WASHINGTON (June 4, 2020) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement after U.S. Treasury Department Steven Mnuchin announced that the department will be unable to meet its June 5 commitment to deliver critical, life-saving COVID-19 assistance to tribal governments. The department will delay until June 12 the distribution of $3.2 billion worth of funding from the $8 billion that Senator Heinrich helped secure in the CARES Act.
“It has been over two months since we passed the CARES Act to deliver critical, life-saving assistance to tribal communities that have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day past the original 30-day requirement is a complete and utter failure on behalf of the Trump administration, not the tribes.
“I call on Secretary Mnuchin to implement an efficient and effective program to provide tribes with guidance and flexible timelines for projects funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund tribal set-aside. The Secretary should appoint a Department of Treasury official to each regional office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide tribes with certainty and to troubleshoot problems as they arise.
“I expect more from an administration during the greatest public health crisis of our generation. I will keep fighting to hold Secretary Mnuchin accountable, and get our tribal communities the assistance they so desperately need.”