WASHINGTON — Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have sent another letter to President Donald Trump asking that he direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to waive cost-share requirements for all COVID-19 related assistance for the state’s two federally recognized tribes.
The delegation had written to Trump in April urging him to direct FEMA to increase its federal cost share to 100% for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
The chairpersons for both tribes also had written to Trump in April requesting a waiver from any cost-share, citing the financial hardship the tribes have been facing by the pandemic, according to the letter.
“We have not received a reply to our letter, nor have the tribal nations received a response to their requests,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Given the emergency faced by the tribal nations, and their nation-to-nation relationship with the federal government, further delays are unacceptable.”
The letter stated that the two tribal nations do not have a tax base to help cover the cost of services to their citizens. Because of that, they have not been able to implement all of the emergency measures they could have if they did not have to share the cost.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey along with U.S. Reps. William Keating, Stephen F. Lynch, Katherine Clark, Lori Trahan, Joseph P. Kennedy III, James P. McGovern, Richard E. Neal, Seth Moulton and Ayanna Pressley all signed the letter.
“Granting the requests of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe,” the letter states, “and waiving the traditional cost share requirements for all COVID19–related assistance to them, will better empower them to address this pandemic.”