Navajo Nation President Urges Congress to Reach a Compromise on Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

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Contact: Jared King
Communications Director
Navajo Nation Washington Office
Tel 202.682.7390
Cell 202.200.0625
jking@nnwo.org
www.nnwo.org

For Immediate Release

Navajo Nation President Urges Congress to Reach a Compromise on Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

WASHINGTON— Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has stressed to Congressional leaders the importance of reaching a compromise when dealing with the looming ‘fiscal cliff,' just three weeks away before across-the-board cuts to federal government programs would take effect.

"The Navajo Nation and all tribal nations stand to see catastrophic cuts to key programs should Congress fail to act. I stress to Congress that Indian budgets are part of the country’s treaty and trust obligations and should not be held hostage by automatic discretionary cuts and political gamesmanship," President Shelly said.

President Shelly further outlined his concerns of the impacts to the Navajo people should a deal not be reached, "While we are watching the debate around tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, I remain gravely concerned about taxes increasing for our low-income citizens across the Navajo Nation. Based on our data, their tax bill could go up as much as $1,000 per family. With median income hovering below $20,000 per year, and coupled with a decrease in programs due to on average 8.5% program cuts, the results would be devastating. It would be immoral to not reach an agreement."

On Capitol Hill, the signs for compromise are uncertain. Lawmakers in both chambers have indicated that a consensus on the negotiations will likely be reached at the end of the legislative session. Congress is expected to remain in session until the Christmas holidays.

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