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Public Statements

Unanimous Consent Request -- S. 1315

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST--S. 1315 -- (Senate - September 18, 2008)

Mr. AKAKA. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the Veterans' Affairs Committee be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 674 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration; that all after the enacting clause be stricken, the text of S. 1315, the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act, as passed by the Senate on April 24, 2008, be inserted in lieu thereof, the bill, as amended, be read the third time and passed; that a title amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, the Senate insist on its amendments, request a conference with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses, and the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?

Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, reserving the right to object--and I will object because of my concern of the way the given legislation is being handled--this is an issue on which the chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee and I have had some difference. At the same time, I clearly recognize the phenomenal commitment of the chairman to veterans and, in this case, to Filipino veterans who served us so gallantly during World War II.

It is my understanding there is a conflict in the House at this minute relating to the passage of legislation the Senate has moved. This is an effort to avert that conflict and bring the bill to a conference committee in a different form by using a House-passed bill. It is a tactic I hoped we would not use to address this important issue. The Senate can and should revisit this issue at another time. I hope we will.

It is with that intent that I object to this unanimous consent request.

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