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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.

 

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