Bush officials ask McCain to delay Cobell Settlement
August 03, 2006

The Bush administration asked Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) to delay legislation that would settle the Cobell Indian trust fund lawsuit.

McCain was set to advance S.1439, the Indian Trust Reform Act, at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee meeting on Wednesday. But he agreed to pull the bill after meeting with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday.

Kempthorne and Gonzales said they would work with the committee on a bill to provide a "complete resolution" to Indian trust claims, according to McCain. Kempthorne followed up with a letter that reiterated the administration's view.

McCain said the committee would draft a new bill over the August recess. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the vice chairman, supported the new approach.