Saturday, October 27, 2007

Akaka Bill: House of Representatives Fails to Muster Enough Votes to Overcome Promised Veto
Gail Heriot

The ill-considered proposal for a Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (known in the Senate and elsewhere as the  "Akaka Bill") was brought to a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.  It passed--but the margin was 216-153.  Mercifully, Bush's spokesman has said he will veto it, and the vote was insufficient to overcome such a veto. 

The vote was largely party line.  All of the nays came from Republicans, except one--Maxine Waters.  (Bless her.  She and I finally found something we could agree on.)  Most of the yeas came from Democrats.  There were, however, 39 defectors among the Republicans.  The 39 were:

Rob Bishop--Utah, Mary Bono--Calif., Virginia Brown-Waite--Florida, Ken Calvert--Calif., Chris Cannon--Utah, Tom Cole--Okla., Tom Davis--Va., Phil English--Penn., Mary Fallin--Okla., Wayne Gilcrest--Md., Ralph Hall--Texas, David Hobson--Ohio, Timothy Johnson--Illinois, Joseph Knollenberg--Mich., Ray LaHood--Illinois, Stephen LaTourette--Ohio, Frank LoBionda--N.J., Frank Lucas--Okla., John McHugh--N.Y., Candice Miller--Mich., Tim Murphy--Penn., Steve Pearce--N.M., John Peterson--Penn., Jon Porter--Nev., Ralph Regula--Ohio, Dennis Rehberg--Montana, David Reichert--Wash., Rick Renzi--Ariz., Thomas Reynolds--N.Y., Jim Saxon--N.J., Christopher Shays--Conn., Mike Simpson--Idaho, Chris Smith--N.J., Mark Souder--Indiana, Michael Turner--Ohio, Greg Walden--Ore., Jerry Weller--Illinois, Heather Wilson--N.M., C.W. Bill Young--Fla. 

Nine Republicans did not vote, including San Diegans Brian Bilbray, Duncan Hunter, and Darrell Issa, all of whom were probably dealing with the fires here in town, and Bobby Jindal, who was probably dealing with the election in Louisiana.

UPDATE:  Maxine Waters states in the Congressional Record that her "nay" vote was cast in error.  She intended to vote in favor of the bill.


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Gail Heriot


Whew!! This is a scary piece of legislation. It's a terrible irony that Sen. Akaka fought in WWII against the Japanese vision of ethnic superiority. His colleague from Hawaii, Sen. Inouye (who lost his arm in Italy during WWII and very nearly died) also supports the "Akaka Bill". How we are supposed to reduce racial division by dividing people on a racial basis is a truly mystifying belief system. God help the U.S.A.

Posted by: Trent Kelso | Oct 29, 2007 5:31:14 PM

How do you suppose the Hawaiians get justice for the over throw of the Hawaiian Government. Both the American Indians and the Alaska Natives are granted special consideration due to their federal reconition but the Hawaiian only optained a Presidental Apology. How would you like it if I illegal took your property and 100 year later stated, "I am sorry but never did anything else." I think you should study hawaiian history before you make a comment like this. Our effort are for Hawaiian reconition as the bill states not ethic superiority. We need to protect our Native program and secure some justice for what American did to our people.

Posted by: Ben K | Nov 9, 2007 11:09:16 PM