2006-05-22 Akaka Fact Check

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No speech given today

On Monday May 8, Senator Lamar Alexander gave a speech urging his colleagues to oppose the Akaka bill, citing the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report as a good reason for opposing it.

On Monday, May 8 Senator Akaka responded to Senator Alexander's speech.

Senator Akaka promised to give a speech every day the Senate is in session to explain why his bill should be passed.

I will be coming to the floor to talk about my bill every day until we begin debate on the bill. I will use every day to talk about what my bill does and does not do, and to respond to the outright mistruths that have been spread about the legislation. I will use every day to help share Hawai'i's history with my colleagues as the opponents to this legislation have taken it upon themselves to rewrite the tragedies of Hawaii's history in a manner that suits them for the purposes of opposing this legislation. - Senator Akaka, May 8, 2006

But today, May 22, 2006, although debate has not begun on S.147, Senator Akaka failed yet again to give such a speech.

Monday May 22 offered plenty of opportunity for Senator Akaka to give a speech on the Akaka bill.

Most speeches were about the comprehensive immigration bill that has occupied the Senate for more than a week. A vote was taken on an amendment to station National Guard troops along the border with Mexico.

There were also many quorum calls, when no Senators were speaking.

During one of those quorum calls Senator Mitch McConnell (R, KY) spent ten minutes (2:25-2:35 PM Washington time) giving a speech to honor the memory of a soldier who died in Iraq. Senator McConnell returned and spoke (3:50-4:00 PM) about the recent explosion at a mine in Kentucky that killed several miners (McConnell is proposing a bill dealing with mine safety and rescue). Senator Sessions also spoke on mining issues. The Senate then resumed speeches on amendments to the immigration bill. At the end of the day Senators Arlen Specter (R, PA) and Jeff Sessions (R, AL) both gave eulogies for a judge who recently died; and Senator Sessions spoke further on the immigration bill.

Thus it is clear that any Senator who wished to speak on any topic was able to do so, either during the numerous quorum calls or at the end of the day. Senator Akaka never spoke, although he did cast a vote on an amendment to the immigration bill.

Perhaps Senator Akaka is out of ideas, or has finally been mollified by the promise of a cloture vote after the Memorial Day recess.

If Senator Akaka speaks on the issue again, we will provide more fact checking of what he says.