H.Con.Res. 296 (106th): Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the necessity to expedite the settlement process for discrimination claims ...

...against the Department of Agriculture brought by African-American farmers.

106th Congress, 1999–2000. Text as of Mar 30, 2000 (Introduced).

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HCON 296 IH

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. CON. RES. 296

Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the necessity to expedite the settlement process for discrimination claims against the Department of Agriculture brought by African-American farmers.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 30, 2000

Mr. DICKEY (for himself and Mr. WATTS of Oklahoma) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the necessity to expedite the settlement process for discrimination claims against the Department of Agriculture brought by African-American farmers.

Whereas the Secretary of Agriculture has conceded that the Department of Agriculture and agents of the Department discriminated against certain African-American farmers during the period from 1981 through 1996 in the delivery of Commodity Credit Corporation and disaster assistance programs;

Whereas, to permit the resolution of complaints that were filed by these farmers before July 1, 1997, but not responded to by the Department of Agriculture in a timely manner, section 741 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999 (112 Stat. 2681-30; 7 U.S.C. 2279 note; as contained in section 101(a) of division A of Public Law 105-277), waived relevant statutes of limitation that prevented the adjudication of these complaints;

Whereas, on April 14, 1999, United States District Judge Paul Friedman issued a final opinion and order that finalized class action lawsuits filed by African-American farmers;

Whereas the farmers were ordered to file claims to determine their eligibility for the settlement ordered by the court;

Whereas the court has set and the Secretary of Agriculture has entered into a final settlement consent decree that has become the order of the court;

Whereas, once a claimant is deemed to be a member of the class and has proven discrimination, the claimant is entitled to the settlement set forth by the consent decree; and

Whereas the large volume of claims filed as ordered by the court have severely delayed the settlement process as defined by the consent decree: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Agriculture, the Attorney General, and the adjudicator and facilitator named in the consent decree should strictly follow the consent decree, commit the resources necessary to expedite the settlement process, and ensure that settlements are reached in an expeditious manner.