indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
House passes Native Hawaiian recognition bill
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Filed Under: Politics | Recognition

The House easily passed a bill to extend self-determination to Native Hawaiians on Wednesday but the vote tally may not be enough to overcome a potential White House veto.

After three hours of debate and a slew of procedural moves, H.R.505, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, passed by a 261-153 vote. Every Democrat -- except one -- who was present backed the measure while most Republicans voted against it.

The move was cheered by the Office of Native Hawaiians, a state agency that has been lobbying heavily for the bill. The vote "is an important step toward the goal of achieving our inherent right to self-determination, and a better Hawaii," said Haunani Apoliona, who chairs OHA's board of trustees.

The National Congress of American Indians also hailed passage of the bill. "This is a matter of fundamental fairness. Like American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians deserve the right to determine their own future," said NCAI President Joe Garcia.

Despite the strong showing in the House, the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where it was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee but has not been placed on the legislative calendar for a vote. Last year, Republicans successfully blocked it from advancing.

But even if the measure were to pass both chambers of Congress, President Bush is expected to veto it. On Monday, the White House Office of Management and Budget released a statement of administration policy that said Native Hawaiian recognition would be divisive and unconstitutional.

Overcoming a veto requires a two-thirds vote. Going by yesterday's roll call, supporters in the House are about 30 votes short. Last year's failure in the Senate also indicates a lack of votes.

House sponsors would then need to persuade more Republicans to back the bill. Yesterday, only 39 Republicans voted in its favor while 152 were opposed.

"Despite what some believe or say, this is not about race," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), a member of the Chickasaw Nation and one of the handful of Republican supporters. "this is about the sovereignty of an indigenous people. The Native Hawaiian governing body, having the same characteristics as Native American governments, deserves federal recognition."

The other Republicans who voted for the bill yesterday mainly come from states with tribes or are part of the Congressional Native American Caucus, a bipartisan group. One notable absentee, though, was Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who supports Native Hawaiian recognition but wasn't present for the vote because he was on his way to the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Fairbanks, where he is speaking on Friday.

On the Democratic side, only Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) voted no. Waters recently has criticized the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma for removing the descendants of African slaves from the rolls and has used her position on the House Financial Services Committee to pass bills to strip funding from the tribe.

Congress has long treated Native Hawaiians as a separate entity by passing legislation as far back as the 1920s. There are special housing, education and other programs that specifically apply to Hawaii's first inhabitants.

But a slew of court cases have questioned the ability for the state of Hawaii to treat Native Hawaiians as a distinct class. It started with a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2000 that struck down an election that was limited to Native Hawaiians and has continued with challenges to funding, school admissions, land and housing.

So far Native interests have prevailed on funding and school admissions but other challenges remain. Supporters say H.R.505 would clear up the issue by treating Native Hawaiians in a manner similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives and by creating a process that would result in a Native Hawaiian self-governing entity.

The bill, however, places a number of limits on Native Hawaiians. The governing entity would not be allowed to engage in gaming, follow the land-into-trust process or apply for Indian programs that Native Hawaiians aren't currently entitled to.

Roll Call:
On Passage: Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act | On Motion to Recommit with Instructions | On Agreeing to the Resolution | On Ordering the Previous Question

Statement of Administration Policy:
H.R. 505 – Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (October 22, 2007)

Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act:
H.R.505 | S.310

Relevant Links:
Office of Hawaiian Affairs - http://www.oha.org
Native Hawaiian Recognition - http://www.nativehawaiians.com

