Congressman Zinke is no friend to Indian Country
HELENA – While Superintendent of Public Instruction and U.S. House Candidate Denise Juneau outlines priorities to strengthen Indian Country, Congressman Ryan Zinke’s record reflects one of ignorance and inaction for Native Americans.
“Ignoring the issues facing our neighbors and friends in Indian Country shows again how out-of-touch Congressman Zinke is with the people he was elected to represent,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Denise Juneau has a strong record of success in Indian Country and will continue to fight for all Montanans when she’s elected as our next Congresswoman.”
Congressman Zinke’s deplorable record on Indian Country includes:
Supporting repealing the Indian Health Care Improvement Act: The Indian Health Care Improvement Act was reauthorized as part of the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Zinke has repeatedly voiced support for repealing the ACA legislation that improved the Indian Health Service, and he voted for a repeal of ACA in October of 2015. [Billings Gazette, 4/25/14; Indian Health Services, accessed 7/8/16; Newsmax.com, 1/05/16; Indian Country Today: 12/3/15; CQ, 10/23/15; H.R. 3762, Vote 568, 10/23/15]
Decrying Indian Dependence on Government Services: At a campaign event in 2014, Zinke said: “There is a legacy in Montana of being independent. You can’t be independent if you’re beholden to a government. I invite you to drive through Browning. Some of these Indian reservations… nowhere is it more apparent the dependence on government.” [YouTube, accessed 5/12/14 (43:05)]
Opposing Funding for Violence against Women Programs for Indian Women: In 2014, Zinke said that he opposed a budget bill that included $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. [Voices of Montana, 12/11/13; NCAI, 1/15/14]
“Turning your back on Native Americans while simultaneously insulting the entire population with such ignorant, racially-charged comments proves Congressman Zinke is clueless about Indian Country,” Keenan said.