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Senate Proceeding on Apr 21st, 2008 :: 0:28:56 to 0:37:50
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Harry Reid

0:28:43 to 0:28:56( Edit History Discussion )

Harry Reid: and now i think we're to a point where it's healthy for the united states senate in total to debate the merits and the priorities of our country. mr. president, were filipino veterans promised a v.a.

Richard Burr

0:28:56 to 0:29:09( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: benefit? well, according to all the information i've researched and the information provided in 1998 at a congressional hearing with the department of the army -- when the department of the army

Richard Burr

0:28:56 to 0:37:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Richard Burr

Richard Burr

0:29:09 to 0:29:28( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: examined its hdings of the douglas macarthur and president roosevelt papers found no reference by either of those wartime leaders to post-war veterans for filipino he veterans. let me be very specific.

Richard Burr

0:29:28 to 0:29:41( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: what this bill, 1315, does is two things. one, it enhances some benefits for our veterans. i think that that receives unanimous support in the united states senate. but, two, it diverts $221 $221

Richard Burr

0:29:41 to 0:29:55( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: million over the next ten years to create a special pension for a very specific slight of filipino vet rafnltz these live in the philippines, those that had no service-connected injury, those that

Richard Burr

0:29:55 to 0:30:08( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: have gone post the war with the wanting that the united states stepped in by gifting two hospitals, by gifting medical equipment, by gifting everything and rebuilding the philippines. and at a time of war

Richard Burr

0:30:08 to 0:30:26( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: where we're fighting on two fronts, afghanistan, iraq. i believe the important thing and the prove thing is to take the $221 million over ten years and devote it to our men and women who are coming

Richard Burr

0:30:26 to 0:30:44( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: out of combat. this 1315 is the wrong priorities. so i've put together a substitute proposal, 2640, and i will offer that as an amendment at the appropriate point in the bate. in that bill, we do one specific

Richard Burr

0:30:44 to 0:30:57( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: thing. we increase what's in 1315 minus the special pensions and we propose increasing the housingng grants for profoundly disabled veterans who need their homes modified to accommodate their disability.~

Richard Burr

0:30:57 to 0:31:13( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: we increase the auto grants for profoundly disabled veterans who need the platform -- that freedom of the platform, for mobility, to live independently. it improves the education benefits for our

Richard Burr

0:31:13 to 0:31:27( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: guard and reserve. it increases the burial benefits to lessen the financial burden be on families of deceased veterans. i come over today to debate the merits of 150. i see the chairman akaka is here.

Richard Burr

0:31:27 to 0:31:38( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: the chairman has known since last year i had problems with that portion of the bill. we have tried to work out the differences. as i said earlier, for it to be communicated that we've reached

Richard Burr

0:31:38 to 0:31:51( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: this point because of stall and delay and because we're against -- to is flatly wrong. i'm for 99% of the bill. drop the part that prioritizes somebody else in front of our veterans and i'm ready

Richard Burr

0:31:51 to 0:32:07( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: to go forward. i'm ready to pass it by unanimous consent. but, by the same token, i believe when, given the responsibility to make sure our veterans are taken care of, to make sure that those with

Richard Burr

0:32:07 to 0:32:20( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: severely -- with severe disabilities are taken care of, f, to devote $221 million to a new special pension is the wrong priority at this point in time. we should look at the history and find out if we

Richard Burr

0:32:20 to 0:32:34( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: should make a commitment. i can't find where we promise somebody something that we haven't fulfilled. tomorrow, i will take the opportunity to go through a very indepth bit of research -- not just done by

Richard Burr

0:32:34 to 0:32:48( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: me but done over the years, that goes back to 1946, in great detail, looks at the promises made by the united states. but, moret, importantly, the generosity all displayed by this country to the philippines.

