Republicans concerned about new details on farmer payout, led by Obama appointees

By on April 30, 2013

News details about Obama administration appointees spending more than $1.33 billion to compensate Hispanic and female farmers has raised more concerns among House Republicans about potentially fraudulent payouts related to a 16-year-old discrimination case.

The Justice and Agriculture department appointees spent the money despite a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that dismissed discrimination claims against  federal loan officers and despite thousands of recipients never having claimed bias in court.

The details emerged in a recent New York Times investigative story, in which lawyers, agency officials and ex-officials said many of those who received compensation had “no credible evidence” of discrimination and that the 1999 Pigford case settlements, in which black farmers received $50,000 payouts, became a “magnet for fraud.”

A spokeswoman for the House Agricultural Committee told on Monday that members are following the issue “and it’s possible to have hearings on it at a later date.”

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