Discussion included current budget proposals at the state and federal level and a request for the Congressman’s support with specific issues relating to the area Hale serves.
“The proposed cuts will greatly impact services to Native people living on and off Indian reservations. In a time when many are struggling, these cuts will take away the only survival mechanisms available to the most vulnerable of our population,” Hale said.
Hale explained that many of his constituents are already living in an impoverished area and will suffer the most because they are most dependent on federal aid.
Andrew Benally, Chief Executive Officer, Chinle Valley School, Inc., provided details concerning disabled individuals that the school serves and what budget cuts would do to programs that they rely on.
Navajo County Supervisor Jesse Thompson reiterated Hale’s concerns that more budget cuts would be devastating to Native American communities, adding that county services are already operating on a minimal cost program plan.
Gosar shared his empathy with the situation in Arizona but said, “There is no money. The federal government is broke.”
Hale agreed but reminded Gosar of the unique status of Native people in Arizona.
Sarah Muench contributed to this report. She is the Communication Director for the Arizona Legislature House Democrats.