Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Rep. Young threatens subpoenas over bill on Cobell attorney fees

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, threatened to issue subpoenas today after the Obama administration and the plaintiffs in the Indian trust fund lawsuit refused to testify at a hearing he called.

Young is holding a hearing on H.R.887, a bill to limit the plaintiffs' attorney fees to $50 million. But no one from the Cobell litigation team or the administration agreed to testify.

"If they continue to stonewall me, I will subpoena," Young said during his opening remarks at the hearing.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Washington), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, also gave opening remarks. He said the plaintiffs have refused to cooperate.

"Every dollar paid to attorneys comes directly out of the pockets of individual Indians," said Hastings, one of three Republican co-sponsors of the bill.

Rep. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma), the top Democrat on the subcommittee, said he was concerned about the attorney fees. But he said the bill interferes with the judicial process and raises constitutional issues.

Only two people are testifying at the hearing: Patricia Douville, a council member for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; and Richard Monette, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Committee Notice:
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 887 (April 5, 2011)

Related Stories:
Witness list for House hearing on bill to cap Cobell attorney fees (4/4)
Rep. Cole questions need for bill to limit Cobell attorney fees (3/31)
April 20 deadline approaching for $3.4B trust fund settlement (3/29)
Subcommittee sets hearing on bill to limit Cobell attorney fees (3/28)
Elouise Cobell discusses settlement at University of Montana (3/24)
Cobell attorneys host meetings in Alaska to explain settlement (3/23)
Oklahoma beneficiaries question payment to Cobell attorneys (3/23)
S.E. Ruckman: Indian beneficiaries look for answers on Cobell (3/21)
United Keetoowah Band assists members in Cobell settlement (3/18)
Michael Roberts: Investing Cobell money in Indian institutions (3/18)
Lawyers in Cobell case discuss $3.4B settlement in Oklahoma (3/17)
So far, a few beneficiaries have opted out of Cobell settlement (3/16)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on budget (3/15)
Cherokee Nation estimates 1700 might benefit from Cobell deal (3/14)
Rep. Gosar signs onto bill to restrict Cobell attorney fees to $50M (3/11)
Cobell team to hold meetings in Oklahoma to discuss settlement (3/10)
Cobell attorneys say fee request not a big issue in Indian Country (3/9)
Bill to limit Cobell attorney fees to $50M referred to committees (3/8)
Cobell attorneys criticize Republican bill to restrict fees to $50M (3/4)
House Republicans plan bill to limit Cobell attorney fees to $50M (3/2)
Key deadline approaching for beneficiaries to Cobell settlement (3/1)
Dorgan calls Cobell attorney fee request for $223M 'shameful' (2/25)
Editorial: Lawyers the true beneficiaries in Indian settlements (2/25)
Cobell attorneys facing criticism over request for $223M in fees (2/24)
Elouise Cobell discusses Indian trust settlement in New Mexico (2/10)
Elouise Cobell headed to New Mexico to discuss $3.4B settlement (2/8)
Elouise Cobell to visit Navajo Nation to talk about $3.4B settlement (2/4)
Cobell team holding meetings across Indian Country for settlement (2/2)
Cobell attorneys detail request for $223M fees for 14 years of work (2/2)
Notification process begins this week for $3.4B Cobell settlement (1/18)
Attorney fees an issue as Cobell settlement moves ahead in court (1/4)
Shoshone-Bannock landowner not optimistic on trust reform at DOI (1/3)

Join the Conversation