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Cobell
Dorgan and Thomas disagree on Cobell settlement


The two leaders of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee disagree on the role of Congress in settling the Cobell trust fund lawsuit.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman, co-sponsored legislation to resolve the case. But more than a year later, he said he is still waiting for the Bush administration to provide a settlement figure.

"I would hope if there's a way to settle this between the plaintiffs and the government out of court and get it behind us, I would hope we would do that," Dorgan told the Associated Press.

But Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming), the vice chairman, doesn't think the committee should be involved. "It's pretty much up to the tribes and the administration. I don't think it ought to be up to us to decide how it happens," he told the AP.

As part of the talks, the administration proposed several trust concepts that have been widely rejected by Indian Country. The White House, however, has failed to come up with a number in response to the proposed $8 billion settlement.

Get the Story:
Senator works to increase access to Indian health clinics (AP 1/21)
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Impact Awards:
Elouise Cobell | 2007 Winners

Assignment of New Judge:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (December 7, 2006)

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

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