Obama to sign historic settlement to black farmers

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Decades-old claims from African-American farmers and Native Americans that the government mistreated and swindled them out of billions of dollars can finally be settled starting Wednesday.

President Barack Obama is set to sign the bill authorizing payment of $4.6 billion to settle claims that arose in class-action lawsuits.

The White House said the president would sign the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 and make remarks at the ceremony next week, but offered no further details.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday. The package would award some $3.4 billion to Native Americans for royalties for resources like oil, gas and timber. Another $1.2 billion would go to African American farmers who claim they were unfairly denied federal loans and other assistance.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.