Settlement reached with black farmers in jeopardy
Montgomery, AL – - 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
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.