Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema calls for inclusion of tribal priorities in next coronavirus response legislation

Pictured: Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9).(Photo: sinema.house.gov)

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In letter to Senate leaders, Sinema called for specific coronavirus relief Tribal set-aside to address tribal revenues, infrastructure needs, and health initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic

News Release

Office of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9)

Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema called for specific funding for Tribal governments be included in the next coronavirus response legislation in a letter to Senate leaders. Sinema specifically called for set-aside funding to address lost tribal revenues, infrastructure needs, and health care priorities as tribal communities across Arizona fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Tribal communities across Arizona are battling some of the most severe outbreaks of the coronavirus and need additional health and economic resources. Ensuring Tribes get adequate coronavirus relief will save lives and help tribal communities recover from this public health crisis,” said Sinema.

Tribes across Arizona and across the country have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. In her letter, Sinema underscored how critical it is for the 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona to receive adequate access to resources and information from the federal government to effectively respond to the pandemic in their communities. Sinema called on Senate leaders to ensure that the next coronavirus response package includes a significant and meaningful Coronavirus Relief Fund Tribal Set-Aside. Sinema also requested that the next legislation include a statutory fix to the Paycheck Protection Program to allow full participation by tribal business concern in order to protect jobs and health insurance on Tribal communities. Additionally, Sinema called for significant funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), Tribally Operated Facilities, and Urban Indian Health Organizations and funding for broadband access. Finally, Sinema called for the next bill to waive the 25 percent cost-share requirement for tribes as direct recipients of FEMA public assistance. 

To read Sinema’s full letter click HERE.

Sinema holds regular calls with Tribal leaders on the coronavirus outbreak in their communities and needed coronavirus relief. Sinema, along with a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers, urged the administration to swiftly implement the bipartisan CARES Act law and ensure resources are deployed quickly to support Tribal communities in Arizona. Sinema also asked the administration to make a stronger effort in consulting with Tribal Nations in order to truly reduce the spread of coronavirus throughout Arizona. Following Navajo Nation President Johnathan Nez’s request that the non-federal cost-share portion of the FEMA-Tribal Agreement be waived, Sinema urged the Director of FEMA to waive tribal governments’ portion of costs of FEMA’s coronavirus response efforts to protect the health and safety of tribal communities. 

Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.                                           

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