The Akaka Bill -- Hawaiian Recognition Bill S.344 and H.R.4282 (was formerly H.R.665; now also misleadingly called Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill) -- Content of the Bill in 108th Congress

If someone asks the simple question: "What does the Akaka bill say?" the simplest answer is: click below here:

That's the latest version, introduced in the House of Representatives on May 5, 2004, whose content is also likely to be substituted into S.344 in the Senate.

The Native Hawaiian Recognition bill was introduced in the 108th Congress simultaneously in both the Senate and the House, on February 11, 2003. In the Senate the bill was S.344; and in the House the bill, with identical language, was H.R.665. Since then the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on February 25, 2003 and later approved substantial changes in a “markup” meeting on May 14, 2003. Thereafter a lengthy report was written to accompany the bill. The new version of the bill, and the report, were then sent to the floor of the Senate on June 27, 2003. However, nothing further happened until April 7, 2004 when a substantially revised version was substituted into the Senate bill. Then, on May 5, 2004, a brand new bill with significant additional changes was introduced into the House, with bill number H.R.4282. The contents of this new bill will be substituted in to replace the contents of the Senate bill, retaining S.344 as its bill number.


And here is the lengthy Senate report # 108-085 that accompanied the first version of S.344 in early 2003:

However, that Senate report was written for the original S.344 bill that had its committee markup on May 14, 2003. Thus the Senate Report 108-085 is partially obsolete to the extent that there have been significant deletions and additions to the language of the bill on several occasions since then, including entire sections deleted and added. The language of the May 14, 2004 bill for which the Senate Report was produced, can be seen at:

For scholars and political pundits who want to see what changes were made from the original bill as introduced on February 11, 2003 to the bill emerging from the Senate committee markup of May 14, 2003, here is a color-coded comparison:

Also, for scholars and pundits, here is a comparison between the May 14, 2003 bill and the substitute version of April 7, 2004 -- the language of the two versions has been merged, clearly showing the deletions and additions.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs produced a side-by-side comparison of the April 7, 2004 language with the May 5 version as tentatively introduced in the Senate, before a technical change was made to one provision setting the date for the expiration of a 20-year period to handle claims against the United States. The OHA comparison can be downloaded from the OHA website through this URL:

Also for scholars and pundits: technically, the bill S.344 as marked up on May 14, 2003 and reported on June 27, 2003 was an amendment of the original bill. The amendment consists of striking out the entire text of the February 11 bill and then printing the text of the new version underneath all the strikeouts. This very strange looking 50-page pdf document has everything from page 1 through line 12 on page 22 struck out, followed by the “real bill” (of May 14, 2003) for the remaining 28 pages. It can be downloaded by clicking here:

At the end of this paragraph is the bill originally introduced in the House as H.R.665. It is the original Senate version of S.344 from January 2003, which remained the only version introduced in the House until May 5, 2004; but it was never given a committee hearing in the House and it is now considered dead.


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