Federal Judge Smacks Down Mnuchin, Rules Coronavirus Funding Is for Tribal Governments and Not Corporations
April 29, 2020
A federal district judge in Washington, D.C. issued an injunction Monday against Steven Mnuchin in his official capacity as Treasury Secretary; the ruling directs the Trump administration to cease giving any coronavirus funding to Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs). The order stopped short of directing Mnuchin to distribute the appropriated $8 billion in federal aid directly to tribal governments, calling such an order, "greater than necessary to protect [the plaintiff tribes]." Given, however, that the funding was specifically appropriated for tribal governments, it would logically follow that the order ensures that the plaintiffs receive the aid.
The complaint said that tribal governments were in desperate need of funding to combat homelessness, substandard housing, and water shortages among tribal people. The 574 federally-recognized Indian tribes do not include any ANCs – which are private corporations whose shareholders are both Indians and non-Indians.