2006-05-26 Akaka Fact Check
Back to Correcting Akaka
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
Friday May 26, 2006, although debate has not begun on S.147, Senator Akaka failed yet again to give such a speech. He had plenty of opportunity to do so.
First thing in the morning the Senate confirmed the nomination of General Hayden to be the new director of the CIA, and also confirmed the nomination of a federal circuit court judge which had previously been filibustered for three years. But following those votes, individual Senators were then able to take the floor for speeches on whatever topics they chose.
For example, Senator Robert Byrd (D, WV) spoke for 51 minutes during the early part of today's session, on topics completely unrelated to pending legislation. He spent about 2 minutes memorializing former Senator Lloyd Bentsen, who died yesterday, followed by 16 minutes speaking about Memorial Day and its origins. He then spent an additional 31 minutes speaking about his recently deceased wife Irma. He commemorated their marriage of 68 years, 9 months, and 24 days, whose 69th anniversary would have been May 29. Senator Byrd later returned for 2 more minutes of memorializing his wife Irma, receiving unanimous consent to enter into the record at the end of his previous remarks the lines of a poem he said was the favorite of himself and his wife: "If I Should Ever Leave You."
Senator Byrd consumed 51 minutes. There's no reason Senator Akaka could not also have consumed 51 minutes to "educate" fellow Senators and the American people about the Akaka bill. But Senator Akaka was nowhere to be seen or heard from.