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Federal Recognition
Native Hawaiian bill set for vote on Senate floor


A bill to recognize a Native Hawaiian governing entity is set for debate and a vote on the Senate floor this week.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act has enough votes to pass, according to Hawaii Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, both Democrats. They have been pushing for the bill for several years.

Most Native Hawaiians, tribes in the U.S. and Alaska Natives support the bill. Gov. Linda Lingle (R) and some key Republicans also back it. Opponents include some Native Hawaiians, conservative Republicans and some Hawaiian residents.

The Bush administration has waffled on the bill but has not opposed it outright. The Department of Justice recently sent a letter to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee citing four "serious policy concerns," The New York Times reported.

The Senate debate is set to start Monday night and run through Tuesday with a vote set on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution will be holding a hearing on the legality of the measure.

Get the Story:
Bill Giving Native Hawaiians Sovereignty Is Too Much for Some, Too Little for Others (The New York Times 7/17)
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Senate to vote on Hawaiian self-rule bill (AP 7/17)
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Hawaiian Recognition Bill:
Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S.147)

Relevant Links:
Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Site - http://www.hawaii-nation.org
Native Hawaiians, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/nativehawaiians
Native Hawaiian Federal Recognition Site - http://www.nativehawaiians.com

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