- 2012elections - 9/11 Special Coverage - aca - africanamericanalzheimers - aids - Alabama News Network - american - Awards & Expo - bees - bilingual - border - californiaeducation - Caribbean - cir - citizenship - climatechange - collgeinmiami - community - democrats - ecotourism - Elders - Election 2012 - elections2012 - escuelas - Ethnic Media in the News - Ethnicities - Events - Eye on Egypt - Fellowships - food - Foreclosures - Growing Up Poor in the Bay Area - Health Care Reform - healthyhungerfreekids - howtodie - humiliating - immigrants - Inside the Shadow Economy - kimjongun - Latin America - Law & Justice - Living - Media - memphismediaroundtable - Multimedia - NAM en Espaol - Politics & Governance - Religion - Richmond Pulse - Science & Technology - Sports - The Movement to Expand Health Care Access - Video - Voter Suppression - War & Conflict - 攔截盤查政策 - Top Stories - Immigration - Health - Economy - Education - Environment - Ethnic Media Headlines - International Affairs - NAM en Español - Occupy Protests - Youth Culture - Collaborative Reporting

$198M For Filipino WW II Veterans In U.S. Stimulus Package

Inquirer.net, News Report, Philippine Daily Inquirer Posted: Feb 07, 2009

HONOLULU --- The Senate version of the economic stimulus bill being debated in Congress includes $198M in payments to Filipinos who fought for the United States during World War II.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye had arranged for the long-awaited compensation to be included in the proposed measure that is expected to cost up to $1 trillion.

About 200,000 Filipinos served alongside US soldiers to defend the Philippines from the 1941 Japanese invasion and resist the subsequent Japanese occupation.

The Philippines was a US colony at the time, and the US military assured Filipinos they could apply for US citizenship and qualify for full US veterans benefits if they served.

After the war, however, the US Congress passed the Rescission Act of 1946, stripping Filipino veterans of their status as US veterans. This denied Filipinos the benefits they were promised.

The veterans have campaigned for decades to win these benefits back. Theyve had some victories, including when Congress passed a bill allowing thousands to immigrate and become US citizens. Burial rights in national cemeteries came a decade later.

Solemn Promise Revoked

According to Inouye, about 18,000 veterans are still alive in the Philippines and the United States. Many live in Hawaii and California.

The stimulus bill would award a one-time payment of $15,000 to veterans who are now American citizens and $9,000 to non-citizens.

Inouye, who fought with the US Army in Italy during World War II, said the measure would close a dark chapter in the history of this country.

This nation made a solemn promise, and with hardly a hearing, we revoked it, Inouye said in a statement. This episode is a blight upon the character of the United States, and it must be cleansed.

During the campaign, President Barack Obama voiced support for awarding benefits to the veterans.

Democratic leaders hope for Senate passage of the legislation by Friday, Feb. 6th at the latest, although prospects appear to hinge on crafting a series of spending reductions that would make the bill more palatable to centrists in both parties.

Three swing-vote senators met with Obama at the White House on Wednesday to discuss possible cutbacks, but they declined to discuss details of their talks. Obama has made the legislation a cornerstone of his recovery plan.

For their part, Senate Republicans signaled they would persist in their efforts to reduce spending in the measure, add tax cuts and reduce the cost of mortgages for millions of homeowners.

Historically huge to begin with, the economic stimulus bill is growing larger by the day in the Senate, where the addition of a new tax break for home buyers has sent the price tag well past $900 billion.

It is time to fix housing first, Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson said on Wednesday night as the Senate agreed without controversy to add the new tax break to the stimulus measure at an estimated cost of nearly $19 billion.

The tax break was the most notable attempt to date to add help for the crippled housing industry and gave Republicans a victory as they work to remake the legislation more to their liking.

$920-B price tag

Official figures were unavailable, but it appeared that the measure carried a price tag of more than $920 billion, making it bigger than the financial industry bailout that passed last year and as large as any measure in memory.

Despite bipartisan concerns about the cost, Republicans failed in a series of attempts on Wednesday to cut back the bills size.

The most sweeping proposal, advanced by Sen. Jim DeMint, would have eliminated all the spending and replaced it with a series of tax cuts. The proposal was defeated 61-36.

Democrats also upheld a so-called Buy American provision that would require projects financed by the measure to be built with domestically produced iron and steel.

$1,000 Tax Cut

But with Obama voicing concern about the provision, the requirement was changed to specify that US international trade agreements are not to be violated.

Additionally, Democrats turned back an attempt to strip out a provision that Obama had said was essential. It would provide a tax cut of up to $1,000 for working couples, including those who do not make enough to pay income taxes.

Isakson said the new tax break for home buyers was intended to help revive the housing industry, which has virtually collapsed in the wake of a credit crisis that exploded last fall.

The proposal would allow a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 tax break but only for first-time home buyers.

Isaksons office said the proposal would cost the government an estimated $19 billion.

The provision was the second tax cut approved in as many days targeted to individual industries. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to give a break to consumers who buy new cars.

The House approved its own version of the bill last week.

Photo by Eric Lachica/ACFV

Related Articles:

Filipino Veterans Left Out in the Cold

Filipino Veterans Sound Battle Cry at Magazine Awards

Family Reunions On Hold Due to Immigration Backlog

Page 1 of 1




Just Posted

NAM Coverage

Civil Liberties

Why There Are Words

Aug 10, 2011