‘Critical funding’ for Indian Country: Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico)
Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2021
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Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico) speaks in support of increased COVID-19 relief and additional funding for tribal nations on February 3, 2021.

“Our Native American brothers and sisters on tribal lands are four times more likely to contract COVID-19 and twice as likely to die from it,” said Luján, who is the newest member on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

This week, the U.S. Senate is taking up a budget resolution to help implement President Joe Biden’s so-called American Rescue Plan. According to Democrats, it contains more than $28 billion in investments for health care, education, housing and other programs serving Indian Country and Native communities.

“This resolution strikes at the heart of the health disparities and circumstances that make tribal communities more vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Luján. “It provides tribal and public governments with critical funding to take action against the deadly virus and the havoc it has wreaked on their citizens, their economies, and the public health infrastructure.”

“The budget resolution provides necessary investments to support tribal governments that have struggled to maintain public and social safety network services,” he added.

Luján is a new member of the Senate, having won election in November 2020 to a vacant seat from New Mexico. He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thumbnail photo courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources, Democrats