Indian Country Speaks About Harmful Impact of Daines’ Votes & Shutdown
Montanans hold Congressman Steve Daines accountable on statewide tour
(Box Elder, MT) – Concerns about the harmful impact of Congressman Steve Daines’ harmful record against Indian Country echo across Montana as members of the Montana Democratic Indian Council and Montana Democratic Party travel to meet with tribal leaders, local activists and community members.
Congressman Daines demanded and voted for the catastrophic government shutdown that caused financial disaster to Montana’s tribes, and he supported the devastating sequestration cuts that imposed a five percent cut and slashed funding for the Indian Health Service and tribal schools.
"Congressman Steve Daines has a proven track record of saying one thing and doing another, especially when it comes to what is best for Indian Country," said James Steele, Chair of the Montana Indian Democrats Council. "Democrats work with Indian Country day-in- and day-out to improve the lives of Native Americans in Montana while Congressman Daines continues to treat Native Americans like political pawns in a heated election.”
Highlights of Congressman Daines’ Voting Record in Washington, DC:
- Daines demanded and voted for the government shutdown that hurt Montana’s tribes. The shutdown had a catastrophic impact on Montana’s tribes, halting tribal programs including home health care programs for the elderly and disabled, bus services for rural areas and furloughing hundreds of workers. [NY Times, 10/13/13; AP,10/02/13, 10/15/13; Letter to House Leadership, 8/21/13; HJ Res 59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; New York Times, 9/18/13, Associated Press, 8/23/13]
- Daines supported the devastating sequester cuts that cut funding for schools and the Indian Health Service. Sequestration cuts had a devastating impact on tribal communities, cutting funding for tribal schools, Head Start programs and the Indian health services and hospitals. When Congressman Daines had the chance to restore funding and replace sequestration, he voted against it. [NY Times, 10/13/13; Washington Post, 3/21/13; White House Report, 3/01/13; Washington Post, 12/10/13; H.J. Res. 59, 12/12/13]
- Daines would repeal the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Congressman Daines has repeatedly voted to defund the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, denying Indian Country important services and improvements to IHS. [MTPR.org, 5/07/14; Democratic Natural Resources Committee, accessed 1/05/14]
- Daines voted against millions in increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education and Health Service. He voted against the budget deal that increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education by $18 million and the Indian Health service by $78 million. [HR 3547, Vote # 21, 1/15/14; House Appropriations Committee, Interior & Environment Appropriations,1/13/14]
- Daines twice voted to slash food stamp benefits. In 2013 and 2014, Congressman Daines voted for the Ryan budget that cuts SNAP (Food Stamps) by $137 billion, eliminating assistance to hundreds of tribal communities that depend on food assistance. [Indian Country Today, 9/20/13; Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; National Council on Aging, 4/09/14; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/04/14, 3/20/13, 10/28/13]
- Daines voted against funding for Violence Against Women programs for Indian women. In 2014, Congressman Daines voted against $44 million in funding aimed at addressing the high victimization rates of American Indian women for the crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking on tribal lands. [HR 3547, Vote # 21, 1/15/14;NCAI, 1/15/14]