Video courtesy Office of Senator Akaka | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will vote on the Akaka Bill on Thursday.
If the The Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act – as its formally known – is passed, it will go to the full Senate floor.
The bill is named after its author, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka. He explains what the bill would do for Native Hawaiians in this video.
Akaka has announced he will not seek re-election after his term expires in 2012. Congress has taken up the Akaka Bill more than a half a dozen times since 2000, the first year it was introduced.
From the office of Sen. Akaka:
WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, today announced a business meeting during which the Committee will consider the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011 (S. 675) and a bill to address problems created by Supreme Court ruling Carcieri v Salazar (S. 676).
The business meeting will take place Thursday, April 7, at 2:15 p.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 628. If favorably reported by the Committee, each bill would be added to the Senate Calendar for consideration by the full Senate.
Senator Akaka said: “As Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, providing parity between Native Hawaiians and our country’s other indigenous people is a priority. This bill would simply put Native Hawaiians on equal footing with American Indians and Alaska Natives and I urge my colleagues to support it.”
The Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act on August 6, 2009. Click here for press release and video highlights.
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is sponsored by Senators Akaka, Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska).
Chairman Akaka also noted his support of the Carcieri fix legislation. “As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, this legislation is necessary for the United States government to fulfill its trust responsibility towards tribes and Native peoples.”
The “Carcieri fix” is sponsored by Senators Akaka, Kent Conrad (D-North Dakoa), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Inouye, Tim Johnson (D-South Dakoa), John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), and Max Baucus (D-Montana).