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President of Navajo Nation vetoes $20M loan for new aircraft

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye signed legislation to provide $2.9 million for a new chapter house for the for Teesto community in Arizona on November 8, 2015. Seated is Vice President Jonathan Nez. Also pictured are chapter and local leaders. Photo from Facebook

The Navajo Nation won't be getting a new air fleet.

President Russell Begaye vetoed Legislation 0238-15 on Monday. The bill would have authorized a $20 million loan to purchase three airplanes to replace the tribe's aging fleet.

"As leaders of the Navajo Nation, we must be prudent and fiscally responsible to our people and for our government,” Begaye said in a press release. He also issued a memorandum that explained his reasoning for rejecting the bill.

Davis Filfred, a delegate to the Navajo Nation Council, sponsored the bill to replace three airplanes that were put in service in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. He said tribal leaders need a reliable way to get around the reservation, which is about the size of West Virginia.

"We'll have to regroup and talk about it some more and we'll go from there," Filfred told the Associated Press.

Get the Story:
Navajo Nation president vetoes buying airplanes (The Farmington Daily-Times 11/10)
Navajo president vetoes bill to move forward with new planes (AP 11/9)

Related Stories:
Navajo Nation considers $20M loan to purchase new air fleet (11/3)

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