Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) today voted in favor of House Concurrent Resolution 622, which recognizes and honors the service of Filipino World War II veterans for their defense of democratic ideals and their contributions to the Allied victory in the Pacific.  Smith is a co-sponsor of the resolution.  The measure passed in the House of Representatives tonight by a vote of 402 - 0.

“More than 120,000 Filipinos fought to defend the United States in the Pacific during World War II, and they deserve the recognition given them by the House of Representatives tonight,” Smith said.  “They also deserve full access to veterans’ health care and other benefits, and I am fighting to make sure they get their due.”

Smith is a cosponsor of H.R. 4574, the Filipino Vets Equity Act.  The bill would extend Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to the 13,000 remaining veterans residing in the Philippines.  U.S.-resident Filipino veterans are already covered by VA benefits.

H.R. 4574 was referred to House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health on January 3, 2006.  Smith and the bill’s other cosponsors are fighting to bring it to a vote in the full House of Representatives before the 109th Congress adjourns at the end of this year.