ICYMI: Rep. Gallego Secures Provisions for Tribal Governments in House Infrastructure Package
PHOENIX, AZ – On Friday, Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) voted to pass H.R. 2, a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that makes long overdue investments in affordable housing, broadband deployment, clean energy, running water and our nation’s roads, bridges, schools, and public transit systems.
The package included the Tribal Wildlife Corridors Act, authored by Rep. Gallego, which improves federal support for the creation and maintenance of wildlife corridors on and around Tribal lands. The provision would improve roadway safety, protect migration routes and safeguard species from the devastating impacts of climate change and habitat loss.
H.R. 2 also included an amendment from Rep. Gallego which helps close the digital divide in Indian Country by requiring consultation with, direct outreach to, and robust technical assistance for Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations participating in broadband grant programs authorized under H.R. 2.
Rep. Gallego, who serves as Chairman of the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S., also supported provisions that increase funding for the Tribal Transportation Program and invest over $2.5 billion in clean running water and sanitation systems on Tribal land and $5 billion in the construction and renovation of health care facilities through the Indian Health Service.
Rep. Gallego made the following statement:
“I am proud to support this bold plan to address America’s crumbling infrastructure and make new investments in public transportation, broadband, water systems and more in states like Arizona.
“This package is especially timely as communities with poor infrastructure – those without broadband, running water, and adequate health facilities – have suffered disproportionate health and economic consequences due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nowhere is this inequality starker than in Indian Country. That’s why I fought for significant provisions in H.R. 2 to meet the infrastructure needs of Tribal Nations, who have too long been left behind in this national discussion.”