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星期四, 7月 14, 2016

CAPAC Applauds Senate Passage of Filipino WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act and Urges House to Follow

CAPAC Applauds Senate Passage of Filipino WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act and Urges House to Follow

Washington, D.C. – Last night, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass S. 1555, a bill authored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono to award Filipino World War II veterans with a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.  In the U.S. House of Representatives, a counterpart to this bill (H.R. 2737) was introduced by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and currently has 172 co-sponsors. House rules require Congressional Gold Medal legislation to have 290 co-sponsors before it can be considered for a vote. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus released the following statements:
                                             
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“I applaud the Senate for passing critical legislation to honor Filipino veterans who fought bravely for our country during World War II. With many of these veterans in their twilight years, it is urgent that we move swiftly to grant these veterans with the long overdue benefits and recognition they earned decades ago through their valiant service. As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I commend Senator Hirono for her leadership, and am committed to working with my colleagues to get this legislation through the House of Representatives before the end of the year.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):
“Yesterday, the Senate provided recognition to Filipino World War II veterans for their brave and courageous service to the United States. These veterans were instrumental to an Allied victory in the Pacific theater, but their fight didn’t end with the war. For decades, they have continued to fight for the benefits they have earned and to be reunited with their families in the United States. I thank my Senate colleagues for joining me in recognizing these veterans’ service and sacrifice with the Congressional Gold Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02):
“More than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-duty and fought under our American flag during World War II. With just 18,000 Filipino WWII Veterans alive today, time is truly of the essence to honor these courageous men with the long overdue recognition they deserveWe’ve made tremendous progress over the past year to gather bipartisan support from lawmakers for this legislation. Yesterday, the Senate cleared an important hurdle.  172 Members from both parties have co-sponsored this bill in the House so far, and we will continue working to pass  H.R.2737 in the House before the end of the year.”

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU), CAPAC Vice Chair:
“Filipino World War II veterans fought bravely alongside U.S. servicemembers and demonstrated strong loyalty and patriotism to our country. Granting them the Congressional Gold Medal would recognize their exceptional sacrifices and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in support of freedom and liberty. I commend Senator Hirono for her leadership in the Senate to pass this bill. I hope that my House colleagues will also recognize the heroism and courage of Filipino World War II veterans and bring this to the President’s desk for enactment.”

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:
“It is with great joy that I congratulate the Senate for making the decision to recognize and acknowledge the sacrifices that the Filipino Veterans made by dedicating their service and protecting our nation during WWII. I am filled with pride to see such measures taken to promote the Asian American community and their contributions to this country. It is now our turn to take similar actions and that is why I am urging the House to pass H.R. 2737. It the responsibility of the House to continue this movement to show our support to these veterans.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Whip:
“I strongly support the Senate's passage of Senator Hirono’s bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino World War II veterans who fought for the United States. America’s victory was due in large part to the diverse communities across the country that answered the call to serve. This bill honors the tremendous sacrifices made by Filipino veterans and I call on my colleagues to follow the Senate’s lead and send this bill to the president’s desk.” 

Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07):
“Too often, our brave men and women in uniform who serve this country are overlooked despite their tremendous sacrifices for our freedom. I’m proud to co-sponsor legislation to ensure that Filipino World War II veterans get the recognition and rightful benefits they deserve for their service.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33):
“Yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved a bill to award Filipino WWII Veterans the Congressional Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors. I congratulate Senator Hirono on this great achievement and urge the House to do the same and pass H.R. 2737, the House companion bill which I am a proud cosponsor of. Our nation’s Filipino veterans played an integral part in World War II and it is time we recognize their brave and courageous service to the United States.”

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06):
“It is so important that we honor the great sacrifice of the Filipino veterans who valiantly served during World War II,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “I’m pleased that my colleagues in the Senate have recognized their countless contributions during a critical moment in our nation’s history, and I’m grateful to Senator Hirono for her leadership in Congress on behalf of this noble cause.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):
“I commend the Senate for approving legislation to award Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal, and congratulate Senator Hirono for all her efforts to get it passed. Brave and dedicated Filipino veterans served and sacrificed with U.S. troops, and deserve the same recognition to which all former service members are entitled. I have fought for and sponsored legislation to ensure that Filipino veterans receive the benefits they earned and rightly deserve, and I applaud this latest effort to award these veterans with one of our nation’s highest civilian honors. I urge the House to promptly pass this legislation as well.”

Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI):
“I congratulate Hawai’i Senator Mazie Hirono for leading the U.S. Senate to recognize the critically important contribution that Filipino soldiers made, fighting alongside America, in World War II. Their valor and sacrifice may now finally receive the honor deserved.”

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03):
“As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the only Member of Congress with Filipino ancestry, I applaud the Senate for passing the Filipino World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act.  More than 200,000 Filipino solders fought alongside Americans in World War II.  Their invaluable service helped provide the necessary support to defeat the Japanese in the Pacific.  As a cosponsor of the Filipino World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, I urge the House of Representative to take up and pass H.R. 2737.”

Congressman Mark Takai (HI-01):
“Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that recognizes the tremendous sacrifice and bravery of our Filipino World War II veterans. These veterans were vital in the war effort and have been fighting for the benefits they earned ever since. While we can never fully repay the debt that we owe to these soldiers, we must pass this identical resolution in the House to award our Filipino World War II veterans the Congressional Gold Medal. While this recognition is a step in the right direction, Congress can do more. As the number of World War II veterans continues to diminish, we can continue to build on recent improvements the visa process and make it easier for the families of these selfless Filipino veterans to be reunited with their loved ones in the United States.”

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47):
“Hundreds of thousands of Filipino soldiers answered the call to arms and fought under the orders of American generals against the Japanese in World War II. Tens of thousands died in battle and in horrific captivity as prisoners of war. Ultimate U.S. victory in the Philippines was assured by the heroics, bravery, and sacrifice of these Filipino soldiers. It is only fitting that we as a nation honor them with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their devotion, dedication, and valor.”

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46):
“I applaud the Senate for voting to justly award the Congressional Gold Medal to our brave Filipino World War II veterans who fought to protect the United States of America. Their dedicated service and selfless sacrifice truly earned this honor, which is the highest civilian award that Congress can bestow. I strongly urge my colleagues in the House to join me in voting to award these World War II veterans with the important recognition they deserve.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):
“Filipino World War II veterans served our country bravely and should receive the full honors they deserve for their heroic acts. It is past time for us to provide our Filipino veterans with the proper recognition for their service and sacrifice. I applaud the Senate’s unanimous passage of the Filipino World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, and urge House Republican leadership to bring this legislation to the House Floor.”

Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-15):
“The Senate has done the right thing – and now the House must as well. Filipino World War II veterans bravely served the United States and were a key part of our victory in the Pacific, and they should not have had to fight so hard for the benefits and recognition they so richly deserve. It’s never too late to properly honor their service and sacrifices, and I’m honored to cosponsor Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s bill to accomplish that.”