D.C. District Court Denies Tribal Bid, Remaining CRF Distributions to Begin

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D.C. District Court Denies Tribal Bid, Remaining CRF Distributions to Begin

June 11, 2020

Denial Of Potawatomi Bid 

On the evening of June 11, 2020, the D.C. district court rejected the case brought forth by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation seeking to delay the release of the remaining $3.2 billion (40%) in tribal allocations within the Coronavirus Relief Fund for states, local, and tribal governments found in the CARES Act passed last March.

The Tribe was seeking an injunction on the remaining disbursement due to their tribal population being significantly undercounted when the Department of Treasury used the Indian Housing Block Grant formula population numbers to determine the initial $4.8 billion (60%) population-based allocation.
 
This is an issue that many tribal governments have faced since the initial disbursement. The Tribe requested the remaining 40% allocation be used to rectify tribal population miscounts before being distributed according to tribal economic and employment activity.

The Court rejected the bid claiming a lack of jurisdiction to determine the appropriateness of Treasury's formula or the manner in which Treasury underwent Consultation with tribal governments. The Court held that it was unfair to make tribal governments wait any longer for the relief funding that was supposed to be distributed within 30 days of enactment of the law (April 26).

Distributions to Start Immediately 

The opinion states that Treasury anticipates making distributions to tribes from the remaining 40% of the Coronavirus Relief Fund as early as today (6/12) and no later than Monday (6/15). 
 
For any other questions or concerns, please contact Dante Desiderio at Dante@nafoa.org or (202) 631-2003

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