Potawatomi Nation Requests Additional Federal Coronavirus Aid

Vital Signs Law and Order
Differences between federal and tribal population data cause confusion.

As part of the CARES act, the U.S. Treasury Department allocated over $8 billion to indigenous people groups. When determining how to distribute the federal aid, the Treasury Department used population data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Since the Potawatomi Nation keeps its own records on tribal enrollment, the population numbers didn’t match.

Due to the large discrepancy, the tribal nation took the issue to a federal judge to halt the distribution of funds until the numbers could be rectified. Currently, the tribe says it should have received an additional $7.65 million based on its enrollment figures.

The Treasury Department clarified that the chosen dollar amount would correlate with the funds needed by tribal governments to recover from the outbreak. The department added that the tribal enrollment numbers do not differentiate between those that live on and off the reservation.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta denied the request to halt the distribution of funds by stating that he did not have jurisdiction over the matter. He added that Congress gave the Treasury secretary discretion on how to distribute the funds. “The CARES Act thus contains no ‘statutory reference point’ by which to judge the secretary’s decision to use HUD’s population data set, as opposed to some other,” Mehta wrote.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the Treasury Department as they continue to distribute CARES act funding.
  • For wisdom for the U.S. district judges who rule on issues such as this and interpret the law.
  • For recovery and healing during this global pandemic. for all who a part of the Potawatomi Nation.

Sources: ABC News, AP News, MSN


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