Navajo Ask Congress For More Time To Spend Relief Funds

By Laurel Morales
Published: Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 7:32am

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Navajo Nation Office of the President
Navajo President Jonathan Nez at a press conference in May 2020.

The Navajo president asked a U.S. House committee Wednesday for more time to spend federal coronavirus relief funds

At the end of March Congress set aside $8 billion for tribes. But that money came with restrictions. They have until the end of the year to spend it.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said there’s so much red tape they need two years to spend the money. And he’d like lawmakers to remove some of the regulations that slow down the process.

“If we can set aside certain policies and regulations to help build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. I’m sure we can do the same,” Nez said.

The Navajo would like to spend the bulk of its $714 million on water, electricity and broadband projects. More than 30% of the tribe has to haul its drinking water. Another 30% lacks power and 60% don’t have access to the Internet.

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