(The Advertiser FINALLY decided to run an article on the Akaka Bill vote. Hawaii Free Press readers knew this was coming since Monday. It turns out that this week featured a secret showdown over just how much grift the OHA gang could grab for themselves if they become the Akaka Tribe.)
House committee postpones key vote on Akaka bill
By John Yaukey Advertiser Washington Bureau
(skip to the important parts)
The vote postponement follows some written criticisms of the bill by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian legal community.
In a four-page analysis of the legislation sent to the Natural Resources Committee, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association voiced concern that some provisions would grant the federal government too much immunity against potential claims by Native Hawaiians, especially for land.
(They want the Akaka Tribe but they are unwilling to trade away the PASH decision and the opportunity to shake down future Hokulias.)
"The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians," the bar association wrote. "They create an extraordinarily unusual circumstance in which Native Hawaiians are barred from bringing an action."
At stake ultimately — in addition to the political future of the Native Hawaiians — is control over some 1.8 million acres of land that many Native Hawaiians believe was taken illegally in the United States' annexation of Hawaii in 1898.
Approval of the Akaka bill in the Natural Resources Committee would send the bill to the full House for a vote. The Senate has not acted on the bill yet.
Its first test in the Senate would be before the Indian Affairs Committee, where Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, is a senior member.
Akaka is hoping the committee will take it up before Congress begins its August recess.
Originally proposed in 2000, the Akaka bill has been passed repeatedly in the House but has hit walls in the Senate, where single lawmakers can hold bills at will.
The legislation came closest to passing in 2007, when it cleared the full House, but it was never brought to the Senate floor for a full vote.
The Akaka bill's mostly Republican opponents, who have quashed the legislation in the past, contend it is race-based.
(And that is such a useful shaping of the opposition that Democrats AND THEIR MEDIA want to make sure that no other reason for opposing the Akaka Bill is ever expressed.)
But they now face an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress and a Hawaii-raised president who has vowed to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
(The bottom line is that the Committee Democrats are fighting amongst themselves and some may be balking at the OHA gang's naked grab for power, money, and land. Apparently they do not have enough votes to get it through. The Trustee Class' unbridled greed it is undoing.)
RELATED: Hastings: Dept of Justice seeks changes in Akaka Bill , Akaka Bill UPDATE: House Committee CANCELS Thursday vote
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Kamehameha Day, 2009 -- Abercrombie, Hirono, Akaka, Inouye sending Hawaiians back to tribalism?
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The Akaka Bill: A Cash Cow for Democrats
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Price of Apology: Clinton, Obama, and the Hawaiian Quid Pro Quo