In response to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the United States Congress and the Administration have acted to address this pervasive threat. On March 6, 2020, the President signed the first COVID-19 legislation, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074). Soon after, on March 13, 2020, the President declared a National Emergency due to COVID-19. The President has since signed two subsequent pieces of COVID-19 legislation, one on March 18 and the other on March 27, 2020. We expect Congress and the President to negotiate several more national bills to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will provide updates on this page regarding legislative efforts to combat and mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
H.R. 6074 - Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020
On March 6, 2020, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 6074, was signed into law. The bill includes $950 million for grants and cooperative agreements to be administered through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for state and local governments, tribal governments, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations. The funding is for public health preparedness and response activities, including epidemiology, lab capacity, infection control, communications, and other efforts. Of the $950 million, not less than $40 million is set aside specifically for tribal nations, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations. The CDC has since allocated $80 million dollars in funding to Indian Country and is now in the process of disbursing those funds.
Additionally, H.R. 6074 includes language authorizing the use of funds to reimburse federal agencies, such as Indian Health Service, in addition to tribal nations, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations that may have incurred costs related to coronavirus response and mitigation prior to the enactment of the supplemental funding package.
For a more in-depth analysis of H.R. 6074, please click here.
H.R. 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act, 2020
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201, was signed into law. The bill includes $64 million to be appropriated into the Indian Health Services Account. Additionally, H.R. 6201 includes coverage of testing for COVID-19 at no cost-sharing to American Indians and Alaska Natives regardless of where services have been authorized. Lastly, $10 million was set aside for grants for Indian programs within the Older Americans Act (OAA). These grants are the primary vehicle for providing nutrition and other direct support services to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian elders.
For a more in-depth analysis of H.R. 6201, please click here.
H.R. 748 - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, H.R. 748, was signed into law. The bill is the third COVID-19 legislative package and includes $2 billion in relief to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The original introduced version of H.R. 748 (S. 3548) had very few provisions for tribal nations. However, in response to Indian Country’s tireless, unified advocacy, the final legislation included an unprecedented level of investment in and resources for tribal response and recovery efforts.
For a full summary of the tribal provisions click here.
Click on the tabs to the left to learn more about the individual legislation for H.R. 6074, H.R. 6201, and H.R. 748 tribal provisions.