Legislation Blog Posts

In the fight against COVID-19, tribal nations face many of the same health, education, and economic public policy challenges as non-Native state and local governments. However, they are further hindered by an obstacle course of red tape and administrative misapplications from the federal government that prevents tribes from fully utilizing their sovereign authority and hamper their pandemic defense and recovery strategies. This is an area that some U.S. representatives feel deserves the full attention of Congress and the Administration. 

The House Natural Resources Committee Democrats hosted a virtual roundtable discussion this morning in which members of The House of Representatives listened to leading experts from Indian Country about how federal relief...

 Arizona tribes to get $37 million for COVID-19 affordable housing (April 9, 2020) 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is issuing $37 million to Arizona’s tribes to fund housing needs during the pandemic. In total, the Indian Housing Block Grant, an addition to the CARES Act stimulus package, will provide $200 million to tribes in 35 states. The grants can be used for housing development, operation, and maintenance, modernization of existing housing and housing services to eligible individuals and families. The Navajo Nation will receive the bulk of money in Arizona, with $22.3 million allocated to Window Rock. Other tribes in Arizona that were allocated a larger portion...

Funding appropriated specifically for payments to tribes cannot yet be distributed because criteria and mechanisms for distribution must first be developed. The Administration is now seeking tribal input to help them determine how tribes should receive federal aid. 

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act sets aside $150 billion for emergency relief payments to state, tribal, and local governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and creates the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF or the Fund) to manage the financial distributions. 

CRF funding will cover necessary costs that were: 1) “incurred due to the public health emergency;” 2) not accounted for in the state or local government’s most...

 

Federal Emergency Relief Spending: How Is It Affecting Tribes and How Are Tribes Responding?

Three major Acts of Congress have passed into law this month to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With each proposal, emergency spending packages grow exponentially larger. Below are summaries of how the legislation affects tribes and how tribes are responding. 

Phase I

H.R. 6074 – Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 

The act is aimed primarily as bolstering the medical capacity of the...