WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, reacts to the Senate's 94 to 0 vote today to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1315, the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007:
"Today the Senate took an important step to help veterans young and old, overcoming a procedural roadblock that has been stalling this bill," said Akaka. "Our veterans deserve to see this benefits bill debated and passed. I am pleased to see my colleagues are united in overcoming this obstruction for the sake of our veterans, and I look forward to Senate action on this bill. Our veterans should not be made to wait any longer for these benefits."
The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007 is a comprehensive veterans' benefits bill approved by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs last June. It is an expansive, budget neutral bill that would provide much deserved benefits to veterans, their families, and their survivors. Cloture was filled on this bill because certain Senators have repeatedly blocked Chairman Akaka's effort to bring the bill up for debate.
The final vote on cloture was 94 in favor and 0 opposed. Senate rules require 60 votes in favor to invoke cloture, which allows the Senate to vote on legislation being blocked from consideration. Following cloture, the Senate can debate the bill for up to 30 hours, after which it must be voted upon.
Chairman Akaka's statement in support of cloture can be viewed by clicking here.