November 28, 2016

Hirono, Gabbard Announce House Vote on Filipino Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Bill

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02) announced today the House will vote on legislation to award WWII Filipino Veterans the Congressional Gold Medal. The bill unanimously passed the Senate in July, and is scheduled for a vote in the House on Wednesday, November 30. Should the bill pass the House, it will be sent to the President to be signed in to law.

“This week, Congress will take the next step to recognize the brave and courageous service of Filipino World War II veterans like Domingo Los Banos from Kaua?i,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “This Veterans Day, I joined Domingo aboard the USS Missouri to recount how these veterans were instrumental to our victory in the Pacific, but had to fight for decades to receive the benefits they earned. The unanimous support this bill earned in the Senate and the overwhelming backing it has in the House honors the sacrifice so many of these veterans made for our country.”

“This week, the House will take a historic vote to honor our Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal—our highest civilian honor. These loyal and courageous soldiers suffered, fought, and gave up their lives alongside their American counterparts throughout the war, and have waited decades for their service to be recognized. They cannot afford to wait any longer,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “It has been an honor to personally get to know some of these veterans and their families, and to hear them humbly tell their courageous stories of service. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to pass this timely legislation, and to honor our veterans with this long-overdue recognition.”   

Background: Senator Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced the Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act in 2015, and have worked together toward the bill's final passage. The legislation acknowledges the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who responded to President Roosevelt’s call-to-duty and fought under the American flag against the Imperial Forces of Japan during World War II. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S Congress.