Related Stories:
Editorial: Native Hawaiian bill divides Americans (10/24)
Opinion: Bill creates 'race-based government' (10/24)
Bush administration blasts Native Hawaiian bill (10/24)
Appeals court revives Native Hawaiian trust lawsuit (8/22)
Spin Zone: Debate Native Hawaiian recognition (8/16)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian entity ripe for corruption (06/07)
Native Hawaiian school settles admission lawsuit (05/15)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves four bills (05/11)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee meeting (05/10)
Bush administration opposes Native Hawaiian bill (05/04)
Senate hearing on Native Hawaiian recognition (5/3)
Democrats pass Native Hawaiian bill on second try (03/29)
House committee to take up Native Hawaiian bill (03/05)
Opinion: The misrecognition of 'Native' Hawaiians (2/28)
Opinion: Attack on Hawaiians directed at tribes (2/16)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian a quirk in federal law? (2/14)
9th Circuit rejects Native Hawaiian funding case (2/12)
Divided court upholds Native school admissions policy (12/06)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tim Giago to discuss book on boarding school (4/28)
Steven Newcomb: Church celebrates agent of Native genocide (4/28)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe prepares for Cobell buy-back offers (4/28)
Workshop on tribal marijuana to be held in Wisconsin on June 4 (4/28)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe maintains strong stance on marijuana (4/28)
Miccosukee Tribe renews disputed land-into-trust application (4/28)
Tulalip Tribes lose litigation over additional Class III machines (4/28)
President Obama invites Native youth to White House on July 9 (4/27)
Native Sun News: Author brings Lakota heritage to stewardship (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Cobell scholarship fund being put to use (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: Even Hollywood is taking on tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Steve Russell: Same-sex marriage back before Supreme Court (4/27)
Terese Mailhot: The epidemic of early death on the reservation (4/27)
Jean-Luc Pierite: School makes bad choice with fake headdress (4/27)
Peter d'Errico: Pope fails to address genocide of Native peoples (4/27)
Choctaw Nation citizens slam Vanilla Ice's shaky ancestry claim (4/27)
Youth of Hoopa Valley Tribe speak out against marijuana grows (4/27)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe might be interested in growing hemp (4/27)
Sparring continues in Wind River Reservation jurisdictional feud (4/27)
Oneida Nation faces questions over land-into-trust acquisitions (4/27)
Opinion: Deadline approaches in Alaska land-into-trust dispute (4/27)
Editorial: States need help dealing with newly recognized tribes (4/27)
Last defendant to be sentenced for Choctaw Nation casino fraud (4/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on labor measure (4/27)
Senate panel takes up bill to halt Tohono O'odham Nation casino (4/27)
Tiny Alturas Rancheria runs casino but can't agree on much else (4/27)
Dennis Whittlesey: Texas tribes are pawns in much larger game (4/27)
White House to host first-ever Native youth conference on July 9 (4/24)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe fires casino manager (4/24)
Lakota Country Times: Timothy Standing Soldier passes on at 54 (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Invest in our Native youth for long-term success (4/24)
James Giago Davies: True believerism and comic book solutions (4/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must act on legal marijuana (4/24)
Ed Rice: Cleveland team comes up with excuse for racist mascot (4/24)
White House Blog: Recognizing tribal Climate Action Champions (4/24)
House subcommittee looks at poor conditions at Indian schools (4/24)
Navajo actress was put in darker makeup for Adam Sandler film (4/24)
Eastern Cherokee group plans lawsuit over tribal council raises (4/24)
Column: Commission takes on truth and reconciliation in Maine (4/24)
Senate votes to confirm Loretta Lynch as next attorney general (4/24)
ICT interview with confirmed NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri (4/24)
Dave Palermo: Tribes in California assert right to Internet poker (4/24)
Pokagon Band casino remains a concern for Indiana lawmakers (4/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo places casino manager on administrative leave (4/24)
White Earth Nation promotes tribal members in casino positions (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux student vies for Miss Indian World (4/23)
Lakota Country Times: Tribal citizens named to education board (4/23)
Ivan Star: Struggling with the warrior heritage in Indian Country (4/23)
Dana Lone Elk: Lakota people still carry on fight of Crazy Horse (4/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes bill to renew NAHASDA (4/23)
BIA faces fire over latest reforms to federal recognition process (4/23)
Opinion: First Lady brings truth with remarks about Native youth (4/23)
Incoming leader of Navajo Nation stresses importance of youth (4/23)
Native actors storm off set of Adam Sandler film in New Mexico (4/23)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.