indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Democrats pass Native Hawaiian bill on second try
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Filed Under: Law | Politics

Democrats in the House secured passage of a Native Hawaiian housing bill on Wednesday, defeating a Republican effort to block the measure as unconstitutional.

The 272 to 150 tally broke down along party lines. All 227 Democrats present voted in favor of H.R.835, the Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act, a bill to reauthorize Native Hawaiian housing programs.

In contrast, all the no votes came from Republicans. Only 50 GOP lawmakers joined Democrats in supporting the measure, which was sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii).

"Please don't punish people that are trying to own their own homes, to keep their own homes, because of some ideological difference that we might have," Abercrombie said yesterday afternoon.

Abercrombie decried the partisan response to the bill, noting that another Native Hawaiian housing bill was supported by Republicans in the 109th Congress. Even Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama) signed on as a sponsor of that measure but he came out in opposition to H.R.835.

Bachus argued that the bill violates the U.S. Constitution by singling out Native Hawaiians for benefits based solely on their race. "So this disturbs many of my colleagues on my side of the aisle," he said on Tuesday night.

Bachus and other Republicans were able to raise enough doubts about the bill that it failed to pass when it came up for consideration last week. On March 21, Abercrombie brought the bill up under "suspension" of the rules.

The move required Abercrombie to secure two-thirds of the House vote to pass the bill. The 262 to 162 tally wasn't enough to clear the rules.

In that roll call, only 34 Republicans backed H.R.835. But yesterday, Abercrombie and Democrats picked up 16 Republican votes and were able pass the measure by a simple majority.

"This is not a bill about Native Hawaiian sovereignty," said Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Arizona) yesterday afternoon. "It does not confer any special rights to the Native Hawaiians, nor does the bill suggest that Native Hawaiians should be given a status equal to that of Native Americans."

The bill has not been considered in the Senate, where it faces hurdles from Republicans who successfully blocked a Native Hawaiian sovereignty bill last year by raising the same constitutional issues. Their efforts have been supported by the Department of Justice, whose political appointees have argued against "race-based" legislation.

Native Hawaiians are a target because they are not considered to be in the same legal category as American Indians and Alaska Natives. But the GOP campaign also threatens tribes in the 48 states and Alaska, with debate over reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act highlighting attempts to restrict services to urban Indians and certain Alaska Natives.

"Under the Supreme Court's decisions, there is a substantial likelihood that legislation providing special benefits to individuals of Indian or Alaska Native descent based on something other than membership or equivalent affiliation with a federally recognized tribe would be regarded by the courts as a racial classification," Frederick Breckner III, a deputy assistant general at DOJ, told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee at a March 8 hearing.

The committee will consider S.710, the Senate version of the bill. It was introduced by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), a member of the committee.

Get the Bill:
H.R.835: Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act of 2007 | House Report 110-050

Roll Calls:
On Passage (March 28, 2007) | On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass (March 21, 2007)

