New relief bill includes $20B for tribes


February 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Democrats muscled past Republicans on portions of President Joe Biden's pandemic plan, including $20 billion for tribal governments.

Tribes will evenly split $1 billion and $19 billion will be split as determined by a formula from the U.S. Department of Treasury, said Holly Cook, Red Lake Ojibwe and partner at Spirit Rock Consulting. Similar to last time with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding and that “hit some bumps in the road in implementation, obviously, that are still ongoing.” This is “why consultation is so important.”

However, the speaker’s office said “they weren’t allowed to include any requirements for consultation, but they are working closely with the administration to ensure that tribal consultation is completed before any distribution formal is finally put in place,” Cook said who has lobbied for tribes since 2001 and served in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.


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