Continuing Resolution (CR)
A one-week CR was signed by the President on Dec 11, 2020. This CR includes funding for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians and Tribal-TANF program.
COVID-19 Relief has been split into two bills by the bi-partisan group negotiating the package. The two items that Democrats and Republicans disagree over, $160b in relief for tribal, state, and local governments and liability protections for businesses will move into a separate piece of legislation, and the remaining COVID-19 relief package ($748b) contains relief provisions that both sides of the aisle agree upon.Tribal specific provisions include:
- $160b for tribal state, local governments (separate legislation)
- Possible extension for the use of CARES Act Funding
- $1b in Provider Relief Funds for tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, and health service providers to tribes
- $3.42b from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in direct grants to tribal, state, local and territorial governments
- $129m from the CDC for vaccination distribution and infrastructure for tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, and health service providers to tribes
- $350m in direct grants for tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian health organizations for COVID-19 testing and tracing
- $25b in rental assistance to states and local governments, and Native American tribes
- Funding for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- $3.15b to SAHMSA block grant programs
Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020
The Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 passed the senate on Dec 09, 2020. This package of bills will improve access to care and reduce costs for all veterans, and includes the following re. American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) veterans:
- An amendment to statute (38 U.S.C § 1730A) that prohibits the collection of co-pays from AI/AN veterans by the Veterans Administration.
- The formation of a Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs that will advise the VA Secretary on matters related to Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and Native veterans.
- A provision that allows IHS to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of HHS that will allow IHS case managers to provide case management assistance to veterans who receive housing vouchers under the Tribal Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (Tribal HUD-VASH)