Discrimination payments promised to black farmers

Rep. Artur Davis reassured black farmers Wednesday that Congress and the Obama administration will deliver on a promise to compensate them for past discrimination by the Department of Agriculture.

“We are going to put more money on the table,” Davis, D-Ala., told a group of black farmers. “This is a starting point.”

Black farmers charge that agriculture officials have denied them loans and assistance based on their race.

The farmers, mostly from Southern states, were in Washington this week to press Congress and the Obama administration to increase the $100 million set aside in the 2008 farm bill to pay thousands of farmers as part of a 1999 settlement of a discrimination case.