Related Stories:
DOJ's Indian white paper a political whodunit (3/14)
Urban Indians under attack over health care (3/12)
Fireworks at Indian health care hearing (3/9)
Opinion: The misrecognition of 'Native' Hawaiians (2/28)
Opinion: Attack on Hawaiians directed at tribes (2/16)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian a quirk in federal law? (2/14)
9th Circuit rejects Native Hawaiian funding case (2/12)
Divided court upholds Native school admissions policy (12/06)
Editorial: Another shot for Native Hawaiians (11/14)
Column: Native Hawaiian advocates weigh Plan B (07/11)
9th Circuit to hear Native Hawaiian school case (06/20)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian debate far from over (6/16)
Republicans traded votes for Native Hawaiian bill (6/14)
Some hope for Native Hawaiians in court case (6/13)
John Fund: Defeat for Sen. Akaka on Hawaiians (6/12)
Native Hawaiian debate ends in Senate (6/8)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian recognition 'racist' (6/7)
Opinion: Native Hawaiians have it better than Indians (6/6)
Commentary: GOP death wish on Native Hawaiians (6/6)
Bob Novak: GOPs lobby for Hawaiian Indians (6/5)
John Fund: A Native race-based government (6/5)
WSJ: Native Hawaiian recognition an ugly act (6/2)
Editorial: Unconstitutional Native Hawaiian bill (6/1)
Opinion: GOP traitors on Hawaiian recognition (5/31)
Sen. McCain voted against Hawaiian apology (5/29)
Editorial: Oppose Native Hawaiian recognition (5/24)
Hawaii governor lobbies for Native recognition (5/18)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill heads for debate (5/17)
Appeals court to rehear Native Hawaiian school case (02/23)
Miers cited Native Hawaiian work before withdrawing (10/28)
Bush questions legality of Native Hawaiian bill (09/28)
Opinion: 'Racist' Hawaiian recognition bill (9/22)
Roberts mentions Indian law work on final day (9/19)
Hawaii governor lobbies Senate on Hawaiian recognition (9/8)
Native Hawaiian work an issue for Roberts (9/7)
Linda Chavez: GOP panders on Native Hawaiian bill (9/1)
Native Hawaiian bill set for debate in Senate (8/29)
Opinion: GOP policy rejects Native Hawaiians (08/26)
Amendments in the works for Native Hawaiian bill (8/25)
Slade Gorton: Don't recognize Native Hawaiians (08/19)
Letter: Native Hawaiians are indigenous too (08/08)
Editorial: Native Hawaiians never had a government (8/4)
Appeals court blocks Native Hawaiian school policy (08/03)
Editorial: Native Hawaiian bill is un-American (07/21)
Debate on Native Hawaiian bill delayed in Senate (7/20)
Bush names John G. Roberts to U.S. Supreme Court (07/20)
House, Senate hearings on housing, land dispute (7/18)
Native Hawaiian bill set for vote on Senate floor (7/18)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian bill sets bad precedent (7/18)
Commentary: Bill creates 'race-based' government (07/07)
Novak: Native Hawaiian bill creates new 'Indians' (7/5)
Column: Bill creates 'tribe' of Native Hawaiians (6/23)
High court won't take on Native Hawaiian recognition (06/14)
Panel approves Native Hawaiian, NAGPRA changes (03/10)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill gets another shot (02/22)
Native Hawaiian recognition bill introduced again (01/27)
McCain won't block Hawaiian recognition bill (01/14)
McCain opposes Native Hawaiian recognition bill (1/6)
Appeals court leaves Hawaiian recognition to Congress (11/02)
Bush investigating Native Hawaiian scholarships (03/17)
Hawaii senators consider deal on recognition bill (2/25)
Norton continues to question Native Hawaiian bill (2/23)
Native Hawaiian programs survive big court test (01/16)
Norton worried about 'pitfalls' for Native Hawaiians (01/13)
Alaska-Hawaii ties stir controversy among Natives (12/01)
Judge strikes down one Native Hawaiian lawsuit (11/21)
Lawsuits challenging Native Hawaiians benefits resume (11/12)
Legal threats galvanize Native Hawaiian community (09/15)
Native Hawaiians in limbo as courts open up programs (09/04)
Native Hawaiian recognition stalled in Congress (09/01)
Judge to rule in Native Hawaiian school case (08/20)
Native Hawaiians fight for federal recognition (07/21)
Student denied entry into Hawaiian school sues (06/30)
DOJ objected to Native Hawaiian legislation (06/06)
Native Hawaiians denied party status in suit (04/01)
Native Hawaiian office established in D.C. (02/27)
Opinion: Oppose Native Hawaiian bill (2/21)
Court affirms Native Hawaiian ruling (01/06)
Native Hawaiians press sovereignty (10/14)
U.S. dismissed from Native Hawaiian case (09/04)
Inouye: Native Hawaiian bill won't pass (8/8)
Native Hawaiian bill supported (7/16)
Native Hawaiians intervene in lawsuit (7/12)
Judge won't halt Hawaiian funding (3/14)
Native Hawaiian trust challenged (3/6)
Native Hawaiian bill on Senate agenda (7/20)
Federal judge blocks Army training (7/19)
