Settlement of the Cobell case has stalled again.
versus the U.S. Department of Interior alleges that Indian trust funds
and lands were mismanaged by the federal government. The Obama
administration had backed a $3.4 billion settlement, and supported a plan to attach the settlement to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.
Senate Democrats said Thursday night (5/27) that the Act, extending
unemployment benefits and Medicare reimbursements, would be trimmed
substantially, and that the Cobell settlement would not be attached to
the revised bill.
Broader legislation will likely be considered in June – after the May
28th deadline that Native American plaintiffs and the administration
had set. There have been three deadline extensions since December for
settlement of the Cobell case.
It’s unclear now whether the Senate’s inaction will bring yet another
extension or if plaintiffs will resume litigation, ongoing since
1996. Lead plaintiff Eloise Cobell (pictured above) had sought $46 billion but favored the settlement.