Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) – COVID-19 in Indian country



Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is Deputy Chair of the 117th Congress Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Photo: SCIA

SENATE HAS ONE YEAR EXTENSION FOR TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS TO USE COVID RELIEF

20 October 2021

Source: Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Last night, the United States Senate passed the Flexible State, Local Government, Tribal and Territory Tax Adjustment, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Act. (S. 3011), which includes a one-year extension of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) deadline to allow tribal governments more time to use CARES CRF allocations. US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Deputy Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee (SCIA), is a co-sponsor of S. 3011 and has successfully secured the inclusion of tribal extension in legislation.

“I have worked hard to include this important language and I am relieved that the Senate has passed this critical extension so that the tribes can spend the funds of the CARES Act. This extension will create parity for many tribes who received distributions more than a year after the start of the initial tribal disbursements due to lengthy litigation. Tribes who have not been given prompt access to funds deserve more time to spend their distributions responsibly and this bill will allow that. This is important legislation that I urge the House to pass quickly so that tribes across the country have the certainty and are better able to help their communities which have experienced extreme hardship due to COVID- 19 “, said Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Fund

  • On August 5, 2021, with the leadership of the Finance Committee and the Indian Affairs Committee, Senator Murkowski proposed amendments to the bipartite infrastructure bill, HR 3684, the Investment and Employment Act in infrastructure, in order to extend the CRF deadline of the CARES law to December 31. 2022 for tribal governments and to clarify funding for counties under the US bailout. Senators Sullivan and Murkowski also proposed an amendment to extend the CARES Act deadline for tribes.
  • On September 14, 2021, Senators Sullivan, Murkowski, Hirono and Schatz introduced S.2728, a bill amending Title VI of the Social Security Law expand coverage of Coronavirus Relief Fund payments to tribal governments.
  • On October 19, 2021, S. 3011, the Law on the Flexibility of State, Local Government, Tribal and Territory Tax Adjustment, Infrastructure and Disaster Relief was adopted by the Senate. This bill was introduced as an updated stand-alone version of the proposed changes to HR 3684.
  • On October 20, 2021, Vice President Murkowski mentioned the recent Senate adoption of S. 3011 during a SCIA roundtable, Investing in Economic Sovereignty: Leveraging Federal Funding for New and Sustained Development in Indigenous Communities, and how this bill will greatly help tribal communities across the country.

The bill, S. 3011, is now heading to the House of Representatives for further consideration.


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