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Audio: House Resources hearing on Cobell
Thursday, December 8, 2005

The House Resources Committee held a hearing today on H.R. 4322, the Indian Trust Reform Act of 2005. Here are MP3 recordings of the testimony.

Chairman Pombo, Ranking Member Rahall:
Introduction - 6:34 - 1.50MB

Panel I:
James Cason
Associate Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior
Testimony - 5:03 - 1.15MB | Q&A - 59:02 - 13.5MB

Panel II:
Elouise Cobell - PDF: Testimony
Blackfeet Reservation Development Fund, Browning, Montana
Accompanied by Keith Harper, Attorney for the Native American Rights Fund
Testimony - 18:02 - 4.12MB | Q&A - 22:40 - 5.18MB

H.R.4322, and its counterpart S.1439, would end the historical accounting portion of the Cobell lawsuit. The plaintiffs have sought $27.5 billion but key members of Congress say the amount is too high.

Both bills would eliminate the Office of Special Trustee, create a deputy secretary position to oversee Indian affairs, establish an Indian Trust Asset Management Policy Review Commission and authorize a new land consolidation program. The Indian Trust Asset Management Demonstration Project, created for a handful of tribes a couple of years ago, would be expanded to more tribes.

Historical Accounting Decision:
Cobell v. Norton (November 15, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Intertribal Trust Fund Monitoring Association - http://www.itmatrustfunds.org

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Lamberth critical of Norton's 'bad faith' on trust fund (10/25)
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Bush official balks at large settlement for Cobell (7/10)

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