must demonstrate our commitment to tribes'
FALLS, Mont.) Senator Jon Tester is urging President Obama
to provide needed support for Indian Country so tribes in Montana
and nationwide can deliver critical community services and grow
Tester, Montana's only member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee,
today told the President that the federal government's trust obligations
in Indian Country must be honored. He reminded Obama that the devastating
effects of sequestration prevented Indian communities from meeting
basic needs like health, education, housing, and law enforcement
and these effects continue to impact tribes in Montana and
around the country.
"Sequestration and the destructive government shutdown have
made Indian Country's challenges more difficult, but the federal
government's trust obligation to fulfill the unmet need in our tribal
communities remains," Tester told President Obama's budget director
Sylvia Mathews Burwell. "We must demonstrate our commitment to tribes
by adequately funding the necessary health, education, housing,
law enforcement, and economic development programs that help build
and sustain tribal sovereignty."
With Tester's support, Congress recently passed bipartisan legislation
to replace the sequester and allow for investments in core national
priorities like education, infrastructure and health care.
Tester did thank the President for working with tribes on a
nation-to-nation basis and holding an annual White House Tribal
Tester, a strong advocate for all of Montana's tribes, recently
introduced a bill to preserve Native languages and help strengthen
Indian culture and education.
Tester's letter to Office of Management and Budget Director
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, which is also signed by Senators Max Baucus
(D-Mont.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tim Johnson
(D-S.D.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), is
available online HERE.
Contact: Andrea Helling or Dan Malessa - (202) 228-0371