Wyden, Merkley Urge Trump Administration to Distribute COVID-19 Relief Funding Swiftly and Fairly to Tribes

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called on the Trump administration to swiftly and fairly distribute COVID-19 relief funding to Tribes, while providing Tribes with the flexibility they need to address this unprecedented pandemic.

In a letter to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, and Indian Affairs Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney, Wyden and Merkley requested that Treasury reject any population-based formula regarding the allocation of $8 billion of economic stimulus funding for tribal communities, established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

“A purely population based allocation of CVF funds limits many tribes’ abilities to address the unique needs of each tribal community and harms the ability of Oregon tribal governments to care for their communities, employ their neighbors, and adequately respond to COVID-19,” the senators wrote. “Oregon Tribes directly and indirectly support more than 12,000 Tribal and non-Tribal jobs and over $600 million in annual wages, benefits, and self-employment earnings throughout the state. Any allocation that fails to take into account Oregon Tribes’ economic footprint will not serve the central purpose of the CARES Act.” 

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

A web version of this release is here.