U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, and Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., offered the following statements on House Republicans' piecemeal bills for Head Start and Impact Aid. Luján and Kirkpatrick each represent part of the Navajo Nation, which has the highest tribal population and is the largest land-based tribe in the United States, and are members of the Congressional Native American Caucus.
From Rep. Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico District Three:
"It's time for House Republicans to stop playing political games and allow a vote on a clean funding bill that will reopen the government. Their cynical piecemeal approach picks winners and losers while failing to fund all of the areas that are critical to families in Indian Country. Voting on short-term funding for Impact Aid and Head Start ignore the fact that sequester cuts to vital education programs have seriously harmed Native American students. Rather than take steps to end the shutdown and find a solution that ends the sequester, House Republicans continue to bend to the extreme elements in their party, leaving tribal communities to pay the price."
From Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona District One:
"If House leaders were genuinely concerned about Impact Aid and Head Start, they would allow a vote to reopen the government. Piecemeal games only prolong the shutdown rather than solve it. Schools on tribal land have already taken a massive hit with sequestration cuts to Impact Aid and Head Start. And sequestration has cut many other programs, such as the Violence Against Women Act, that help the 12 Native American tribes in Arizona's District One. Congress should stop picking winners and losers -- this is not a game. Speaker Boehner, let the House vote on a clean funding bill so we can restart our government."