The Chicago Tribune notes that the Akaka Bill is back–and is as odious as ever:
Long-stalled legislation to grant Native Hawaiians the same federal recognition and self-governance that most Native American tribes possess is scheduled to make it to the Senate floor amid charges that such a move would intensify racial tensions in the nation’s 50th state and further strengthen a growing movement to secede from the United States.
“I have received assurances from the Senate leadership that a motion will finally be filed during the first week of June that would force debate and a vote on my bill,” Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) said in an interview last week.
The Native Hawaiian Recognition bill, introduced in 1999 and known colloquially as the Akaka bill after the man who became the first Native Hawaiian to serve in the U.S. Senate, is by no means assured of passing. Indeed, the legislation faces an uphill battle, particularly after a federal civil rights commission recommended this month that the bill be rejected because it would be “discriminatory” to the majority of Hawaii citizens not of Native Hawaiian ancestry.