Office of U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2)
Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), during a virtual Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) workshop yesterday, discussed the importance of ensuring government regulations don’t strangle businesses during COVID-19 and the work he is doing to ensure flexibility and extend the deadline for tribes to spend their Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF)
“My main goal here is to make sure we aren’t causing more harm than good when it comes to regulatory compliance,” Mullin said. “The short window makes it hard for our tribal leaders to use the relief money in the most efficient and effective ways. The quick turnaround is also a pretty big regulatory burden. The best thing the federal government can do right now is work with tribes and be flexible on how they can spend the money. Each tribe is different, and they will need to prioritize different programs to care for their members and surrounding communities. The Coronavirus Relief Funds funds are intended to help tribes through this tough time, but if there’s too much red tape it will end up hurting them instead.”
The CARES Act established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for assistance for state, local, and Tribal governments, with $8 billion set aside specifically for tribes. Currently, money from the Coronavirus Relief Funds must be used by December 30, 2020. The funding was only distributed to tribes a few weeks ago, allowing only a few months for all the money to be spent by the statutory deadline.