Akaka Bill Could Reach Senate Floor This Week

(D) Senator Daniel Akaka
(D) Senator Daniel Akaka

(KHNL) - The Akaka Bill could finally reach the Senate floor this week.

Gov. Linda Lingle is meeting with Republican senators in Washington, D.C. to lobby the bill.

"I'm proud to be out there to do my best to try to get this through the Senate," said Gov. Lingle.

She says she'll be talking to other lawmakers about the importance of various Hawaiian programs and she knows she's facing some opposition.

"All the rhetoric about the impact about someone else's property is simply not true," said Gov. Lingle.

The bill would give Native Hawaiians the same federal recognition and self-governance that most Native American tribes have. Those who oppose the bill, believe it is discriminatory. Still, Sen. Daniel Akaka says he's confident the bill will receive the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the floor on Thursday.

"This bill, people don't realize is a bill for indigenous people not only of our country but for the world," said Sen. Akaka.

The bill has supporters in both parties. But even if it makes it to the floor, several more votes may be needed to pass it. But time is running out to get it through the House.