump. 

“Today, the House passed legislation to keep the government open, fully fund our nation’s military, and extend funding for several important health programs for our citizens,” said Mullin.  “I was glad to see my bill, H.R. 3917, which extends funding for the Indian Health Service’s Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for two years, included as one of these top health priorities.  SDPI serves over 780,000 patients each year, including so many in Oklahoma’s own Indian Country.  While the budget agreement was imperfect, I was proud to vote in favor of extending SDPI funding so that Native Americans can continue to have access to programs that they need to live their healthiest lives.”

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians was established by Congress in 1997 in order to specifically address the diabetes epidemic in the Native American population.  H.R. 3917 was introduced on October 3, 2017 and will fund the successful grant program at $150 million per year for two years. 

The budget agreement also retroactively extended the Indian employment tax credit and accelerated depreciation for business property on Indian Reservations through December 31, 2017.  According to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, more than two-thirds of the land in Oklahoma meet the IRS qualifications to claim accelerated depreciation.

“The Indian employment federal tax credit and accelerated depreciation for business property on reservations work hand-in-hand to create greater economic development across Indian Country.  These extenders allow for economic growth in rural areas and provide good-paying, quality jobs across Indian Country,” said Mullin.  “I am glad to see both tribal priorities included in the budget agreement and I look forward to continuing my work to see them permanently extended in future legislation.”

The Indian employment federal tax credit was designed to encourage employers to hire Native Americans who are members of a federally recognized tribe and live in Indian Country.  The accelerated depreciation for business property on reservations encourages investment in Indian Country by allowing taxpayers to take a larger deduction for depreciation from their business income earlier than they would otherwise be allowed.  
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