Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Daily Treasury Statement (Department of the Treasury)
Posted: May 8, 2020

The Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. Photo: dog97209

The Daily Treasury Statement continues to show activity on the Coronavirus Relief Fund line item.

According to the May 7, 2020, statement, $4.333 billion has been withdrawn this month. The figure accounts for payments that began going to tribal governments on May 5.

The figure matches up with an amount provided in federal court as part of litigation over the fund. During a hearing on the afternoon of May 8, an attorney from the Department of Justice said a total of $4.4 billion has paid to tribes.

The latest number shows an increase in activity from the $3.374 billion that was reported on the statement from May 6. The previous statement reflected the first full day of withdrawals from the fund that was promised to tribes over a month ago.

Before May 5, nothing had gone out to tribes because Treasury had yet to determine how to distribute their $8 billion set-aside of the overall $150 billion fund. States and local governments have already received their shares — as show in the nearly $140 billion in withdrawals seen in the May 5 statement, with the “0” reflecting the lack of activity on the tribal side.

According to the latest available statement, $959 million was withdrawn on May 7. The number also matches up with additional figures provided in court on May 8 though not precisely.

According to government attorney Jason Lynch, another $860 million went out on May 6, while another $144 million went out on May 7, he said.  Accounting for any overlaps in withdrawals versus payments on those two days brings it in line with the $959 million figure.

Additionally, another $38 million was being “authorized” for payments on May 8, Lynch said. The bulk of these funds are going to tribes in Alaska, he said.

During a prior court proceeding on May 7, Lynch said “payment issues” affected the ability for Treasury to distribute money to Alaska. Tribes in the state hadn’t received a single penny, the judge handing the litigation was told by attorney Natalie Landreth from the Native American Rights Fund. Six tribes in Alaska are part of the case.

But Lynch denied suggestions of a “categorical holdup” in Alaska, a representation he made again on May 8.

Additionally, Lynch said about $162.3 million is being withheld for Alaska Native corporations, whose inclusion in the fund is at issue in the litigation. Their payments can’t go out under a preliminary injunction granted by Judge Amit P. Mehta on April 27.

But the case has not been fully resolved so in the event the Trump administration wins a final judgement in favor of the corporations, they will indeed get their shares, as well as any from the second portion of the fund.

The first portion accounts for 60 percent of the $8 billion, or $4.8 billion. Once all tribal governments receive their shares, the line item for the Coronavirus Relief Fund should show something close to $4.637 billion in withdrawals.

The second portion, or $3.2 billion, is set go out this summer — assuming Treasury gets its way. The tribes whose issues were heard in court on May 8 are seeking an “immediate” distribution of the entire fund.

The Daily Treasury Statement is available by 4pm the following business day on Treasury’s website. The figures on the statement are rounded in millions so precise amounts are not provided on the sheet.

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