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After Haaland, Gallego Call Out Treasury on CARES Act Relief For Tribes, Agency Announces Release of Funding to Tribes
May 5, 2020 Press Release
Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-01), Co Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and Ruben Gallego, Chairman of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. released the following tweets on the Department of Treasury’s announcement to release a portion of the $8 billion included for sovereign tribal governments in the CARES Act. The announcement comes after Haaland and Gallego led the call for the Department of Treasury to immediately release CARES Act funding to Tribes.


https://archive.li/jWQ5j


https://archive.li/WP3zk

The CARES Act included an $8 billion fund to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the coronavirus pandemic and cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. However, the distribution of those funds was delayed because the Administration attempted to award that funding to corporations – a decision that tribal governments across the country opposed. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia issued a decision on April 27 to place a temporary injunction from releasing funds to Alaska Native Corporations until a final decision is rendered.https://haaland.house.gov/media/press-releases/after-haaland-gallego-call-out-treasury-cares-act-relief-tribes-agency

On April 29th they wrote:
We write to you today in response to the numerous concerns that we have heard from leaders of the 574 federally-recognized tribal governments regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act following the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s Order that was issued on April 27, 2020 enjoining the Treasury Department from disbursing CRF funding to Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs). Congress designated $8 billion from the CRF established in the CARES Act to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. As you are aware, the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a disproportionate health care and economic impact on federally recognized tribes due a chronic lack of essential resources. The Congressional intent behind the CRF is to expedite relief funds to governments, including sovereign tribal governments, as part of the federal government’s larger initiative to provide emergency assistance throughout the country…” (Excerpt from letter to Mnuchin and Bernhardt)

US Congresswoman Haaland Press Release:
Haaland, Gallego Lead Lawmakers Calling on Treasury to Immediately Release CARES Act Funding to Tribes April 29, 2020 Press Release
Funding was delayed due to Trump Administration decision to grant corporations access to funding, despite intended use for Tribal governments
Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-01), Co Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and Ruben Gallego, Chairman of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. are leading the call for the Department of Treasury to immediately release CARES Act funding to Tribes.

The CARES Act included an $8 billion fund to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the coronavirus pandemic and cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. However, the distribution of those funds was delayed because the Administration attempted to award that funding to corporations – a decision that tribal governments across the country opposed. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia issued a decision on April 27 to place a temporary injunction from releasing funds to Alaska Native Corporations until a final decision is rendered.

In the letter, the members state, “The Court’s decision does not prevent the Treasury Department from releasing resources to federally-recognized Tribal and Alaska Native governments…[and]Further postponement in disbursing these funds is unnecessary and works against the federal government’s trust responsibility to the 574 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States.”

The full letter to the Department of Treasury is available here. https://haaland.house.gov/sites/haaland.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Letter_Treasury-DistributionOfCARESActFundsToTribalGovernments_04292020.pdf

In addition to Haaland and Gallego, the letter was signed by Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee Raul M. Grijalva, and U.S. Representatives Tom O’Halleran, Derek Kilmer, Sharice L. Davids, and Betty McCollum. https://haaland.house.gov/media/press-releases/haaland-gallego-lead-lawmakers-calling-treasury-immediately-release-cares-act

Meanwhile, Mnuchin gave checks to foreigners: https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2020/05/01/irs-mistakenly-sends-stimulus-checks-to-foreign-workers-228974
Mnuchin also forgot Veterans: https://jonhendricksjr.me/2020/05/06/heavy-com-news-breaking-news-covid-19-stimulus-checks-glitch-fixed-for-veterans/

April 29th Letter:
Re: Immediate Disbursement of Coronavirus Relief Fund to Tribal Governments

Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Bernhardt:

We write to you today in response to the numerous concerns that we have heard from leaders of the 574 federally-recognized tribal governments regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act following the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s Order that was issued on April 27, 2020 enjoining the Treasury Department from disbursing CRF funding to Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs).

Congress designated $8 billion from the CRF established in the CARES Act to ensure sovereign tribal governments have the resources needed during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover expenditures associated with the public health emergency. As you are aware, the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a disproportionate health care and economic impact on federally recognized tribes due a chronic lack of essential resources.

The Congressional intent behind the CRF is to expedite relief funds to governments, including sovereign tribal governments, as part of the federal government’s larger initiative to provide emergency assistance throughout the country. As you are aware, the CARES Act was passed over a month ago, on March 27, 2020, yet this funding has yet to be disbursed to tribal governments, in part due to litigation aimed at ensuring these resources go to the governmental entities that Congress intended. While the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision yesterday to place a temporary injunction from releasing funds to ANCs until a final decision is rendered, the Court’s decision does not prevent the Treasury Department from releasing resources to federally-recognized Tribal and Alaska Native governments.

Thus, we respectfully request the Treasury Department immediately begin to disburse the $8 billion of Coronavirus Relief Funds to eligible federally recognized tribal governments in compliance with the intended purpose of the COVID-19 relief funds and in recognition of the negative impact that every day of delay has on Tribes.

Further postponement in disbursing these funds is unnecessary and works against the federal government’s trust responsibility to the 574 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States.

Sincerely,

__________________________ __________________________
Deb Haaland
Member of Congress
Ruben Gallego
Member of Congress
Tom O’Halleran
Member of Congress
Ben Ray Lujan
Member of Congress
Derek Kilmer
Member of Congress
Sharice L. Davids
Member of Congress
Betty McCollum
Member of Congress
Raul M. Grijalva
Member of Congress

Link: https://haaland.house.gov/sites/haaland.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Letter_Treasury-DistributionOfCARESActFundsToTribalGovernments_04292020.pdf

Click to access Letter_Treasury-DistributionOfCARESActFundsToTribalGovernments_04292020.pdf