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Tribes Urge Treasury To Disburse Coronavirus Relief Funding

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Tribal nations are urging the federal government to quickly disburse coronavirus relief funding after a judge handed them an early victory in a legal battle involving the money.

At least 18 tribes sued the federal government seeking to keep any portion of the $8 billion in funding allocated to tribes out of the hands of Alaska Native corporations. a judge in Washington issued a ruling late Monday to temporarily halt any payments to the corporations while he settles the larger question of eligibility.

The decision clears the U.S. Treasury Department to begin distributing money to 574 federally recognized tribes. An attorney for the agency declined comment.