Sunday, November 2, 2008

NALU October 31, 2008: Elections and Economy

The Indian Vote

After the 2006 election, FCNL reported that the Indian vote played a key role in the outcome of at least three Senate races and one House race. Several Native American agencies and organizations, such as the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), are building on this recent history and urging Indians to get out the vote on November 4. The growing importance of the Indian vote has prodded the presidential campaigns to pay more attention to Indian Country this election season than ever before. While both John McCain and Barack Obama have courted Native American voters, both campaigns need to do much more to address indigenous concerns.

NCAI is taking advantage of this interim period to prepare for the 111th Congress. The group plans to urge members of Congress to pass legislation that benefits Indian Country within the first 100 days.
Read more about their plans for the transition team.

The Financial Crisis Affects Indian Investments

The crisis in the stock market and financial sector has not spared Indians. Indians have lost millions in stocks and are being told - like everyone else - to "wait it out."

The downturn also hits Indians in unique ways. For instance,
many banks are shedding their Native American banking programs, thereby depriving tribes of key contacts with the U.S. financial system. By losing banking expertise on issues specific to Indian business (e.g., sovereignty), Indian Country could become more vulnerable to economic depression than before.

Indian Health: Where's the Money?

Sen. Max Baucus (MT) has requested that the Government Accountability Office
investigate the Indian Health Service's policies on obtaining reimbursement from private insurance companies. Currently, Baucus says, the Indian Health Service may not be pursuing reimbursement from private insurers aggressively enough, thereby losing dollars to pay for much needed health care. FCNL will keep you updated on this investigation.

Friends Committee on National Legislation
245 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

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