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.
It’s called Reparations.
What else is new?
Response: No not fraud but wealth transfer.(Some have said reparations and I won't argue against that opinion.)
Wasn’t this case one of the ones worked on by that woman who Vilsack fired, believing that she was racist? Based on past lawsuits she was involved with, she probably got a settlement here too. Can anyone help me here?
Fraud is genetically impossible to commit in this case.
There is a woman who worked on this lawsuit who along with her husband got a big settlement, it really stank. I can’t remember her name, it may be covered in the article I linked or maybe it was another I read.
Where’s the picture of our little ‘racist’ blackboy screaming ‘that’s racist!’ ?
King and bachmann are obviously racist. To even question this is beyond the pale.
You mean Shirley Sherrod.
The one that was recounting her past to the NAACP.
Daryl Issa had better be one busy son of a gun soon.
Investigate and prosecute. Man I would love to see Shirly Sherrod’s big mouth land her in the slammer along with the curruptocrats in the administration. I can dream can’t I?
Blacks can't commit fraud, racism, voter intimidation, or tax evasion.
It's just all filed under "social justice" now.
Andrew Breibart....He wasn’t going after Shirley just the NAACP. But she goes after him...If Bachman and King are able to prove fraud, she’s the loser in it all. She should have kept her mouth shut while she was a head.
In Holder’s Injustice Dept you’re exactly right!
Obama WAS ON THE TEAM (before he was president)
Me too. I’d like this entire rip-off scheme exposed and stopped before it’s funded.