I urge my colleagues to consider what the Claims Settlement Act truly presents before voting on the bill this week. This legislation includes over a billion dollars to settle the Pigford II discrimination claims with black farmers. Unfortunately, Pigford is rife with fraudulent claims and to settle before an investigation can take place does the American taxpayer a disservice. Justice should be served to those who experienced discrimination, but settlement funds should only go to those wronged.
By the National Black Farmers Association’s own data, only 18,000 black farmers exist in the United States, but under Pigford II 94,000 claims of racial discrimination have been filed thus far. A number of individuals involved in Pigford, ranging from USDA officials to black farmers themselves, are ready and willing to appear as witnesses before Congress to bring these allegations into the light.
As a consistent fighter against out-of-control government spending, I cannot stand idly by as I see the United States taxpayer put on the hook for even a dime to Pigford II. It’s time for Congress to fully investigate the Pigford II claims because the numbers just don’t add up.
[Other articles on the Pigford cases can be read here.]