The U.S. Senate has rejected a $3.4 billion government settlement with American Indians that had been added to a much larger war-funding bill.
The Senate passed the almost $60 billion bill funding President Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan late Wednesday — but not before stripping out the settlement and $20 billion in other domestic spending approved by the House.
The Senate's approval would have given the Obama administration the authority to settle a class-action lawsuit filed in 1996 by Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont. Between 300,000 and 500,000 Native Americans claim the Interior Department mismanaged billions of dollars held in trust by the government.
The House attached the settlement to the war-funding bill earlier this month.
Thursday's vote marks the second time the settlement has failed to pass the Senate. It was originally included in the Democrats' jobs-agenda bill that was caught in a filibuster last month.
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