Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa says the House Rules Committee has blocked his attempt to delete the $1.5 billion funding for the so-called Pigford II settlement. The Senate passed the bill last week allocating the money to settle a discrimination suit brought by black farmers against the USDA. King and others say the settlement is “rife with fraud” charging there are way more claims than black farmers. USDA says that is because family members and farmers who have retired or gone out of business since the initial suit are eligible.
The original Pigford settlement was in 1999 resolving discrimination cases brought from 1983 to 1997. The Pigford II settlement is the result of a number of farmers who were disqualified from the first settlement because they didn’t meet a filing deadline.