“The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it would begin distributing some of the coronavirus stimulus intended for Native American tribes, irking lawmakers who say the administration took far too long to dole out partial funding.
The CARES Act passed on March 25 set aside $8 billion for tribal governments to cover the costs of combating the coronavirus. But getting that funding in tribal coffers has been delayed in a court battle over which entities should qualify.
“We are pleased to begin making $4.8 billion in critical funds available to tribal governments in all states,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Tuesday.
That figure, 60 percent of total funding, will be distributed based on tribes’ total populations starting Tuesday. The rest, to be handed out “at a later date,” will take into account the number of people employed by the tribe.”