Timeline: McSally Touts “Inadequate” Tribal Funding She Let Stall
Timeline: Martha McSally Touts Partial Release Of “Inadequate” Tribal Funding She Let Trump Block For Weeks
PHOENIX — On Tuesday, the Gila River Indian Community’s Gov. Stephen Lewis called on Donald Trump and Martha McSally to stop blocking critical relief funding for tribal governments, adding that the current funding of “$8 billion is going to be woefully inadequate” to properly support Indian Country. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has likewise spoken out against the Trump administration’s move to keep blocking the funding, calling it “shameful.”
But that didn’t stop McSally from yesterday boasting that she “went to the mat for Arizona’s native communities” — even as the Trump administration withholds 40% of the already-“inadequate” $8 billion that tribal governments are owed.
Over the past two months, McSally has consistently failed to advocate for tribal communities, while the Trump administration opposed and then blocked critical relief funding:
Six weeks ago: McSally “twice vot[ed] for versions of the CARES Act relief package that contained no money for tribes,” until Democrats — in spite of the Trump White House and McSally’s well-documented objections — negotiated for the funding’s inclusion.
Three weeks ago: McSally said nothing when the Trump administration tried to give Alaska Native Corporations access to funding that was intended for tribal governments.
Two weeks ago: McSally said nothing when the Navajo Nation and tribal governments took legal action to stop the move.
Last week: McSally said nothing when a judge last week issued an injunction, temporarily preventing the Trump administration from giving the Alaska Native Corporations access to the tribal governments’ funding.
This week: As recently as this Monday, McSally’s office would not publicly comment on the tribal governments’ lawsuit or on the Trump administration blocking funding for tribal governments.
Indianz.com: ‘A slap in the face for Indian Country’: Tribes decry Trump administration’s delay in $8 billion in coronavirus relief
“[R]ather than distribute the full $8 billion to communities that have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of the Treasury only plans to send $4.8 billion to Indian nations at this time.”
“[T]ribal leaders, while eager to start receiving the funds they were promised weeks ago, aren’t losing sight of the bigger picture. Governor Stephen Roe Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community thanked Trump for releasing the funds yet said it wasn’t enough to honor the U.S. government’s trust and treaty obligations.”
“‘We need to have flexible guidance to allow us to use the funds we receive to keep our governments running, Mr. President,’ Lewis added. ‘And the current fund of $8 billion is going to be woefully inadequate to meet our overall needs.’”
Read the full coverage here.