Bill to Recognize Native Hawaiians Continues to Draw GOP Attacks
Legislation to give Native Hawaiians status similar to that held by
Alaska Natives and American Indians is drawing intense opposition from some
conservative Republicans in both chambers.
The bill in question, known as the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act,
would provide for the creation of a native governing entity that eventually
would have a government-to-government relationship with the United States.
Senate GOP leaders have scheduled a cloture vote Sept. 7 on moving to
consideration of the bill, which several Republicans are fighting.
The House passed a similar measure under suspension of the rules in
2000, a procedure reserved for non-controversial bills. But now, a group of
21 House GOP conservatives led by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has urged House
Speaker Dennis J. Hastert, R-Ill., and Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas,
not to allow action on the bill in their chamber.
In a letter to the leadership, they said the bill "would authorize the
creation of a race-based government for Native Hawaiians," would be
"contrary to fundamental American values, and would set a dangerous
precedent for our nation."
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