Law360 Quotes Jody Cummings on Reduced DOI Budget Proposal for Tribes

May 25, 2017

Law360 quoted Jody Cummings in a May 23 article titled “Takeaways For Tribes In Reduced DOI Budget Proposal.” The article discusses the 2018 budget proposal for the US Department of the Interior (DOI) by the Trump administration. The proposal would trim more than $300 million from federal programs serving Native Americans, cutting education, social services, tribal courts and other items.

Mr. Cummings, who returned to Steptoe in March after serving as Interior’s deputy solicitor for Indian Affairs, says that those cuts could be especially problematic "because you’re talking about folks in Indian Country who are some of the most vulnerable and need the kinds of services those programs are providing."

He adds: “You think about the mission of the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], about how burdened employees are there now in the work that they do. To consider a reduction in staff as proposed here creates some concern for me about the ability of the agency to fully respond to tribal governments and individual Indians that it's working with.”

The full article can be read at Law360 (subscription required).