Tester supports increased investments in Indian education and health care

Proposed federal budget makes record investments in Indian Country

(U.S. SENATE)-Vice-Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Jon Tester today expressed his support for the increased investments in Indian education and health care services included in Administration’s proposed budget.

During a committee hearing with Administration officials, Tester welcomed the budget as an advancement of opportunity for tribes and a positive step forward to erase the damaging cuts done by sequestration. If enacted, the proposed budget would make a $1 billion investment in Indian Education through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and increases the Indian Health Service budget by five percent.

“This budget has increases almost across the board for tribal programs, while also reining in the deficit,” Tester said, in his statement for the record. “I know some of my colleagues on the Hill have dismissed this budget as being a wish list from the Administration. For Indian Country, this is not a wish list. It’s a part of our ongoing obligation to fulfill the promises we’ve made to tribes.”

Tester also supports increased investments in Indian law enforcement, broadband access, housing, and Contract Support Costs that are included in the proposed budget.

Earlier this month, Tester contacted Montana Tribal leaders to request their input on the impact President Obama’s budget will have on Indian Country.

Tester has already helped pass multiple bipartisan bills out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee this Congress to improve tribal self-determination, economic development, education, and child protection.