S. 1555, Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015

S. 1555

Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015

Sponsor
Sen. Mazie Hirono

Date
November 30, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On­­­­ Wednesday, November 30, 2016, the House will consider S. 1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules. S. 1555 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on June 11, 2015. The Senate passed S. 1555 without amendment by unanimous consent on July 13, 2016, and the bill was subsequently referred to the House Committee on Financial Services, and in addition the House Committee on Administration.

Bill Summary

S. 1555 directs the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to make appropriate arrangements for the award of a single Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino Veterans of World War II in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.

Background

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award that Congress can bestow. U.S. Senator Marie K. Hirono originally introduced this commemorative legislation as a means to pay tribute to the Filipino soldiers who fought either under or alongside American forces during World War II.[1] There were an estimated 250,000 Filipino soldiers and guerrilla fighters that served in this capacity during World War II, and there are approximately 6,000 surviving Filipino veterans today.[2]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “These veterans were instrumental to an Allied victory in the Pacific theater, but their fight didn’t end with the war. For decades, they have continued to fight for the benefits they have earned and to be reunited with their families in the United States. I thank my Senate colleagues for joining me in recognizing these veterans’ service and sacrifice with the Congressional Gold Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors.”[3]

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[1] See Sen. Hirono’s Press Release, July 13, 2016.
[2] See CRS Report: “The Republic of the Philippines and U.S. Interests – 2014” at “Filipino Veterans” Section.
[3] See Sen. Hirono’s Press Release, July 13, 2016.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate for this bill is currently unavailable.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Wilson with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1811.