$2 trillion relief bill will aid American economy during coronavirus outbreak

Christopher Lomahquahu

Gila River Indian News


A stimulus bill was reached amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to aid in relief of millions of Americans across the nation. Members of the Senate, Congress and the White House, agreed to a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act in the amount of $2.2 trillion.


The CARES Act was passed during two separate sessions in the Senate on March 24 and Congress on March 25, which led to the biggest bailout in the history of the nation. 


The relief package is meant to help the economy, businesses, medical workers, state and local governments during the pandemic. Part of the deal, will include $10 billion for Indian Country, $8 billion will be disbursed among tribal governments to reimburse them for expenses related to COVID-19 operations, according to the Associated Press.


“Provisions in the act are for the benefit of Indian Country includes a major influx of new funds for IHS, which will be critical to GRHC and a major increase in funding for our tribal government,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis.


He said allocated funding will help off-set the loss of tribal revenues from shutting down their tribal enterprises, like tribal gaming facilities. “We will work very hard to ensure, that the Community benefits from this bill,” said Lewis. 


Additionally, the AP article states, more than $1 billion will go towards the Indian Health Service, and tribes who run their own health facilities. In a press release from Sen. Tom Udall, $2 billion will go towards emergency supplemental funding for tribes, and urban populations.


Breaking down the numbers for the broader population, a large chunk of the $2 trillion will go towards the business sector, with $350 billion to small businesses in the form of loans and $500 billion for loans to companies in economic danger.


Furthermore, $250 billion will be allocated to individuals and families and $250 billion going to unemployment insurance benefits for those out of work.