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The House of Representatives Approves the Filipino Veterans Equity Act Print
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Tuesday, 23 September 2008 03:39

E rnie M. Gange sent in this latest update about the Filipino Veterans’ Equity Act (FVEA). We are reproducing the e-mail that Apo Ernie received from David Klein, the chief of staff of Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (Republican, Pennsylvania 8th District). Apo Ernie has been following up the FilVets’ bill with the Republican members of the House of Representatives. He is a cofounder of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) and former NaFFAA State chair for Pennsylvania. He is also a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation.

NEWS FLASH: According to R. Sonny Sampayan, a New York-based retired U.S. Air Force officer, the House of Representatives voted earlier today the Filipino Veterans’ Equity Act. The vote was 392 For and 23 Against the bill.

Mr. Sampayan says, “The next few days will be critical and we have to trust our 96 friends and supporters in the U.S. Senate and our 392 friends and supporters in the House of Representatives.  I am confident that committee chairmen, Senator Akaka and Congressman Filner, and the conference-committee members will do the right thing. 

 

“I am reminded by President Truman's words when he wrote to Congress, ‘I consider it a moral obligation of the United States to look after the welfare of the Filipino Army veterans’."

 

Mr. Sampayan is the grandnephew of Carlos Sampayan Bulosan.

 

* * * * *

Here are the e-mails to and from Apo Ernie Gange:

From: Klein, David 
To:  ernesto1gange@aol.com
Sent: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 11:08 am
Subject: RE: Awaiting for your support, House Version of S. 1315, Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act the U.S. Senate voted 96 to 1 on 24 April 08

Mr. Gange – I wanted to touch base with you to give you an update on what has happened in the past 24 hours. S. 1315 passed the House of Representatives last night, but the provision regarding Filipino veterans was removed as part of a compromise between the two parties.

House Republicans insisted that the language in S. 1315 would amount to some veterans receiving a “double-payment” and they also did not like the way that the bill was paid for. Instead, the House will vote today on a new bill H.R. 6897, the Filipino Veterans Equity Act.

This bill is different from the provisions in S. 1315. Whereas S. 1315 provided an annual pension benefits to Filipino veterans – with differences between US citizens and non-US citizens (among other things) -- H.R. 6897 will provide a one-time lump sum payment to Filipino veterans of $15,000 for U.S. citizens and $9,000 for non-U.S. citizens.

I know that this has been a lengthy and frustrating process. The Congressman is disappointed that a compromise was forced and the original S. 1315 language had to be removed. However, at the end of the day, he believes that we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good and H.R. 6897 is a good start on repaying the debt we owe to Filipino veterans.

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

(Signed) David Klein

* * * * *

F rom: ernesto1gange@aol.com
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 3:34 AM
To: Klein, David
Subject: Awaiting for your support, House Version of S. 1315, Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act the U.S. Senate voted 96 to 1 on 24 April 08

29 August 08

The Hon. Congressman Patrick Murphy
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C

RE: S. 1315, The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007
Attn: Mr. David Klein

Dear Pat,

I am proud to watch you deliver your speech, surrounded by our comrades-in-arms in prime time on Wednesday night. Your speech was very well delivered. You have earned the right to talk about the issues of our veterans because, you are one of them. You have credibility, and the audience loved you.

Ben Grossberg has informed me that he is attending the college of law, and David Klein will handle the U.S. Veterans issues.

Pat, if you will recall, I have discussed this particular issue with you at the Bensalem Free Library a few months ago.

It was Ben who suggested to me that S. 1315, is a good Bill, and, he told me that he will talk to you to support this Bill, instead of H.R. 870. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed S. 1315, on a 96-1 vote.

The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act, which includes restoring recognition and just compensation for the sacrifices of Filipino veterans, who fought for America in World War II. There are only 18, 000 out of the 250,00 Filipino Veterans of WWII who are alive today, and, ten of them die every day.

I urge you to support the House version of S. 1315, because it is the right thing to do.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

(Signed) Ernesto M. Gange # # #



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 September 2008 10:58
 
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