Here’s the story by Matt Volz of the Associated Press:HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. House of Representatives attached a $3.4 billion government settlement with Indian trust beneficiaries to a war-funding bill that it passed just before breaking for the July Fourth holiday.
The settlement was one of several additions made late Thursday to the $80 billion appropriations bill that includes funding for the troop surge in Afghanistan and money for federal disaster assistance. It authorizes the Obama administration to settle a class-action lawsuit with between 300,000 and 500,000 American Indians who claims the Interior Department mismanaged billions of dollars held in trust by the government.
The House originally authorized the settlement in May, but it was tucked into the Democrats’ jobs legislation that stalled in a Senate filibuster late last month.
The plaintiffs hope including the settlement in the war-funding and disaster-relief bill will mean the Senate will approve it.
“We expect that the Senate must give prompt and serious consideration to the bill because, without enactment, there are no funds for our war efforts and no funds for FEMA,” plaintiffs attorney Dennis Gingold said Friday. “The bill is too important to this country. Partisan politics must not obstruct passage.”
Tags: Blackfeet, buffalo post, Cobell v. Salazar, Dennis Gingold, Elouise Cobell, Gwen Florio, Indian trust case, Native American news, Senate Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Interior Department, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, U.S. Senate, U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, War-funding bill