Congress slow to move on Cobell trust fund settlement
It's been three months since the plaintiffs in the Cobell trust fund settlement and the Obama administration announced a $3.4 billion settlement to the case.

But even though key lawmakers have praised the deal, Congress has yet to implement it. "I thought for sure we'd go up to the Hill and they'd sanction it and we've move on," lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell said at the National Congress of American Indians winter session in Washington, D.C., last week.

In her discussions with lawmakers, Cobell said she hasn't run into major opposition to the deal. The primary concern appears to be whether the settlement is the right amount, she said.

But she said the process hasn't been an easy one. "It's just starting from scratch," Cobell said of the need to educate people about the issue. "There's a lot of people that are not our friends up there."

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee quickly scheduled a December 17 hearing on the deal but nothing has happened in that chamber since then. The House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing this morning though the Obama administration and Cobell have been relegated to the second and third panels of witnesses.

Get the Story:
With Cobell Settlement, Congress Takes Its Time (Main Justice 3/9)
Cobell critics surface on Capitol Hill (Indian Country Today 3/10)

Committee Notice:
Full Committee Oversight Hearing On The Proposed Settlement Of The Cobell V. Salazar Litigation (March 10, 2010)

Relevant Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

Related Stories:
Witness list for House hearing on trust fund settlement (3/9)
Elouise Cobell responds to questions about settlement (3/9)
Elouise Cobell to meet with landowners in South Dakota (3/5)
Elouise Cobell responds to questions about settlement (3/2)
House Resources Committee schedules Cobell hearing (3/2)
Deadline in Cobell trust fund case extended to April 16 (3/1)
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Opinion: Questions remain about Cobell settlement (2/9)
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Dennis Gingold: The facts behind trust fund settlement (1/29)
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Mostly praise for $3.4B settlement to Cobell lawsuit (12/9)
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Twitter Recap of Cobell settlement with Photos (12/8)
Statement by President Obama on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Sen. Dorgan on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Sen. McCain on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Sen. Tester on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Rep. Rahall on Cobell settlement (12/8)
Statement by Rep. Cole and Rep. Kildee on Cobell settlement (12/8)
'Major' announcement on Indian trust management (12/8)

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