by Andrew Walden
On page 129 of the Senate Appropriations Committee FY13 Interior Subcommittee Bill Draft, between “Livestock Grazing Administration” and “Use of American Iron, Steel and Manufactured Goods”, Senator Dan Inouye has slipped in his latest scheme to hand the Hawaiian patrimony over to the Akaka gang.
The Subcommittee Bill Draft was released Wednesday, September 26, 2012. Senator John Kyl (R-AZ), who has long protected Hawaii from the Akaka Tribe, immediately announced a ‘hold’ on the Appropriations bill until the language is removed. Under Senate rules a ‘hold’ blocks further consideration of a bill. Kyl, who is retiring this year, has prevented consideration of the Akaka Bill several times.
Kyl pointed out:
“…it is inappropriate for this kind of controversial, legislative language to be included in a bill that is supposed to provide funding for the Department of the Interior. That is especially true given how unpopular this legislation is. It is so controversial, in fact, that even when Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate during the last Congress, the leadership never even tried to advance it.”
Notably, Inouye’s rider includes a gaming prohibition which stands in contrast to the S675 version of the Akaka Bill passed out of the US Senate Indian Affairs Committee September 13, 2012. The gaming prohibition was also absent from the Akaka Tribe rider Inouye tried and failed to slip in to the 2011 Interior appropriations bill.
Here is the text:
SEC. 427. Now and hereafter, in exercise of the authority delegated under sections 441, 442, 463, and 465 of the Revised Statutes (43 U.S.C. 1457; 25 U.S.C. 2, 9), the Secretary shall consider for recognition the self-governing community that may include individuals enrolled under Act 195 (26th Haw. Leg. Sess. (2011)); Provided, That such community shall not be entitled to programs and services available to entities listed pursuant to section 104 of Public Law 103–454 except to the extent a statute governing such a program or service expressly provides that it applies to such community or its members; that such community may not conduct gaming activities as a matter of claimed inherent authority or under the authority of any Federal law; and that section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (25 U.S.C. 177) shall have no present or past application in the State where such community is located.
Section 104 of Public Law 103-454, also known as the “Federally Recognized Indian Tribe Act of 1994” requires the Secretary of the Interior to maintain a list of Federally Recognized Indian Tribes.
Section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (25 U.S.C. 177) prevents the conveyance of any lands owned by Indian tribes without the consent of Congress.
KYL STATEMENT ON LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE CHANGING STATUS OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS
News Release from Office of Sen John Kyl (R-AZ) September 26, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl made the following statement today regarding the Senate Appropriations Committee’s inclusion of language in one of its bills that would allow the Secretary of the Interior to recognize Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe:
“I oppose the inclusion of this language and will insist that it be removed before allowing that bill to advance. I have long supported public programs for the cultural and educational benefit of native peoples, including those of Native Hawaiian descent. At the same time, I have long opposed the creation of any new government defined by race or blood, but that has always been the core of the various Native Hawaiian tribal recognition bills that have been proposed. This appropriations rider is no different. It ties the proposed tribe's membership to a Hawaii law, known as Act 195, which only allows participation by persons with Native Hawaiian blood. That is a race-based definition and it is contrary to our constitutional principles.
“Moreover, it is inappropriate for this kind of controversial, legislative language to be included in a bill that is supposed to provide funding for the Department of the Interior. That is especially true given how unpopular this legislation is. It is so controversial, in fact, that even when Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate during the last Congress, the leadership never even tried to advance it.”
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2010: Another Akaka Bill sneak attack? GOP Senators tell Inouye to back off
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