Opponents of Akaka Bill stage protest, accuse senator of - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Opponents of Akaka Bill stage protest, accuse senator of ‘back-door' tactics

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Opponents of the Akaka Bill staged a protest Monday morning near the Hawaii State Capitol, accusing Senator Daniel Inouye of planning to "jam" the Native Hawaiian recognition bill into a defense spending measure, virtually guaranteeing its passage. Senator Inouye's office responded quickly, calling the suggestion "nonsensical".

Ehu Cardwell of the Koani Foundation said in a statement that Inouye was "planning to insert the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 into the Defense Appropriations Bill or one of several others coming before Congress this week.

"The effort would virtually guarantee passage of the Akaka bill through a "back-door" tactic, thus circumventing any public review or input" Cardwell said.

"I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated" said Inouye in a statement.

In his statement, Inouye referenced the numerous hearings and proposed amendments that the bill has undergone since it was originally proposed in 2000. He said the proposed law "has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations…it has been fully transparent."

The Akaka Bill is officially known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. It would establish a process whereby Native Hawaiians would be able to set up a governing entity similar to those of numerous Native American nations on the mainland.

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