On March 10, the House of Representatives voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, a sweeping legislative package to address the public health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic. On March 11, President Biden signed the legislation into law.
Under the American Rescue Plan, federally recognized tribes– several of which in the First District experienced the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 during 2020– will receive
- $20 billion in direct relief for tribal governments;
- $6 billion for the Indian Health Service;
- $850 million for grants to Bureau of Indian Education-operated elementary and secondary schools as well as Tribal Colleges and Universities;
- $900 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
- $100 million for infrastructure via the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund;
- and $750 million to support the Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Development Block Grant.
For a one-pager on tribal provisions available under the American Rescue Plan, click HERE.
An explainer for how tribes can apply for and receive direct Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan is available HERE.
Resources for federally recognized tribes:
Information on the coronavirus from the Indian Health Service (IHS), HERE.
FEMA assistance for Tribal Governments, HERE.
O'Halleran has a dedicated tribal staff. For contact information, call one of his Arizona offices. Contact information, HERE.
BIA has developed a website for information and resources on the COVID-19 outbreak and information for tribal governments and schools, available HERE.
Last summer, Congressman O’Halleran introduced bipartisan legislation that would extend the coverage of Coronavirus Relief Fund payments allocated under the CARES Act to tribal governments past December 30, 2020. The legislative basis of O'Halleran's CARES Act extension deadline for tribes was passed as part of H.R. 133, joint legislation to address the public health and economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to fund the government through September 30, 2021. Tribes now have an additional year to spend their allotted funds.