Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico)
Posted: April 14, 2020

Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, is telling the Trump administration that non-governmental entities should not receive a share of an $8 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) intended for tribal nations.

“Any other interpretation would be contrary to congressional intent and an affront to the Indian canon of statutory construction that requires statutes to be construed favorably to Tribes’ benefit,” Udall says in an April 14, 2020, letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

The Department of the Treasury launched a CARES Act portal on April 13, calling on tribes to submit key information in order to receive a share of the CRF. The certification form states that Alaska Native corporations are eligible to apply even though tribes, through a consultation process, strenuously objected.

“But consultation can only truly be meaningful when a Department reflects the Tribal views received in its policy making,” Udall writes. “Unfortunately, after reviewing Treasury’s April 13th notice announcing the CRF Tribal Certification form, I fear your Departments failed on both counts.”


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