Election Day outcome bad for Akaka Bill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Election Day outcome bad for Akaka Bill

Sen Daniel Inouye Sen Daniel Inouye
Sen. Dan Akaka Sen. Dan Akaka
Jamie Story Jamie Story

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While Democrats won big here in Hawaii that wasn't the case across the rest of the country.  So many Republican victories could mean defeat for the Akaka Bill.  The lame duck session in Congress will start November 15 and it's unrealistic to think the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act will get to a vote on the senate floor before Christmas.

"I would say as a result of yesterday the odds are bad. I'm being very candid and upfront because I don't want people to have their hopes unjustifiably raised because at this stage I would say it's not one of the so called priority measures.  There are certain appointments of judges that will go down the drain also," said Sen. Dan Inouye, (D) Hawaii.

At this point it's unknown if it would pass after the new senators are sworn in.

"I don't know I have to get back to Washington to discuss this matter with my Republican colleagues," said Sen. Inouye.

Still Senator Daniel Akaka says he'll try to get the bill heard despite the challenges.

"Well we're going to do the best we can to get that bill to the floor before we adjourn this year," said Sen. Akaka.  "I'm still optimistic but we're going to work on this."

People who disagree with the bill say it's even worse knowing that politicians will try to push it through knowing the makeup of Congress will be changing in less than two months.

"I think it's irresponsible for our elected officials to try and push something threw during this lame duck session especially when it's not the will of the people," said Jamie Story, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii President.  "The measure has never passed the senate even when there was a strong democrat majority and I think the more people learn about the Akaka bill and even people that believe there should be some recognition or reparation for native Hawaiians once they look in the bill and see how flawed it is how vaguely it's written how much it could harm our state I think people on both side of the aisle see it's not a good piece of legislation."

The Akaka Bill has already passed in the House of Representatives, but has yet to pass in the Senate.  At least six new Republican senators were elected last night.

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