Settlement of the Cobell case has stalled again.
The lawsuit 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 settle