Michele Bachmann criticizes black farmers settlement

July 19th, 2011 - 11:27 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Omaha, Neb., July 19 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Michele Bachmann has criticized President Barack Obama for signing a legislation that saw African-American farmers compensated almost $1.2 billion for years of discrimination and neglect. According to the aspiring GOP presidential candidate, the money could have been used for a better thing than that; like providing relief to flood victims in Iowa.

Bachmann and fellow Republican Senator Steve King were touring the flooded areas along the Missouri River on Monday when she made the comment.

The Pigford case in 1999 saw a North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford awarded settlement claims for being left out of federal government opportunities. Several black farmers who also complained of similar negligence were denied any compensation because they had missed the deadline that they should have filed their complaints. President Obama however signed a legislation in 2010 which allowed the affected farmers to be compensated with almost $1.2 billion.

Bachmann believes that money was not well used. She said that, “When money is diverted to inefficient projects, like the Pigford project, where there seems to be proof-positive of fraud, we can’t afford $2 billion in potentially fraudulent claims when that money can be used to benefit the people along the Mississippi River and the Missouri River.”

The National Black Farmers Association president, John Boyd, is not convinced with the argument of Bachmann. Boyd advised the presidential hopeful to “treat all people fairly.”

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