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Mediator suggests $7-9B settlement for Cobell
Friday, March 30, 2007
Filed Under: Cobell | Politics | Trust

Opening Statements

Kempthorne Testimony | Kempthorne Q&A

Panel 1 Testimony | Panel 1 Q&A

Panel 2 Testimony | Panel 2 Q&A
A settlement for the Cobell trust fund lawsuit should fall in the range of $7 billion to $9 billion, a professional mediator said on Thursday.

John Bickerman testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He said the Bush administration's assertion that the Cobell plaintiffs are only owed "millions" of dollars was wrong.

But he also said the figures presented by the Cobell plaintiffs are too high. A more reasonable number would fall between $7 billion and $9 billion, he testified.

That figure does not include the tribal trust cases, he noted. The Bush administration wants to settle Cobell, all tribal cases and pay for trust reform for up to $7 billion.

Bickerman was one of two mediators selected by Congress to mediate the Cobell case. The effort failed because the two parties wouldn't come to the table, he said.

Get the Story:
Cobell balks at feds' offer (The Billings Gazette 3/30)
Indian plaintiffs voice objections to Interior trust settlement (AP 3/30)
Interior seeks to settle Indian trust fund disputes for $7 billion< (Government Executive News 3/29)

Committee Notice:
OVERSIGHT HEARING on Indian trust fund litigation (March 29, 2007)

Settlement Letter:
Kempthorne-Gonzales to SCIA (March 1, 2007)

Elouise Cobell Statement:

Sen. Dorgan Statement:

Other Documents:
Alberto Gonzales Testimony (March 1, 2005) | SCIA Views and Estimates (March 1, 2007)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -

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Editorial: The billion-dollar question (3/26)
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Kempthorne faces hot issues at Interior Department (3/21)
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Congress urged to settle Cobell lawsuit for billions (03/02)
Listening Lounge: Joint hearing on Cobell v. Norton (03/01)
Interior hits the road with new trust reform initiative (02/08)
Jodi Rave: Garcia calls for settlement of Cobell (2/3)
Cason slashes BIA budget and blames it on Cobell (2/3)
Tribes discuss trust reform bill, Cobell settlement (1/31)
Commentary: Swimmer still not telling the truth on trust (1/26)
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