U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today praised the Senate for defeating a motion to proceed to full debate on S. 147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. The legislation would have established a new governing entity for individuals of native Hawaiian descent.
“Today the Senate stopped in its tracks legislation that would have, for the first time, created a new, sovereign government within our borders based solely upon race,” said Alexander. “I’m very pleased the Senate sided with the Constitution.”
Due to objections by those opposing the bill, 60 votes were needed to proceed to a full debate. In a vote of 56 to 41, the bill did not receive the 60 votes necessary to proceed.
On May 8, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended against passage of S. 147, saying the legislation “would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.”