US judge denies tribe’s bid to halt virus relief funding

New Mexico

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge in the nation’s capital has denied a request from a Native American tribe in Kansas to halt further distribution of coronavirus relief funding for tribal nations.

The Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation recently sued the U.S. Treasury Department, alleging it was shortchanged in an initial distribution of $4.8 billion.

The tribe argued during a hearing Thursday that the Treasury Department should have relied on tribal enrollment data, not federal data.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta says he lacks jurisdiction because Congress gave the Treasury Department discretion in how to dole out the funding.

A hearing in a related case is scheduled Friday.

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