Hawks Challenges Noem to Debate on Reservation
U.S. House candidate Paula Hawks challenged her opponent to a debate on one of South Dakota's nine Indian reservations this fall.
"Tribal communities are often ignored and neglected by politicians. That's why I made it a point to visit all nine South Dakota Indian reservations during this campaign. I think it only makes sense we host a debate in one of the tribal communities to answer a broad range of questions about how we best serve all South Dakotans," Hawks said in a statement.
Hawks has been critical of Republican incumbent Kristi Noem's record in Indian country, noting she voted for the sequestration budget cuts in 2011 which eliminated $220 million from Indian Health Services.
"In 2014, we spent about $8,000 per person nationally on healthcare yet IHS only spent around $3,000 per person. The cognitive dissonance it takes to continually blame the bureaucracy at IHS while at the same time personally voting to remove the tools and resources that were needed to provide quality care is alarming. Inadequate resources and inadequate care is obviously connected. So, I ask my opponent, accept this invitation to debate on one of South Dakota's nine Indian reservations and let's speak directly to the people we hope to represent," Hawks said.