Richard Burr

0:32:48 to 0:33:10( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: to reward them for their participation and -- by the way, our help to liberate their country from the siege of an enemy. i'm convinced that the right thing to do is to prioritize that $221 million for

Richard Burr

0:33:10 to 0:33:23( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: our troops, for our kids from afghanistan, ,, for our kids from iraq who have paid sacrifices and sometimes the ultimate sacrifices. i'm committed to come to the floor to debate. i will not block the

Richard Burr

0:33:23 to 0:33:38( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: commitment to proceed. by the same toablgen i will not limit the amount of time members want to spend on this because i think it's too important. our veteranseserve as much time as it takes for us

Richard Burr

0:33:38 to 0:33:50( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: to debate where our priorities on money are. if at the end of the day we vote to send it in a special pension to filipinos in the filipinos, i will live with that but i will not live with it by

Richard Burr

0:33:50 to 0:34:04( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: agreeing to less than the amount of time that's needed to debate an issue about the future of our kids. our service personnel. the men and women that put on a uniform and risk their life every day.

Richard Burr

0:34:04 to 0:34:19( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: they should sit at the top of the list and 1315 puts at the top of the list a new special pension program for people that have infer had a service-connected -- never had a service-connected injury.

Richard Burr

0:34:19 to 0:34:29( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: i'm as sympathetic to those that fall into the category of having helped us. mr. president, i might mention, again, the filipinos that live in the united states, we take care of integrating them

Richard Burr

0:34:29 to 0:34:44( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: fully into the veterans administration. they receive every service our veterans do. to those filipinos that live in the philippines that have service-connected injuries we have made sure that compensation

Richard Burr

0:34:44 to 0:34:57( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: is in the bill to take care of them. but for those that don't have service-connected injuries, i can't see where they fit at the top of the list, $221 million, and our kids go below it. as it relates

Richard Burr

0:34:57 to 0:35:13( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: to what they need for the severely disabled injuries that they have been faced with. mr. president, i've got a number of soldiers from north carolina -- at least they are stationed in north carolina

Richard Burr

0:35:13 to 0:35:26( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: -- that fuel into this category. when i see the family spending $47,000 on a van and $14,000 comes out of pocket, where are our priorities, the priorities of the united states congress in defense

Richard Burr

0:35:26 to 0:35:40( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: of these kids? well, they're in $221 million getting ready to go to the philippines. that's where they are. and that's the debated over the next several days well v if it takes a week or a month

Richard Burr

0:35:40 to 0:35:53( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: we will have that debate. at some point we will take a vote. i believe the american people will see the advantage, but the need, to make sure that the number one priority is our kids this uniform, our

Richard Burr

0:35:53 to 0:36:05( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: veterans who come back that will be serviced by this very important piece of legislation. i'm committed to chairman akaka that once we can dispose of the issue of this special pension, i'm more than

Richard Burr

0:36:05 to 0:36:19( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: willing to vote for the rest of the bill because to is a good bill. it brings some needed benefits to our veterans. it never should have been locked up for the lengths of period that to was -- the

Richard Burr

0:36:19 to 0:36:34( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: length of period that to was. mr. president, makee no mistake, no matter how good a bill is, if you want to structure it in a way that debate does not flourish in the united states senate, we have

Richard Burr

0:36:34 to 0:36:50( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: done an injustice to the american people. the most deliberative body in the world is supposed to be one that you are not coralleed into debating a certain amount of time but where everyone's voice

Richard Burr

0:36:50 to 0:37:03( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: is heard, where every bit of information about an issue can be presented. it's where charts can display what words can't explain. that's what the next several days will be about with s. 1315. i am convinced

Richard Burr

0:37:03 to 0:37:24( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: that the end of this process, that not only will members in this body be enlightened by what we're able to talk about but the american people will be enlightening and, hopefully, through that, this body

Richard Burr

0:37:24 to 0:37:50( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Burr: will vote in, hopefully, the majority way that the number one priority is our men and women in uniform when they come home. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. akaka:

Daniel Akaka

0:37:50 to 0:38:14( Edit History Discussion )

Daniel Akaka: mr. president, i'm here to urge my colleagues to support consideration of s. 1315 as reportd reported by the committee on veterans affair. the act is a comprehensive bill that would improve benefits and

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