Rep. Frank Pallone press release on Claims Settlement Act
The following is a press release from Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) on the passage of the Claims Settlement Act of 2010.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. Tuesday voted in favor of the Cobell settlement, which the House approved by a vote of 256-182. Final approval by the president will award $1.4 billion in compensation for claims against the federal government for historical accounting irregularities over Native American land.
“Indian Country will finally receive the compensation and resources that it has long been owed,” said Pallone. “Justice has been delayed for too long, but this action begins to reconcile the injustices suffered by Indian Country.”
In addition to awarding $1.4 billion in compensation, the federal government will establish a fund of $2 billion to buy interests in land from those willing to sell. This will allow individuals to collect money for the land while also consolidating ownership and limiting the Department of Interior’s involvement in management. A portion of the funding will be used to provide scholarships to Native American students.
Congress continues to play a leadership role in Indian trust reform. Pallone serves on the House Natural Resources Committee which held several hearings on this case and trust reform last year.