Skip to comments.Reps. Bachmann, King allege fraud in black farmers settlement
Posted on 09/29/2010 1:06:03 PM PDT by jazusamo
House Republicans on Wednesday charged that a multibillion-dollar settlement with black farmers supported by the Obama administration was rife with fraud.
At a press conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) alleged that a $1.25 billion Agriculture Department settlement to resolve discrimination claims included individuals who were never farmers.
Bachmann said the discrimination claim process was subject to "massive and widespread fraud and abuse." King also said he believes the Obama administration has ignored the fraud allegations surrounding the settlement.
"I think they have turned a blind eye to the fraud and corruption here," King said.
The GOP lawmakers called on Attorney General Eric Holder to start an investigation into the settlement's claimants to ensure they are genuine. In addition, they asked congressional leaders not to sign off on new appropriations for the settlement.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "should put the brakes on this. He should not be asking the Congress to sweep money into this," Goodlatte said.
Congress has to appropriate the funds to pay the settlement claims. The House passed a measure to do so this past summer, but it has hit gridlock in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tried several times to secure a vote on the settlement funds the last time being before the August recess only to be blocked by Republicans who cited concerns over adding to the national deficit as well as procedural complaints.
At issue is a longstanding lawsuit, known as Pigford I, brought by black farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The class-action suit said the USDA discriminated against black farmers by not providing them with loans and grants that were given to white applicants.
USDA settled that case in 1999. The department reached a new settlement in 2010, known as Pigford II, to resolve claims by late filers to the original settlement.
John Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association, has been driving his tractor to the Capitol this month to protest the delay in the settlement. He has called on the Senate to approve the funds.
These are real people whose lives were impacted by discrimination, Boyd said in a statement Wednesday.
Vilsack on Wednesday urged Congress to pass the settlement funding before adjourning, saying the black farmers should not need to wait a day longer to be compensated.
Black farmers throughout the country unfortunately faced discrimination in past decades when trying to obtain services from USDA. This discrimination is well-documented, the courts have affirmed this discrimination and Congress has twice acknowledged the need to settle with those who have suffered from this discrimination, Vilsack said in a statement.
While members of Congress have noted the bipartisan support for this legislation, it is time for Congress to turn their support into action and fund the settlement agreement once and for all, Vilsack said.
President Obama has also called on Congress to take action on the funding request, and the USDA has been working to have the money appropriated.
It is a fair settlement. It is a just settlement. We think its important for Congress to fund that settlement. Were going to continue to make it a priority, Obama said on Sept. 10.
Okay, thanks. Too many initials for me to remember...lol.
I so want this entire scheme exposed. King and Bachmann are the ones to do it.
Let the Impeachment begin.
You betcha, and hopefully after November they’ll be joined by more to help them.
Steve King is awesome! I’m an Iowan and hear more of what he says (talk radio) than most. He’s perfect for higher office. Draft King?...:)
2. Sue based upon “discrimination” or “disparate treatment”
3. Hit the lottery.
What a deal. Can I get in on it? I’m not black and not a farmer, but aspired to be a black farmer when I grew up but was held back by circumstances beyond my control.
Where’s my millions?
Hope the new Republican House will file a bill to “claw” this money back and call for imprisoning the gangsters.
We’ll see if they have the guts to do so.
Steve King has been doing good things as has Bachmann, we need many more like them.
I’m for that! Shut down the payments and investigate the fraud.
Holder will investigate when hell freezes over.
Steve King of Iowa, and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, want to know how it is that over 94,000 black farmers have sought reparations for discrimination, when data show that there are only 33,000 black farmers in the United States?
...Bachmann, King, and Goodlatte spoke to reporters on Wednesday, voicing their concerns and highlighting the contentions of unnamed whistle blowers who have approached them, many of whom estimate that around 80% of the claims filed have been fraudulent
Looting the treasury and killing the golden goose. Obama and pals need a human genome upgrade.
Andrew Breitbart substituted for Michael Savage yesterday and had Michelle Bachman on talking exactly about this fraud.
One of the few REAL journalists giving this story prominence.
No it is a payoff, which is a fraud against the taxpayers and a crime when you have an AG who is not owned by the claimants.
This is the third world folks...coming to you in your American town thanks to Obama and Soros.
Thanks for the link.
RE: Any audio of this out there? I’d very much like to hear it, but am having no luck finding anything.
Michael Savage’s shows are archived on his website. Unfortunately, you have to be a subscriber to access the archive.
The VIDEO of Michele Bachman’s press conference where she essentially said the same things she said on Breitbart’s program ( as sub for Michael Savage ) is here :
Thank you for the link!
2010 would have been the perfect year for Sen. Grassley to retire and for Steve King to run to replace him; no Democrat could beat King statewide this year. Alas, there won’t be another Senate race in IA until Harkin’s seat is up in 2014. Of course, King could make a terrific VP candidate in 2012, being a poised, articulate 100% conservative with plentiful experience and a Catholic from the swingiest state (Iowa) in the swingiest region (the Upper Midwest) in America.