PRESS RELEASE: PRESIDENT BEGAYE SAYS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD EXEMPT CRITICAL PROGRAMS FROM SHUTDOWN
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.—In light of the potential U.S. government shutdown pending the Senate’s passage of a stopgap bill to prevent the halting of funds to federal agencies, President Russell Begaye said critical federal programs should be exempt.
“The members of Congress need to know that any breakdown or shutdown of the federal government greatly and disproportionately impacts the Navajo Nation and all Indian tribes across the U.S.,” President Begaye said. “We are asking lawmakers and administrators to exempt from the shutdown funding for all Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, social services for our elderly population, veterans’ services and emergency response services employees.”
The winter season subjects many Native people to unpredictable weather. A shutdown could endanger the lives of elders and other vulnerable populations that rely on government services, President Begaye said.