Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the Republican leadership pulled H.J. Res. 80 from further consideration today. It is the American Indian and Alaska Native, Health, Education, and Safety Act.
The Affordable Care Act, which the Republicans are demanding be eliminated in exchange for allowing the government to reopen, includes the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. As the author of the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, I know the challenges that the reauthorization faced and just how long it took for us to finally get it passed into law--a decade, in case you are wondering.
If we yield to Republican hostage-taking and throw out the Affordable Care Act, we throw out the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. That would be devastating to Indian country.
This bill, H.J. Res. 80, continues the damaging sequester cuts that the National Congress of American Indians have said pose particular hardship for Indian country and the surrounding communities that rely on tribes as employers.
Mr. Speaker, it is time for us to stop this nonsense. If you truly do believe in the sacred trust and responsibility our government has to tribes, then let's have a vote on a clean CR and reopen the government.