indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Indian farmers question Keepseagle attorneys (8/22)
Brandon Ecoffey: Navajo golfer Rickie Fowler is a fast-rising star (8/22)
Oglala Sioux leader and educator Gerald One Feather passes on (8/22)
Indigenous Fine Arts Market kicks off big weekend in New Mexico (8/22)
Gyasi Ross: Native people are all too familiar with police brutality (8/22)
Melanie Yazzie: Border town violence connected to colonization (8/22)
Ray Young Bear: No tribal member wants to be known by R-word (8/22)
Washington Post: Editorial board will no longer use R-word 'slur' (8/22)
Matthew Murguia: The facts are clear on Washington NFL mascot (8/22)
Three Indian artists selected as NEA's National Heritage Fellows (8/22)
President of Navajo Nation bans smoking in executive buildings (8/22)
Recently recognized Tejon Tribe to close enrollment next month (8/22)
Cowlitz Tribe pays $1.4M for building to be used as medical office (8/22)
Nooksack Tribe must answer to casino loan lawsuit in state court (8/22)
Menominee Nation remains confident with off-reservation casino (8/22)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe parts ways with 'face' of casino (8/22)
Iipay Nation plans to offer real money Internet poker next week (8/22)
Seneca Nation shared $13.9M in casino revenue with community (8/22)
Native Sun News: DOJ backs tribes in ICWA case in South Dakota (8/21)
Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribe's police force is in 'shambles' (8/21)
Ryan Wilson: Native language immersion programs need support (8/21)
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic celebrates grand opening of building (8/21)
Walt Lamar: Remove Gary Edwards from law enforcement group (8/21)
Secretary Jewell issues order and guidance on trust relationship (8/21)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes see $7.4M for buyback (8/21)
North Dakota tribe accused of concealing data on pipeline spill (8/21)
Navy rejects transfer of surplus property to Narragansett Tribe (8/21)
Kake Tribe returns to site of 1857 deadly attack in Washington (8/21)
Opinion: Nez Perce Tribe defends its homeland from big energy (8/21)
KCUR: Modern and historic Indian art on display in Kansas City (8/21)
Mike Wise: Longtime NFL referee avoided Washington's games (8/21)
Enterprise Rancheria sues state over delayed Class III compact (8/21)
Santee Sioux Tribe working to bring more attractions to casino (8/21)
Mashantucket Tribe sees credit hit as casino competition grows (8/21)
Chumash Tribe to respond to concerns about casino expansion (8/21)
Travel: Smoking allowed at tribal casinos in northern California (8/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe gears up for uranium battle (8/20)
Eyapaha Today: J. Waylon Miller leads Friends of Cesar Romero (8/20)
Sandra Fox: Fixing the education system for our Indian children (8/20)
Albert Bender: US-backed genocide in Guatemalan spurs exodus (8/20)
Mark Chavaree: Penobscot Nation fights to save namesake river (8/20)
Mark Rogers: One more day with post-traumatic stress disorder (8/20)
Still no word on Cobell payments as end of August approaches (8/20)
Native boy found safe after going missing for nearly 24 hours (8/20)
9th Circuit allows Lummi Nation to pursue fishing rights claims (8/20)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe gains support for land claim agreement (8/20)
Delaware Tribe to discuss plans for land with officials in Kansas (8/20)
Wind River Reservation students enjoy back-to-school haircuts (8/20)
Review: Native man serves as anti-hero in 'Winter In The Blood' (8/20)
Bill introduced to extend recognition to Clatsop-Nehalem Tribe (8/20)
Governor pressed on Menominee Nation off-reservation casino (8/20)
Group seeks referendum on Tohono O'odham Nation casino deal (8/20)
Lawmakers approve Class III gaming compact with Karuk Tribe (8/20)
Enterprise Rancheria awaits action on Class III gaming compact (8/20)
Wampanoag casino opponents hope to catch Obama's attention (8/20)
Opinion: Tribal gaming creates short term and long term benefits (8/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala man's business dealings under scrutiny (8/19)
Mark Trahant: Behind the scenes of Obamacare in Indian Country (8/19)
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.