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Nov. 20, 2013, 3:18 p.m.

Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Re­id reached agree­ment with three Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors to provide fund­ing to settle two long-stand­ing law­suits against the gov­ern­ment, only to find that Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., had raised new ob­jec­tions, a Re­id spokes­wo­man said late Wed­nes­day.

The deal would have freed funds for a dis­crim­in­a­tion suit filed by black farm­ers against the Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment and for a case in­volving mis­man­age­ment of trust funds that In­di­an tribes filed against the In­teri­or De­part­ment.

Re­id had worked out agree­ments with Sens. John Bar­rasso, R-Wyo.; Jon Kyl, R-Ar­iz.; and Chuck Grass­ley, R-Iowa, but then Coburn said he wanted to sep­ar­ate the two set­tle­ments, Re­id’s spokes­wo­man said. A Coburn spokes­wo­man did not re­turn a call re­quest­ing de­tails about his ob­jec­tion.

The 2008 farm bill au­thor­ized USDA to settle the black farm­ers’ case, known as Pig­ford II, filed by farm­ers who were un­able to make the fil­ing dead­line in the ori­gin­al Pig­ford suit settled by the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion settled the Pig­ford II case for $1.25 bil­lion, but Con­gress only provided $100 mil­lion in the farm bill and needs to ap­pro­pri­ate an­oth­er $1.15 bil­lion to settle the case.


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