Bush Budget Proposal Leaves Indian Country Short
The Bush Administration "requested only a fraction of the funding needed to fix" schools, jails and health care facilities in Indian Country, according to the Casper (WY) Star Tribune. Sen. Byron Dorgan (North Dakota Democrat) said there is a nearly $3 billion backlog for repair or construction of Indian health facilities; a $1.8 billion backlog for schools; and a $6 billion backlog on jail construction. (Above, students on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.)
The proposed Bush budget has only $15.8 million for health care facilities and $115 million for schools. Dorgan said that the administration told his Senate Indian Affairs Committee that things were "swimmingly good" when they are really the opposite "It's unbelievable to me," Dorgan said. According to the paper:
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said administration officials should "protest violently" the cuts in funding. He said the departments engage in too many studies. "We've got major problems and when we send dollars out and they're spent on study after study after study and nothing gets done, that's almost criminal," Tester said.