Kim Teehee: Budget helps build an Indian Country economy
Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values. Today, the President released a budget that illustrates how we put that blueprint to work.
The President has been clear that we need to do more to create jobs and help economic growth. While the current economic crisis has challenged all Americans, we know this to be especially true for Indian Country where some reservations face unemployment rates of up to 80 percent. Though the economic challenges of Indian Country are significant, President Obama is committed to building strong, prosperous Native American economies.
The Pesident’s FY 2013 Budget includes $19.4 billion in government-wide funding for Native American programs, an increase of nearly $585 million over the 2012 funding level and $875 million over the 2011 funding level. Agencies and programs critical to Indian Country including the Departments of Education, Transportation, Justice, and Health and Human Services (which includes the Indian Health Service) have all received funding increases for Indian Country programs in the President’s 2013 Budget. Throughout most federal agencies, funding for Native American programs remained relatively level. Given the fiscal situation the country faces, this is a significant achievement. Within the Bureau of Indian Affairs, programs were protected that have a direct impact on Native American lives and that were considered a priority by tribal leaders."
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