Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Obama to sign law for Indian tribes black farmers

President Barack Obama is preparing to sign landmark legislation that would pay American Indian landowners and black farmers $4.6 billion to address claims of government mistreatment over many decades.

Congress passed a measure last month to settle a pair of historic class-action lawsuits. Obama is expected to sign the bill late Wednesday afternoon.

Obama promised during his campaign to work toward resolving the long-standing disputes and others involving the government's past discrimination against minorities.

Some Republicans have likened the black farmers program to "modern-day reparations" for African-Americans and argue that the claims process is rife with fraud. Administration officials say the bill includes safeguards to prevent fraud.

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