US senators to consider new Akaka bill

HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is holding a meeting to consider legislation granting federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian government.

Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii said the business meeting Thursday will be used to make minor amendments to the bill and possibly vote on it.

If approved, the measure would advance to the full Senate. Akaka said it's his priority to put Native Hawaiians on equal footing with Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Similar legislation failed to get a vote in the Senate last year following 11 years of efforts by Akaka to get it passed.

Akaka has said he won't seek re-election next year, so this may be his last opportunity to get the legislation passed.

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