Native Hawaiian lawsuit dismissed (7/13)
Shift in Senate means changes for Indian Country (5/25)
Senate confirms Olson as Solicitor General (5/25)
Native Hawaiian lands threatened (5/24)
A first for Native Hawaiians (4/5)
Indian Law and the Supreme Court (12/11)
OHA survives elections (11/14)
Final Hawaiian report released (10/24)
Native Hawaiian bill passes House (9/27)
Hawaiian affairs still controversial (9/13)
US recommends Hawaiian sovereignty (8/24)
Non-Natives win battle in suit (8/17)
Where are the Dems on tribes? (8/16)
March raises sovereignty awareness (8/14)
The GOP 2000 Platform on Native Americans (8/1)
Group challenges Hawaii (7/7)
Hawaiians march for sovereignty (7/5)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Author brings Lakota heritage to stewardship (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Cobell scholarship fund being put to use (4/27)
Steve Russell: Same-sex marriage back before Supreme Court (4/27)
Terese Mailhot: The epidemic of early death on the reservation (4/27)
Peter d'Errico: Pope fails to address genocide of Native peoples (4/27)
Small Alturas Rancheria runs casino but can't get agree on much (4/27)
White House to host first-ever Native youth conference on July 9 (4/24)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe fires casino manager (4/24)
Lakota Country Times: Timothy Standing Soldier passes on at 54 (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Invest in our Native youth for long-term success (4/24)
James Giago Davies: True believerism and comic book solutions (4/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must act on legal marijuana (4/24)
Ed Rice: Cleveland team comes up with excuse for racist mascot (4/24)
White House Blog: Recognizing tribal Climate Action Champions (4/24)
House subcommittee looks at poor conditions at Indian schools (4/24)
Navajo actress was put in darker makeup for Adam Sandler film (4/24)
Eastern Cherokee group plans lawsuit over tribal council raises (4/24)
Column: Commission takes on truth and reconciliation in Maine (4/24)
Senate votes to confirm Loretta Lynch as next attorney general (4/24)
ICT interview with confirmed NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri (4/24)
Dave Palermo: Tribes in California assert right to Internet poker (4/24)
Pokagon Band casino remains a concern for Indiana lawmakers (4/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo places casino manager on administrative leave (4/24)
White Earth Nation promotes tribal members in casino positions (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux student vies for Miss Indian World (4/23)
Lakota Country Times: Tribal citizens named to education board (4/23)
Ivan Star: Struggling with the warrior heritage in Indian Country (4/23)
Dana Lone Elk: Lakota people still carry on fight of Crazy Horse (4/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes bill to renew NAHASDA (4/23)
BIA faces fire over latest reforms to federal recognition process (4/23)
Opinion: First Lady brings truth with remarks about Native youth (4/23)
Incoming leader of Navajo Nation stresses importance of youth (4/23)
Native actors storm off set of Adam Sandler film in New Mexico (4/23)
Marijuana seen as new frontier in tribal economic development (4/23)
Senate approves anti-trafficking measure with tribal provisions (4/23)
Interview with Gyasi Ross about spoken word release Isskootsik (4/23)
Blackfeet Nation launches campaign to ban drilling at sacred site (4/23)
Cherokee Nation celebrates births of first calves from bison herd (4/23)
Burns Paiute Tribe investigates fire that destroyed two bulidings (4/23)
Kaibab Paiute Tribe welcomes designation as 1st dark sky nation (4/23)
University of Minnesota sees surge in Native student enrollment (4/23)
Editorial: Minnesota tribes work together to address treaty rights (4/23)
Editorial: Maine governor fails to treat sovereign tribes as equals (4/23)
Brazil to host inaugural World Indigenous Games this September (4/23)
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation probes woman's death at casino (4/23)
Tohono O'odham Nation vows defense for off-reservation casino (4/23)
Seminole Tribe talks with lawmakers about Class III casino deal (4/23)
Editorial: State needs assurances from Quapaw Tribe on gaming (4/23)
Native Sun News: Tribes take DOI to task over grizzly bear policy (4/22)
Native Sun News: Lakota rodeo legend Howard Hunter passes on (4/22)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation language programs are working (4/22)
White House Blog: Improving the lives of Native American youth (4/22)
Bob Gough: Indigenous people most affected by climate change (4/22)
Duane Champagne: Indigenous accommodation for colonialism (4/22)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee on transportation (4/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.