Several sources are reporting today that, after failing three times to approve $1.15 billion in funding for the U.S. government's settlement with black farmers this spring, the Senate will be considering a stand-alone vote today on allocating the money.

In a press release yesterday, the Network of Black Farm Groups and Advocates -- a loose umbrella of groups involved in the litigation that began in the 1990s to redress racism at the U.S. Agriculture Department -- said that Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will ask for "unanimous consent" in approving the settlement money:
The Black farmer lawsuit against the USDA, known as Pigford v Vilsack, has been attached to any number of bills working their way through Congress. In the divisive US Senate, these efforts have repeatedly resulted in the stripping away of numerous domestic spending items including the Pigford and Cobell settlements. As the Senate is about begin it's August recess, one more effort will be attempted.
Critically, by using unanimous consent, Reid is relying on Republicans to go along with the settlement. If is passes, the bill will go back to the House for a vote.

The Pigford settlement was the largest in civil rights history: The initial settlement in 2000 authorized pay-outs of over $1 billion to black farmers. But thousands weren't able to join the settlement because of missed deadlines and other legal problems.

This spring, the U.S. government agreed to a second settlement, called Pigford II, which authorized another $1.25 billion in payments ($100,000 of which was already covered in the 2008 Farm Bill), but Congress had yet to approve allocation of the funds.

UPDATE 1: The Network is now saying their sources in the Senate believe the vote will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

UPDATE 2: The Senate vote did not take place on Aug. 4, but Reid told The Hill he would
try to get unanimous consent to move toward approving the settlement money on Aug. 5.