Akaka Bill Sails Through Committee, But Tough Sledding Ahead09/13/2012
WASHINGTON — Thursday was a good day for Sen. Daniel Akaka and the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act that he hopes will be his legacy.
But you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Akaka's Indian Affairs Committee advanced a trimmed down version of his namesake bill with little discussion Thursday afternoon. But objections from two of the panel's Republicans bode poorly for the chances of passing it before Akaka's time in Congress is over. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye was blunt in his assessment of the bill's prospects.
"Well, the odds are bad, but we're going to try our best," Inouye told Civil Beat before the bill was amended, as expected, during the hearing. "It should make it easier to pass. We'll see."
The next step for the bill would be a hearing on the floor of the Senate, but it's never gotten that far. Akaka said he can now begin reaching out to colleagues to ask for their support, and said he believes the streamlined version approved Thursday will be easier to sell than bulkier predecessors.