On the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill, the senator said even after 12 years fighting to get it passed, he still believes it's the right thing for the future generations of Native Hawaiians.
"Although I will not be the bill’s sponsor in the 113th Congress, it will forever bear my highest aspirations and heartfelt commitment to the native Hawaiian people, the state of Hawaii and the United States of America," said Akaka.
Akaka said he looks forward to speaking with students and mentoring up and coming leaders, as well as spending time with his 15 great grandchildren.
In his speech, he thanked his fellow senators, his wife Millie and his staff. He also thanked the people of Hawaii for allowing him the opportunity to serve for so many years.
"In Hawaii, when we part, we don’t like to say goodbye. Instead we say 'a hui hou,' which means 'until we meet again,'" said Akaka, before yielding the floor.