Jodi Rave: Indian Country seeks $3.58B stimulus
"Acoma Pueblo Gov. Chandler Sanchez of New Mexico busily moved from meeting to meeting in the Hart and Russell Senate office buildings on Thursday, joining dozens of other tribal leaders who were lobbying for economic stimulus plan projects in their communities.

“Everybody's talking about the big stimulus package,” said Chandler. “Who isn't? Everybody who is out here in Washington is talking about that. We have a lot of projects we're working on and a lot of concerns we have back home. By coming to Washington, we actually get to sit down with senators and congressmen to voice what our people are voicing back home.”

The Acoma tribal government and tribes everywhere are wondering how the federal government will boost the economy, not only nationally but on tribal lands. And when President Barack Obama signs a national stimulus bill, tribes expect it to address a 50 billion backlog of construction projects for Indian Country.

The backlog includes $3 billion for health care facilities, $8 billion for jails - an estimated 90 percent of reservation jails need to be replaced - and $20 billion in unmet transportation needs.

To that end, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, organized a group of 15 Senate colleagues to support and craft legislation calling for $3.58 billion for tribal communities to be included in the national economic stimulus bill. The majority of the money, some $2.8 billion, would be used immediately for construction projects in tribal communities."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Legislation would provide $3.58 billion stimulus for Indian Country (The Missoulian 1/23)

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