Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WASHINGTON With the Affordable Care Act more commonly known as Obamacare being the source of major contention, the House of Representatives voted pass the federal budget with the stipulation the "individual mandate" contained within the Act be delayed for a year.
There was no give on either side, the Senate rejected the measure passed last night by the House, which means American Indians and Alaska Natives woke up today with a federal government shutdown for the first time in 17 years.
As midnight approached, the White House budget office issued a memorandum instructing federal agencies to:
Shutting down the government does not stop Obamacare. The Health Insurance Marketplace will still open for business starting today, without delay.
While there have been temporary shutdowns in Washington due to heavy snowfalls, which have halted federal employees ability to get to work for a day or two, this shutdown has much more greater impact across the country.
As Congress debated the budget, American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages were bracing for the impact of the federal budget shutdown.
“It is unconscionable that the federal government will come to a complete halt due to a few unreasonable members of Congress. They have one primary role, to fund the government, and they need to do their job. By failing to provide funding, Congress is once again failing to honor its trust responsibility to America's first people,”
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly commented Monday evening.
American Indians and Alaska Natives will see an immediate impact in their communities.
“Much like sequester, once again Congress is placing ideology before the basic needs of American people,”
added President Shelly.
“Once again Native people will be impacted by the partisanship. It is sad how they keep on fighting in Washington,”
stated Chairman Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Tribe from Washington state to the Native News Network yesterday afternoon.
“They should turn the country back over to the tribes,”
he continued with some laughter in his voice.
posted October 1, 2013 7:30 am edt