GOP Virus Bill Offers Tribes New Flexibility, No Direct Funds
Native American Law Partner James Meggesto was quoted in a Law360 article about a GOP coronavirus bill offering tribes new spending flexibility. Tribal governments would receive no new direct funding under Senate Republicans' latest coronavirus relief proposal, which increases flexibility for spending existing relief funds and includes $2.6 billion for tribal education and health care. Tribes had sought $20 billion in direct funding in the March coronavirus relief package, which ultimately sent $10 billion to tribes, including an $8 billion "stabilization fund" for tribal governments. Since the passage of that relief legislation, tribes including the Navajo Nation have said they need more time, beyond a Dec. 30 deadline, to spend their relief funds. A bipartisan bill introduced this month would extend that deadline through the end of 2022.
"It looks like the pandemic is going to outlast December 30, so not having to obligate and spend those funds by the end of the year is very encouraging," Mr. Meggesto said.