Obama Signs Bill Settling African-American Farmers’ and Native Americans’ Lawsuits
SOURCE: ABC Radio
Signing a law that he says closes a “long and unfortunate chapter” in the nation’s history, President Obama put his signature on the bill Wednesday to settle African-American farmers’ and Native Americans’ lawsuits against the federal government.
“This is one of those issues where you don’t always get political credit, but it’s just the right thing to do,” Obama said at the bill signing surrounded by multiple members of Congress in Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
The legislation authorizes $1.15 billion for black farmers who say they were discriminated against by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is a bill that was introduced by then-Senator Obama. The legislation also authorizes a $3.4 billion settlement with American Indians who say the U.S. Interior Department mismanaged trust accounts for natural resource royalties.
“Now, after 14 years of litigation, it’s finally time to address the way that Native Americans were treated by their government. It’s finally time to make things right.”
The president said that the bill represents not just making amends, but is also a reaffirming of the nation’s values of fairness, equality and opportunity.
“It’s about helping families who suffered through no fault of their own get back on their feet. It’s about restoring a sense of trust between the American people and the government that plays such an important role in their lives,” said the president.