Senior administration officials on Wednesday defended the proposed $1.4 billion settlement to resolve a long-running Indian trust dispute, telling skeptical members of a House committee that the resolution, which requires congressional authorization, is fair and appropriate.

Members of the House Natural Resources Committee questioned Thomas Perrelli, the associate attorney general, and David Hayes, deputy secretary for the Interior Department, about the settlement to resolve the lawsuit that Elouise Cobell filed in 1996 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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