WASHINGTON (AP) -- A conservative Republican U.S. senator is holding up a broadly supported bill in the Senate aimed at paying off government discrimination settlements with Black farmers and American Indians.
The legislation would remedy discrimination by the U.S. Agriculture Department against black farmers and settle claims that the Interior Department mismanaged Indian trust funds. It would allocate more than $4 billion.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is using arcane Senate rules to block the bill. An aide to Coburn says the senator is dissatisfied with how the expenditures would be paid for.
Democrats and Republicans alike thought the measure likely to pass, in part because several bills backed by Western Republicans to resolve Indian water claims had been added to it.