Washington Report: New Vote on Black Farmers Settlement

Senate Democratic leadership hopes bill will appeal to Republicans

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to call for a unanimous consent vote on a stand-alone bill to authorize funds for the black farmers settlement Monday night. This latest effort follows weeks of trying to include the settlements in other pieces of legislation, such as a war supplemental bill and Small Business Lending Fund bill that continues to be stalled by Republican maneuvers. The farmers settlement would be paid for with biodiesel and food stamps recissions and by closing corporate tax loopholes,  said a spokeswoman in Reid’s office.

Meanwhile, John Boyd, Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association is boiling mad because of reports that within weeks Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) has been able to work out a deal with the Obama administration for $1.5 billion dollars in aid to farmers in her state whose crops have been destroyed by natural disasters while black farmers have waited decades to be compensated for discriminatory acts.

“When white farmers are involved, everything is put on fast track. That’s a smack in the face to us,” Boyd said. “I’m asking farmers to take a strong look at elected officials in [farm states] and campaign to get rid of those who vote against us.”

A spokeswoman for Reid was unable to predict how successful the unanimous consent vote will be. “Hopefully the Republicans will allow us to move forward because it’s paid for,” she said.

  • Vernon

    No, it’s not enough. It should be considered a “beginning”. I am so d#*%n tired of Democrats “HOPING Republicans will allow…” The time for growing a pair is long past due!!!

  • Carrie Salvary

    My beloved President Obama:

    Please do the right thing and sign an Executive Order, authorizing the US Department of Treasury to pay the settlement to the black farmers.

  • Dale

    I am a little unsure why these people are getting these settlements.  Years ago $1 billion was paid out to those that filed in time to receive their share.  Some decided that they would not file before the cut off date. All of a sudden they come out of the woodwork like Oprah trying to get into a dept store after closing. They should be paid nothing.  I checked into the requirements for people to apply for this settlement and it’s basically a joke where if you are black and say your relative owned a farm, you are entitled to money.  I am quite tired of the “entitlement” programs for one particular group of people that keep harping about racism with full backing from the Black Caucus that spends 100% of their time in congress looking out for black issues.  

    • Gina

      Carrie, if you are concerned about money that is given to certain groups. Then why does the US give Israel a yearly allotment? That money should remain in the US to help US citizens. What about the yearly 1 million in farm aide to white farmers. The Black Farmers have been waiting for 10 yrs for this settlement. Each year they have been told this is not the time for the government to pay them. The judgment was in their favor so they should be paid.

  • Dale

    I knew if I was white and put a comment on here that did not agree with the writer’s stance, that  it would be removed.  Keep on being racist black people