indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Printer friendly version
House leader rejects trust fund settlement rider
MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2003

The head of the House panel with jurisdiction over Indian affairs is calling for the defeat of legislation that would allow the Bush administration to settle trust fund accounts with little consultation of tribes or individual beneficiaries.

In a statement released Friday, Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) of the House Resources Committee entered what has become an increasingly political debate. Reacting to the complaints of tribal leaders, members of both parties have noted the effects of litigation and trust reform on Indian programs.

"This situation is having an increasingly negative impact on the availability of resources for critical needs such as roads, schools, and health care facilities in Indian Country," Pombo said.

But while arguing that a settlement program created by Department of Interior's new spending bill was "well-intentioned," he said it was an "unacceptable" solution to a long-running problem.

"The mismanagement of the trusts for the last 100 years is absolutely unacceptable," Pombo stated. "In resolving the current situation, we also need to fix the systemic problems that caused it so this never happens again."

In announcing a hearing July 9 on the matter, Pombo set the stage for a turf war over the proposed settlement program. Normally, major legislation affecting Indian issues would pass through Pombo's hands but the House Appropriations Committee, for two years in a row, bypassed the process with little public debate.

Last year, the Appropriations committee approved a bill that would have limited an accounting of the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust from 1985 to the present, instead of reaching back to 1887, when the system was created. After intense debate, the rider was defeated by a bipartisan vote of 281 to 144 on the House floor.

With the backing of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the new rider appears headed to a similar demise. NCAI, which represents more than 250 tribes, passed a resolution against the settlement program at its mid-year session two weeks ago.

"There has been no discussion or consultation," NCAI president Tex Hall said in an interview. "This should have been ongoing. The table needs to include tribes and individuals."

Under the proposed settlement, there is little room for the Interior to include Indian input. It gives Secretary Gale Norton five years to settle all historical accounting claims by making cash payouts to willing beneficiaries and to resolve the rest through a statistical sampling.

Norton would be given unilateral authority to develop regulations for the settlement. The short time-frame would almost certainly mean little consultation with affected account holders.

The alternative is to spend approximately $335 million, also over five years, to perform an historical accounting of the IIM trust through a transaction-by-transacation analysis and statistical sampling. Even then, there is no guarantee that the results will be complete or accurate, department officials have acknowledged.

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
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust

Related Stories:
Swimmer testifies on trust fund accounting (6/30)
Swimmer challenged on Bush reform plans (6/27)
Swimmer expected to take stand in Cobell trial (6/25)
Griles gets Cobell wish list from House (6/26)
Taxpayers fund private attorneys to tune of $3M (6/25)
Norton offered settlement funds for IIM trust (6/20)
Cason testifies on trust fund accounting limits (6/5)
Lamberth criticizes interference with trust fund case (05/22)
Bush administration turns to Congress on trust (04/04)
Judge authorizes release of trust fund report (03/26)
Appropriators question historical accounting plan (03/13)
On accounting, Norton find her magic date (03/12)
Pressure stirs to settle trust fund lawsuit (02/27)
Spending bill keeps provisions affecting Cobell (02/14)
Trust programs see historic increase (2/4)
Standards guide reform effort (1/8)
What happened to all the land? (1/8)
Norton to fight IIM accounting (1/7)
Norton won't account for assets (1/6)
Lamberth slams claimed accounting (12/23)
Tribes opposing trust fund settlement bill (11/13)
Judge rejects Norton's 'absurd' accounting claim (09/23)
Funding battle underlies trust obligations (7/19)
Interior budget bill generates strong debate (7/17)
Opposition to trust fund bill mounts (7/15)
Norton delivers accounting plan (7/5)
House bill cuts trust fund accounting (6/28)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Activists take annual swim to Alcatraz Island (10/21)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives ready for conference and election (10/21)
BIA announces consultations for secretarial election regulation (10/21)
Chelsey Luger & Gyasi Ross: From slow suicide to slow healing (10/21)
Bill John Baker: Addressing breast cancer in our communities (10/21)
ICT interview with Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn of BIA (10/21)
Navajo Nation court still mulling decision in presidential case (10/21)
Column: Billy Mills still inspires 50 years after Olympic victory (10/21)
Editorial: Winnebago Tribe's business makes a big contribution (10/21)
Lincoln Indian Center adopts permanent alcohol ban after party (10/21)
Suquamish Tribe shares fish from hatchery at annual giveaway (10/21)
Editorial: Bad move by Northern Arapaho Tribe on joint council (10/21)
Wisconsin court to hear appeal over Oneida Nation waste plant (10/21)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe reaches out to family that lost home to fire (10/21)
Closure of Chukchansi Tribe's casino affects reservation water (10/21)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe considers casino on ancestral Ohio site (10/21)
Town meeting for Lac Vieux Desert Band off-reservation casino (10/21)
North Fork Rancheria won't give up off-reservation casino plan (10/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation was looking for off-reservation casino (10/21)
Poarch Creeks won't confirm or deny talks for gaming compact (10/21)
Tim Giago: Deaths of Native men in Rapid City remain unsolved (10/20)
Charles 'Chuck' Trimble: Let Crazy Horse's spirit rest in peace (10/20)
Mark Trahant: Races come down to turnout in three key states (10/20)
Native Sun News: Billy Mills wows youth at Black Hills Powwow (10/20)
Cedric Sunray: Tribes abandon traditional aspects of inclusion (10/20)
Dustina Gill: Vote for Rick Weiland to protect our sacred waters (10/20)
Ousted Project Runway contestant reaffirms Puyallup heritage (10/20)
White House Tribal Nations Conference takes place December 3 (10/20)
Bryan Brewer: Park helps Oglala Sioux Tribe protect its culture (10/20)
Robert Porter: Don't let tribal issues fall prey to partisan politics (10/20)
Gabe Galanda: Abramoff's playbook still used in Indian Country (10/20)
Jay Daniels: Let BIA make changes to rights-of-way regulation (10/20)
Mike McBride: Sovereign goodwill at a low in tribal tax dispute (10/20)
Top Navajo Nation court holds hearing in presidential dispute (10/20)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to open resort at ancestral site in Ohio (10/20)
Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas selects Lester Randall as new leader (10/20)
Editorial: Address safety concerns about tribal hunts at night (10/20)
Chukchansi Tribe sends layoff notices to most casino workers (10/20)
Rivals raise nearly $16M to block North Fork Rancheria casino (10/20)
Judge won't let BIA proceed with compact for Pojoaque Pueblo (10/20)
Candidates discuss Menominee Nation's off-reservation casino (10/20)
Opinion: Suckers help Chumash Tribe finance casino expansion (10/20)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.