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ROUND-UP: Mullin Committed to Funding IHS During Shutdown

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Washington, January 24, 2019 | comments

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) continues to push the need for the federal government to remove Indian Health Service (IHS) from partisan funding fights.

Mullin introduced H.R. 195, the Pay Our Doctors Act, to fund IHS for the next fiscal year.  This bill will ensure that tribally-run hospitals and Urban Indian Clinics receive the funding they need to pay their doctors and keep their doors open.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., is a member of the Cherokee Nation, and he discusses how the partial shutdown is impacting Native Americans.”

Indian Country Today: “MSNBC hears a conservative case for border security first, funding the government later… [Mullin] added that Native Americans should not be in this fight. ‘The reason why they shouldn't is because it's a federal obligation based on a trust and the trust was because they, the United States, forcibly moved Native Americans from their traditional lands years ago and said, 'If you go from where you're traditionally at to someplace else like, my family got moved to Oklahoma, then in return we're going to take care of your health care. This shouldn't be a fight. They shouldn't be caught up in this fight.’”

NYT: “There have been some efforts to limit the impact. Representative Markwayne Mullin, Republican of Oklahoma, introduced a bill last month that would have maintained funding for the Indian Health Service during a shutdown. His proposal did not make it to a vote, but Mr. Mullin, who said ‘I have no read on how long’ the shutdown would last, said he hoped his idea would gain bipartisan traction if the broader impasse stretches on. ‘This is a true federal obligation to treaties to Native Americans,’ said Mr. Mullin, who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and who received health care at an Indian Health Service facility while growing up. ‘This is different than really any other government agency.’”

CQ Roll Call: “Mullin said he raised concerns in conversations with Vice President Mike Pence and Office of Management and Budget officials. He’s also tried to pass IHS funding despite the impasse over President Donald Trump’s border wall, urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California to schedule a vote on a standalone bill (HR 195) to provide IHS with funding.”

Modern Healthcare: “As congressional spending talks fell apart before Christmas, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), GOP co-chair of the House Indian Health Service Task Force, introduced a bill to fund the agency through next September, or the end of the current fiscal year… ‘Native Americans deserve quality, reliable healthcare services as promised in treaties with the federal government,’ Mullin said. ‘My bill, which would provide a stable source of funding for IHS through fiscal year 2019, is a good start.’"

The Carolinian: “It is not uncommon for tribes to struggle to fund medical care during a government shutdown. In fact, during the 2013 shutdown, California tribes delayed medical procedures and cut medical staff. This has become such an issue, that Native congressman, Markwayne Mullin, introduced a bill to counteract it.”

Breitbart News: “Mullin explained that Democrats on the House Rules Committee blocked his amendment, called the Pay Our Doctors Act, which would fund health services for Native Americans through the fiscal year. Democrats voted it down on an 8 to 4 party line vote.”

KTEN: “The Indian Health Service, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, uses federal dollars to help tribal hospitals. ‘What we're trying to do is separate it,’ Mullin explained. ‘We're saying, look: IHS has nothing to do with what's happening with border security, and we gotta quit playing games with it.’”

News on 6: “Mullin said Oklahoma's Native Americans shouldn't have to worry about healthcare. ‘IHS isn't an agency, it's a true federal obligation based on treaties that were signed by the federal government to the separate tribes,’ he said. ‘We are in breach of breaking that treaty if we don't continue paying IHS.’”

KTUL: “Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., said lack of funding for the Indian Health Service could endanger the tribes in his district that rely on rural hospitals for care. ‘There are no other options for the individuals to go get healthcare,’ Mullin said. ‘When you stop funding them, they cease to exist and then the health care for these tribes no longer exists, so you’re putting lives at risk during this shutdown.’”

Muskogee Phoenix: “The federal government has made clear its responsibility to Native Americans. This relationship with tribes has been solidified by treaties, federal legislation, federal regulations, Supreme Court decisions, and executive orders from the president. The federal government has varied promises and responsibilities to Native Americans. However, the clearest responsibility is to provide health care to Indian Country.”

Tulsa World: “…the House Rules Committee declined to pass an amendment authored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, to fund the Indian Health Service during the shutdown.”

News OK: “Legislation introduced by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, a Westville Republican and Cherokee Nation citizen, would maintain funding for the Indian Health Service during the shutdown but that legislation has not been considered in the House. Indian Health Service grants to tribes have stopped and employees at clinics are not being paid during the shutdown.”

Read Mullin’s letter to Speaker Pelosi, urging her to bring H.R. 195 to the House floor for a vote HERE.

Read Mullin’s release after Democrats on the Rules Committee blocked his amendment to fund IHS through the end of the year HERE.

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