Alaskan Congressman Don Young today voted in support of H.J. Res. 80, the American Indian and Alaska Native, Health, Education, and Safety Act, which will provide immediate funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, and Indian Health Service through December 15, 2013. Congressman Young issued the following statement after the vote:
"As I continue to work with my colleagues to end this federal shutdown, it is imperative that the Senate quickly consider this bill so that our longstanding federal trust responsibility to provide healthcare to Alaska Natives and American Indians is not disrupted. The Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Veterans Administration (VA) are the only two federal agencies that provide direct healthcare services to individuals and both do so through federally-run clinics and through contracts and compacts.
"The U.S. has a unique, sacred responsibility to provide health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The House has already passed a similar resolution to fund VA clinics through December 15th. It is vital that Congress act in kind for IHS health services so that we do not deny federally-guaranteed healthcare to some of the most health-disadvantaged populations in the country."
During debate of H.J. Res. 80, Congressman Young took to the House floor and urged his colleagues to support the funding bill.