- By Native News Online Staff
WASHINGTON — The federal judge overseeing a series of lawsuits involving tribes and the Trump administration yesterday ordered the Department of Treasury to disburse the remaining $679 million in Title V CARES Act funds designated for Tribal governments by June 17, 2020.
United States District Court Judge Amit P.Mehta ruled that the CARES Act does not give the Treasury Dept. authority to hold back funding, only to determine the proper allocation and disburse the funds.
In his order, Mehta wrote that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could “at his discretion” withhold $7.65 million from the sum for an additional day based on a lawsuit brought by The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
In that lawsuit, the Prairie Band tribe claimed the Treasury used a wrong formula when calculating the initial distribution of $4.8 CARES Act funds for tribal governments. As a result, the Prairie Band claims its population was undercounted by as much as 80 percent, denying the tribe nearly $8 million in much-needed relief aid, the lawsuit claims.
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.