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House Approves the Cobell Settlement!

December 1, 2010

A week and a half after passing the Senate, the Cobell Settlement passed the House last night as part of the Claims Settlement Act.  As I watched the debate before the vote, some representatives objected to the attorney’s fees that were a part of the settlement — up to 100 million dollars — but the bill passed 256 to 152.  After a 14-year lawsuit and more than a century of injustice for the plaintiffs, it is moving to see such a victory for native peoples.  Eloise Cobell, who originally filed the class action suit in 1996, said in reaction to the news that “sometimes Indians are unaccustomed to winning, When we would have a victory in our case I would always say ‘What’s wrong with winning? We’re winning!’ ”

The President applauded the passage of the bill, and is expected to sign it.  Payments of varying amounts (depending on the type of activity on the account holder’s land) could begin as soon as next summer.

This is a success also for FCNL!  Our work on the Cobell Settlement goes back more than four years, and the dedication of our constituents to working with their representatives proves that, with patience,  justice can be achieved! If you have a moment, thank your representative for voting for the bill.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Inez Steigerwald permalink
    December 1, 2010 6:42 pm

    Yayy! Nearly a year after the first court ordered deadline for Congress to appropriate funds they have finally succeeded in doing so. Every new deadline for appropriations (after lack of action on the part of Congress) seemed like a joke, but I’m so glad that it is finally going to happen.

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