Saturday, December 11, 2010


Honolulu Star-Advertiser - December 11, 2010

The embattled Akaka Bill stands little chance of seeing new life this year, despite two endorsements from the Obama administration.

US Attorney General Eric Holder and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar sent a letter Thursday to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, endorsing the Akaka Bill....

...Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Walter Heen said Thursday's endorsements will likely not matter in the long run, with Republicans taking control of the House and increasing their ranks in the Senate.

"Let me put it succinctly - If they can't get 'don't ask, don't tell' through, how much importance are the Republicans going to place on getting our bill through?" Heen said. "I maintain that the (Akaka) bill has been dead for some time now."

Last week, Republican Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas issued a statement in response to reports that the Akaka Bill might be revived by attaching it to other legislation.

"Legislation as highly complex and divisive as the native Hawaiian bill requires vigorous discussion, debate, and amendments," Kyl said.

"An attempt to include it in unrelated legislation to keep the government operating is a breach of process and is an example of what the American people are tired of — back room deals that are inserted in secret packages written behind closed doors."

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