Michele Bachmann, whose family has willingly accepted federal farm payments, wants to make sure that some black farmers don't get theirs, because they don't deserve it.
In a settlement known as Pigford II, blacks denied federal loans and assistance from the Department of Agriculture in the 80s and 90s will receive $50,000 each.[jump]
The total cost of the settlement: $1.2 billion.
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. ... I cannot stand idly by as I see the United States taxpayer put on the hook for even a dime to Pigford II.
"Simple math," she says.
Simply nonsense, countered Collin Peterson, the Minnesota congressman who helped craft the settlement.
The reason they're not in farming is because they couldn't get financing. That's part of their argument.
John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, smelled hypocrisy:
She got hers, and black farmers have been systematically shut out of the farm subsidy program.
Congressman Keith Ellison, the first black elected to Congress from Minnesota, went a step further. He called Bachmann a flat-out liar.
Perhaps it could have been worse. She could have jumped the shark with Iowa Rep. Steve King, who mixed apples and oranges and came up with a raspberry: Settling with blacks over discrimination in the 80s and 90s amounted, he said, to reparations for slavery. And the package was created by a very, very urban" Barack Obama.
Bachmann voted against approving the settlement, along with Minnesota Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen. But the measure sailed through the House on a 256-152, with Republican help. One of the party's cooler heads: Rep. Tom Cole, of Oklahoma:
"We are correcting historic wrongs that should never have occurred in the first place," he said.