Contact Senators to
Support Passage of H.R. 1595, the Guam World War II Loyalty
Everyone concerned with the passage of
this bill needs to send a message to the U.S. Congress.
Please contact your State Senators if you reside in the
U.S. Or contact as many Senators on the right as possible
urging passage of H.R. 1595
The article from the Pacific Daily News on the left offers a great summary of the status of the bill at the present time. You can also read my Blog on this website for more information.
To contact Senators copy the message in the center, then select the link to the Senators' page on the right, fill in the required info in the eMail form and paste the message you copied. NOTE: You may want to add your personal story, or that of a family member's ordeal during the occupation to the message. Or write a message of your own.
S.C. senator objects to fast-track procedure
By Steve Limtiaco • Pacific Sunday News • April 20, 2008
The U.S. Senate on Thursday attempted to pass the Guam war claims bill -- the last step before action by President Bush -- but the effort failed after a Republican senator from South Carolina objected.
If the bill introduced by Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo becomes law, it would require the federal government to spend as much as $126 million to compensate Guam residents for the atrocities they suffered at the hands of the Japanese military during the occupation of Guam during World War II. An additional $5 million would be spent on programs to memorialize the occupation.
Guam is seeking compensation from the United States instead of Japan because the U.S. forgave Japan's war debt decades ago.
The Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, which already was approved by the House of Representatives, has been with the Senate Judiciary Committee for nearly a year.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., on Thursday tried to fast-track Senate passage of the bill -- making a motion for "unanimous consent," which would have bypassed the normal committee approval and floor-voting process.
The bill would have been approved provided there were no objections, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., stated an objection.
The reason for DeMint's objection wasn't stated in the Congressional Record, but his action defeated Boxer's motion.
Boxer minutes earlier had asked the Senate for unanimous consent on a bill to compensate relatives of U.S. citizens killed during terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, but DeMint objected to that motion, as well.
Bordallo yesterday said efforts to pass the war claims bill in the Senate are ongoing.
"I continue to work closely with Chairman Leahy and Majority Leader Harry Reid on ways to secure timely Senate consideration and passage of H.R. 1595," Bordallo said.
"Together, we are working hard to pass this bill with bipartisan support and to ensure all senators have all the information they need and that they understand why this bill is important to the people of Guam and to our national security," she said in a written statement.
"I am grateful for the bipartisan support for H.R. 1595. Our friends in the Senate are very much engaged in helping us with this bill. Chairman Leahy has assured me that he continues to work very hard to pass H.R. 1595."
According to the Senate Web site, "unanimous consent requests with only immediate effects are routinely granted, but ones affecting the floor schedule, the conditions of considering a bill or other business, or the rights of other senators are normally not offered, or a floor leader will object to it, until all senators concerned have had an opportunity to inform the leaders that they find it acceptable."
CLICK to see PDN Article
COPY THIS MESSAGE
Please support H.R. 1595, the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act.
The Guam war claims are an issue of unequal treatment of the residents of Guam in the war reparations process of the U.S. Government after World War II. During the enemy occupation, the people of Guam endured atrocities, including forced labor, beatings, rape, executions, and internment.
Congress passed the Guam Meritorious Claims Act of 1945 (GMCA) to provide "immediate relief" to the people of Guam, but the implementation of this legislation fell significantly short of its intended goal. Residents were given one year to make claims for property damages sustained during the Imperial Japanese occupation and liberation by U.S. Armed Forces. Those who endured forced labor, forced marches, and internment could not make claims based on their experiences. Death and injury claims were allowed only as a basis for property claims.
Public Law 107-333 established the Guam War Claims Review Commission to determine whether the citizens of Guam received parity with respect to war claims as compared to the war claims programs authorized by Congress for similarly situated citizens and nationals. After extensive research and review of information and testimony, the Review Commission determined there was a lack of parity in the treatment of the people of Guam in the war claims process. They also affirmed a moral obligation on the part of the federal government to pay compensation for war damages to ensure that no individual or group of individuals bears no more than a just part of the overall burden of war.
H.R. 1595, the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, implements the recommendations of the federal Review Commission.
H.R. 1595 passed the House of Representatives last May by over a two-thirds margin.
Please ensure the Senate passes the Act as well. Thank you for your support, and for your willingness to help the process by informing fellow Senators of your support for this bill and what its passage will mean to the people of Guam.
Special thanks to
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Member of Congress and her staff.
Official Web Site
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo