Senate Approves $1B Black Farmer Settlement
The Senate today approved upwards of $1.1 billion in reparations for black farmers involved in the now infamous Pigford case.
More than a decade ago, thousands of black farmers sued the federal government for blatant discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose offices were found to be prejudiced against African Americans when awarding loans and other financial assistance to farmers. Named after Timothy Pigford, a North Carolina man who first filed his claim in 1997, the suit sought damages for unfair practices that took place between the early '80s and the late '90s.
In July of this year, it looked as if the Pigford settlement would come to a close, but the Senate cut funding for the settlement at the last minute, protracting the case even further. Today, it’s come to an end.
Sen. Harry Reid, long a proponent of the Pigford settlement, expressed joy at its conclusion:
Black farmers … have had to wait a long time for justice, but now it will finally be served. I am heartened that Democrats and Republicans were able to come together to deliver the settlement that these men and women deserve for the discrimination and mismanagement they faced in the past. This issue has been of great importance to me, and I am pleased these long-suffering Americans can now receive the closure that they deserve.
The agreement that we reached shows what can happen when Democrats and Republicans come together to do the right thing. I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who put their differences aside to make sure that justice was no longer denied to these Americans.
Read more at CBS News.