The Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) has been law since March 27, yet as of May 4, a significant portion of the appropriated money has not been sent to 574 federally recognized tribes.
Native American tribes were allocated $8 billion in the law. Some of the delay stems from a lawsuit over whether Alaskan tribal corporations are eligible for the funding; however that accounts for only some of the funding, and to date there has not been a satisfactory answer as to why the Treasury Department has held on to the money.
On Tuesday, May 5, the Treasury Department begins sending payments up to about $4.8 billion of the total allocated, holding the remainder back pending the resolution of the lawsuit mentioned above.
This article noted the extreme delay, alongside a letter from members of Congress asking why Treasury had not yet begun sending funds; the realization sparked outrage and concern from many members of the public and media.
From the article: "At least 3,600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by the Indian Health System. The vast majority of those cases are in Navajo Nation, where more than 2,200 people are sick.
"There were stretches in April during which the number of coronavirus cases per capita was growing as fast in the Navajo Nation as in New York City, the epicenter of the American outbreak."
The CARES Act blog is intended to provide information and is accurate and true to the best of the author's knowledge. The author is not a legal, medical or financial professional and the information presented should not be considered advice and is for reference only. Lehigh Valley Public Media and its employees claim no liability for any actions taken by readers based on the information provided here.