|Release No. PENDING
USDA Office of Communications
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Final Passage of the Claims Settlement Act
WASHINGTON, November 30, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement on the final passage of the Claims Settlement Act:
“President Obama and I made a firm commitment not only to treat all farmers fairly and equally, but to right the wrongs in USDA's past. I applaud those who took this historic step to ensure black farmers who faced discrimination by their government finally receive justice. And I commend those who led this fight in the U.S. Congress and I am thankful for their unwavering determination.
“Today’s vote will help the Department of Agriculture move beyond this sad chapter in history. The bill that passed the Senate and House includes strong protections against waste, fraud, and abuse to ensure integrity of the claims process.
“In the months and years ahead, we will not stop working to move the Department into a new era as a model employer and premier service provider. We also must continue the good work we started to resolve all remaining administrative claims.”
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).