2006-05-24 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 24, 2006, although debate has not begun on S.147, Senator Akaka failed yet again to give such a speech.

Wednesday, May 24 was very busy. The Senate has been debating the comprehensive immigration reform bill for about two weeks, with many amendments being considered. A cloture petition was filed and passed, so time is limited until a final vote must be taken.

Nevertheless, there was time during numerous quorum calls when nobody was speaking, and Senator Akaka could have stepped up. For example, during one quorum call Senator Johnny Isakson (R,GA) spoke for about ten minutes about mine disasters and safety in mining.

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 votes on amendments 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.