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Cobell
Parties agree to extend deadline over trust fund settlement


The plaintiffs in the Indian trust fund lawsuit and the Obama administration agreed to a July 9 deadline to await Congressional authorization of the $3.4 billion settlement.

The parties have extended the deadline five times. They hope they can get the Senate to act soon.

“It’s not an arbitrary date, there’s a lot of activity going on right now,” attorney Dennis Gingold told Main Justice. “Obviously we’re hoping it’s going to be passed before [the deadline].”

The House passed the settlement on May 28 as part of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. Leaders there rejected a proposed amendment to the settlement.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, is pushing the same amendment. It would limit attorneys' fees to $50 million and make other changes to the settlement.

The plaintiffs and the Obama administration oppose the amendment. They say it would kill the settlement because it makes a "material" change to the settlement.

The president of the National Congress of American Indians wrote a letter to members of Congress about the amendment. But NCAI has not taken a position for or against it, the group's executive director said yesterday.

Get the Story:
Cobell Deadline Extended Again (Main Justice 6/15)
Deadline in Cobell Case Extended to July 9 (The Blog of Legal Times 6/15)
Senator Turns Up the Heat Over Attorney Fees in Cobell Settlement (The National Law Journal 6/14)

American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act:
Press Release: Baucus, Levin To Release Joint Legislation To Create Jobs, Extend Tax Cuts for Families and Businesses, Support Americans Looking for Work | Background and More Information

Cobell Settlement Documents:
Agreement | Press Release | Q&A | Audio

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