Sinema continues to urge federal government to release full $8 billion in coronavirus relief funding for Tribal communities
WASHINGTON – Following Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s urging, the Treasury Department finally released $4.8 billion of the $8 billion in coronavirus relief funding allocated for Tribal communities in the CARES Act. Today’s funding announcement comes over a month after Congress passed the CARES Act, and Sinema continues to call on the federal government to immediately release the full $8 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to ensure Tribal governments have the resources needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Tribal communities in Arizona need all available resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic now. While I am glad the federal government listened to our calls and released this funding, the Treasury Department must immediately disburse the total amount of CARES Act funding to Tribal communities; lives are depending on it,” said Sinema.
Congress designated $8 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established in the CARES Act to ensure sovereign Tribal governments have the resources needed during the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act was passed over a month ago, yet today the Treasury Department only disbursed $4.8 billion to tribal governments.
Sinema recently urged the Treasury Department and SBA to reverse course and allow Tribal gaming operations access to PPP funding. Following Sinema’s letter, the federal agencies reversed course.
Sinema holds regular calls with Tribal leaders on the coronavirus outbreak in their communities and needed coronavirus relief. Sinema, along with a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers, urged the administration to swiftly implement the bipartisan CARES Act law and ensure resources are deployed quickly to support Tribal communities in Arizona. Sinema also asked the administration to make a stronger effort in consulting with Tribal Nations in order to truly reduce the spread of coronavirus throughout Arizona. Following Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez’s request that the non-federal cost-share portion of the FEMA-Tribal Agreement be waived, Sinema urged the Director of FEMA to waive tribal governments’ portion of costs of FEMA’s coronavirus response efforts to protect the health and safety of tribal communities.
Sinema has a resources page on her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for updated information in English and Spanish on the coronavirus.