Senate approves $4.6B for black farmers, Indians
WASHINGTON - The Senate has approved almost $4.6 billion to settle longstanding claims brought by American Indians and black farmers against the government.
The money has been held up for months in the Senate as Democrats and Republicans squabbled over how to pay for it. Both of the class action lawsuits were filed over a decade ago.
The settlements include almost $1.2 billion for black farmers who say they suffered discrimination at the hands of the Agriculture Department. Also, $3.4 billion would go to Indian landowners who claim they were swindled out of royalties by the Interior Department. The legislation was approved in the Senate by voice vote Friday and sent to the House.