Recently, HELP: MLP joined more than 280 public health organizations and advocates to call for the end of the partial government shutdown in a letter to the President. The current government shutdown is the longest in history resulting in long-lasting detrimental consequences to the health and safety of families across the nation. There are approximately 800,000 federal employees who are not being paid, many of whom are expected to work anyway. However, the impact of the government shutdown reaches far beyond government employees.
American Indians have been disproportionately affected by the shutdown due to the government’s failure to fully fund Indian Health Services and preventive services and the high percentage of American Indian federal employees who are going without pay during the shutdown. Funding for public benefits programs, including the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is uncertain beyond February. Thousands of families who reside in homes supported by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding are at risk of eviction. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency has suspended inspections for pollution violations among factories, power plants, refineries, water treatment plants, and other industries. For these reasons and many others, HELP: MLP urges the President and Congress to fully restore the federal government.