Bipartisan cooperation between Senators Udall of New Mexico and Martha McSally of Arizona protected money for Indian Country the Trump Administration was hoping to cut.
Udall, who also serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said the funds approved for agencies that serve tribal governments includes $1.032 billion for the Indian Health Service, $453 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to meet tribes’ safety needs and to purchase protective equipment and another $327 million for the Bureau of Indian Education.
Sen. Martha McSally (R-Arizona), another member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said she had to work closely with the White House and Republican leadership in the chamber to keep the $8 billion in the coronavirus relief bill.
"I won't bore you with all the knife-fighting that had to happen here," McSally said on a town hall hosted by several Indian organizations on Thursday, "but I was literally presiding on the floor of the Senate the night that the deal was announced and this fund was still in jeopardy."
McSally said she "went to the mat" with high-level officials from the White House and from the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), the Republican Senate Majority Leader, to keep the $8 billion alive after attempts to reduce it -- and even remove it -- were made.
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