The government of the Virgin Islands has not received funding to start releasing the $1,400 stimulus payments approved by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden about a month ago.
Speaking during the administration's Covid-19 response update press briefing Tuesday, Mr. Bryan said the territory had not received the funds and a timeline on when the money would be received was not provided. The governor later told the Consortium he had "no clue" why the funds were not released as of Tuesday.
"We still haven't gotten the money yet. We haven't gotten the money, we haven't gotten the rules; we know that the territories are always attended to last so we're still waiting on that," Mr. Bryan said. The governor said the list of those who are qualified was in place, "So as soon as we get that money, we're going to start sending that out to you as well so we can give you that assistance."
He added, "We can't go forward if we don't have money and we don't have rules, so bear with us as the federal government mire[s] through this." He suggested the slowdown may be caused by the changes taking place from one administration to the next.
Mr. Bryan said that similarly to Puerto Rico, the territory has already sent its stimulus payments distribution plan to the U.S. Treasury. "We did this for every stimulus," Mr. Bryan told the Consortium.
Elsewhere, an additional 3,000 stimulus payments of the $600 approved by Congress in December under former President Donald Trump will be issued this week, the governor said.