HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka reintroduced his bill today to grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Akaka told lawmakers that, "a lack of action will only fuel us down a path of divided Hawaii."
Akaka says it will have a better chance of passage with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.
The effort comes seven months after the bill failed to get a final vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.
All votes against considering it were case by Republicans.
The Akaka bill is part of a seven-year push for legislation to recognize Native Hawaiians as indigenous inhabitants of the 50th state.
Their legal status would be similar to that of American Indians and Alaskan Natives.