The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has now released its report on the Akaka Bill–the Senate version anyway, which (like just about every other piece of legislation coming from the Senate) is the more radical version.
Of course, if you’ve paid any attention to the arguments advanced in favor of the bill, you won’t need me to rehash them here.Â With little to recommend it from a historical or constitutional standpoint, supporters of the bill inevitably fall back on the same old distortions of history and emotional appeals.Â (For those who still think that the Apology Resolution wasn’t an advance move to forward this agenda and establish a biased view of Hawaiian history, you may now take a moment to admit your mistake.)
Needless to say, the bill shows no awareness of the concerns raised by Gov. Lingle or the people of Hawaii who are becoming aware of the innate problems of the Akaka Bill and fear that it will forever change our Islands for the worse.
There are, however, a few Senators who spoke to the considerable Constitutional concerns raised by the bill.Â Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) concludes that the bill attempts to act outside of the powers of Congress, which is only permitted to recognize tribes, not create them based on race.Â Senator McCain echoed those concerns, saying, “at its core, this bill embraces the dangerous concept of conferring special privileges on one racial group overÂ others. Â This is unacceptable to me, and it is unacceptable, I am sure, to most other citizens of this Nation who agree that we must continue our struggle to become and remain one people–all equal, all Americans.”
It’s clear that there are Republicans in the Senate prepared to oppose this bill.Â Now, we just need to help their colleagues understand why this bill is a bad idea.
For the full committee report,Â click here.