Abercrombie To Leave Congress On Feb 28 To Focus On Gubernatorial Bid

U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie will leave his post in Washington on February 28th to focus on his run for Hawaii governor.  The 71-year-old lawmaker is resigning after serving 19 years in Congress.  He said the departure date will enable state elections officials to plan for a timely and cost-effective special election for his First Congressional District seat.

U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie issued the following statement regarding his resignation from the U.S. House:

“Three weeks ago, I announced my intention to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives in order to devote all my efforts to the 2010 campaign for governor of the State of Hawaii—a decision that followed a tremendous amount of thought and careful consideration. It was a decision inspired by the thousands of people who are frustrated by a collapse of leadership in our community but are encouraged by the opportunity in this New Year for a change in direction for our people and our state.

“Since announcing my intentions, I have consulted closely with the people I have worked with during my 19 years in Congress, including members of the Hawaii congressional delegation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the chairmen of two of my committees, the House Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. These discussions have helped me to ensure that I will be able to fulfill the remaining duties requiring my presence in the House. This work, most notably, involves providing my continuing support for legislation on health care and the Akaka Bill. I’ve discussed with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton the transition of my chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces. I’ve also discussed the Akaka Bill with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall who will continue working for all of us to move the measure to the House floor where it has received approval before

“As a result of these discussions, I can now set the effective date of my resignation for February 28, 2010, which will enable state elections officials to plan for a timely and cost-effective special election for the First Congressional District to select a successor who will carry on the work of the people.

“The past few weeks have reminded me that my 19 years in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Representative from Hawaii have allowed me to build strong, lasting, and life-long relationships with many colleagues on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill and throughout the federal government. Most of all, I have been privileged to be a part of an effective Hawaii congressional delegation which has accomplished so much to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii and nation. I take all of these experiences and friendships with me into the future, as part of a proven partnership involving the state government, Congress, and now the White House, to change the direction and leadership of our state.”

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HAWAII DELEGATION REINTRODUCES VERSION OF ‘AKAKA BILL’ APPROVED IN 2007

The Hawaii Congressional Delegation today reintroduced a version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act which passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee, and the full House of Representatives in 2007.

akakbill_final_330Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye introduced the bill in the Senate, and Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono in the House.

The delegation issued the following joint statement explaining today’s action:

“We have been working together to enact the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act which is critical for the future of our state.  After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with the version of the bill which was approved by the relevant Congressional committees and the full House in 2007.”

This version of the bill contains a prohibition on gaming by the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.  All forms of gambling are already illegal under Hawaii State law.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

Related Stories & Previous Posts:

Gambling Issues in Akaka Bill Clarified

Akaka Bill Reintroduced in Congress