Iowa Public Television

 

Black Farmers' Settlement Still Not a Done Deal

posted on March 26, 2010


WASHINGTON (AP)- A $1.25 billion settlement between black farmers and the Agriculture Department is at risk of unraveling after Congress adjourned for a two-week break without approving the spending.

The settlement, to which the Obama administration agreed last month, has been hailed as the final chapter in a decades-long struggle by African-Americans who say they faced discrimination from local USDA offices in trying to get loans or other aid.

But it included a clause allowing plaintiffs to back out if money wasn't appropriated by March 31 - a timeline that Congress missed when it left Friday.

While plaintiffs aren't saying they will break from the deal, a lead advocate says it's unclear whether the dozens of lawyers involved can stick together.


Tags: African Americans agriculture Barack Obama farmers news protests race racism Tom Vilsack