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Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement
Time running out on Cobell settlement bill


The clock is ticking on legislation to settle the Cobell trust fund lawsuit.

Congress is due to recess for a month. With the midterm elections coming up, there are only a handful of legislative days left in the year.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the sponsor of the settlement bill, is also due to leave his position as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee at the end of the year. It's not clear who would take his place.

The committee is expected to take up the bill on August 2. McCain previously told the Cobell plaintiffs and the Bush administration that the settlement amount would be $8 billion.

Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff, and others in Indian Country say that figure is not necessarily fair, considering more than a century of trust fund mismanagement. "The amount offered, as we understand, is lower than expected. Is that equitable?" Sharon Clahchischilliage, the executive director of the Navajo Nation's Washington office, asked The Arizona Republic.

Get the Story:
McCain races to solve tribal funds dispute (The Arizona Republic 7/28)

Indian Trust Reform Act:
S.1439 | H.R.4322

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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