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Politics
Senate urged to fulfill $2B Indian Country pledge


A bipartisan group asked the Senate Budget Committee on Monday to start funding the $2 billion Emergency Fund for Indian Health and Safety.

Congress created the fund last year to pay for Indian health, public safety and water programs The money is to be spent over five years.

"Based on the U.S. Constitution, treaties with Indian tribes, and federal statutes, the United States has assumed a trust responsibility for the provision of public safety and health care to Indian people," the letter from 19 members of the Senate said. "The Native American population, however, is facing a public safety and health crisis due, in large part, to a lack of federal funding."

Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota) sought $400 million in the current 2009 budget for the fund but the Senate rejected his request. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has asked the Budget committee to include $400 million in the 2010 budget.

Relevant Documents:
Senate Indian Affairs Committee Views and Estimates (March 13, 2009)

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