Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly urges Congress to reach a compromise on looming fiscal cliff negotiations

WASHINGTON- Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly stressed to Congressional leaders the importance of reaching a compromise when dealing with the looming "fiscal cliff," just three weeks away, before across-the-board cuts to federal government programs would take effect.

"The Navajo Nation and all tribal nations stand to see catastrophic cuts to key programs should Congress fail to act. I stress to Congress that Indian budgets are part of the country's treaty and trust obligations and should not be held hostage by automatic discretionary cuts and political gamesmanship," Shelly said.

Shelly said he remains concerned about taxes increasing for low-income citizens across the Navajo Nation. He said with the median income hovering below $20,000 per year on the Navajo Reservation, raising taxes would be devastating.

"It would be immoral to not reach an agreement," he said.

On Capitol Hill, the signs for compromise are uncertain. Lawmakers in both chambers have indicated that a consensus on the negotiations will likely be reached at the end of the legislative session. Congress is expected to remain in session until the Christmas holidays.

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