11:26 PM EDT

Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Madam Chairwoman, you're going to hear from the entire Dental Caucus tonight. Congressman Gosar from Arizona and myself are the two dentists that are in Congress, so it might not surprise you that I support the gentleman's amendment. I appreciate his sincere efforts to address the obligations, both trust obligations and treaty obligations, and moral obligations, that we have with our Indian brothers and sisters across this country.

One of the things I'm proudest of in this bill, as I said in my opening statement during general debate, was to be able to carry on the work that had been done by Chairman Dicks when he was chairman of the committee, Chairman Moran when he was chairman of the committee, and now that I'm chairman of the committee, to meet those trust obligations that we have with our Indian brothers and sisters across this country.

One of the areas in this bill, one of the two areas, that actually got increased funding was Indian health services because we do have an obligation to meet these things. Dental decay is the most prevalent disease in the United States; and as the gentleman from Arizona said, it's 300 percent more likely in Native Americans than it is in the general population. That's unacceptable. We have to do something about it. It means that we have to meet the contract obligations that we have had.

There's a saying that's been said around the country that if you live in Indian Country, you need to get sick before June, because the contract support costs run out about that time. One thing we've made a concerted effort to do on a bipartisan basis is try to fund 100 percent of the contract support costs for Native Americans. We haven't reached that goal yet. I think in this bill we're about at 93 or 94 percent, something like that. The contract support in the BIA that does the police work

and those types of things are fully funded. We are going to continue to work to make sure that we meet those obligations that I think we all as Americans have.

I appreciate the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona, and I truly appreciate his support for our Indian brothers and sisters.

I yield back the balance of my time.

[Time: 23:30]