- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Michael R. Bloomberg on Thursday announced his plan to uplift American Indians by reversing what he called their “racist and disrespectful treatment” under President Trump.

The plan included raising the federal minimum wage to $15, reversing the Trump administration’s rollback of environmental regulations and tripping federal funding for two- and four-year tribal colleges.

“The hostility and disrespect Donald Trump has shown toward Native Americans is disgraceful, and it will end with my administration,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul and former New York mayor, said the measures he offered would restore the respect of American Indians deserve.

“The indigenous peoples of this land deserve respect — respect for their sovereignty, respect for their right to self-governance, respect for their culture — and that’s what they’ll receive when I’m president,” he said. “I will increase Native American representation in the White House, deliver more resources to the Indian Health Service and tribal colleges, and treat tribal nations with the dignity they deserve.”

Mr. Bloomberg is reaching out on the cusp of the crucial Super Tuesday primaries, which includes large American Indian populations in North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma.

Mr. Bloomberg sat out the first several nominating contests, including the primary Saturday in South Carolina, to focus on the delegate-rich Super Tuesday contests next week in 14 states. Texas and North Carolina are among the biggest prizes.

He was a late entry in the Democratic race but quickly emerged as a top contender as he spent more than $500 million since November saturating the U.S. with TV ads.

Other measures in his plan to boost American Indians include bringing high-speed internet to their communities, strengthening tribes’ legal and civil rights to protect indigenous women and girls, and putting money back into their pockets by expanding the earned income tax credit and distributing it monthly.

Mr. Bloomberg said he would appoint a senior White House adviser for native issues to elevate tribal issues to the top of the agenda and restore the Tribal Nations Conference, an annual White House meeting during the Obama administration.

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