[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 84 (Thursday, May 26, 2016)]
[Senate]
[Page S3381]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  RECOGNIZING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MAY 2016 AS ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN 
                             HERITAGE MONTH

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the immediate consideration of S. Res 481, submitted earlier 
today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 481) recognizing the significance of 
     May 2016 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and as an 
     important time to celebrate the significant contributions of 
     Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the 
     United States.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolution.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I rise today to join in the recognition 
and celebration of the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage 
Month. This month, we celebrate the many contributions Asian American 
and Pacific Islanders, AAPI, have made to the United States and their 
cultures, traditions, and history. In 1978, Congress passed a joint 
congressional resolution to commemorate Asian/Pacific American Heritage 
Week during the first week of May in 1979, and in 1992, Congress passed 
legislation that annually designated May as Asian Pacific American 
Heritage Month.
  Congress chose May because two important anniversaries occurred 
during this month. On May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrants 
arrived in America. May 10 is the anniversary of the transcontinental 
railroad's completion in 1869. Many of the workers who laid the tracks 
for this railroad were Chinese immigrants. These two dates only begin 
to describe the innumerable contributions that Asian Americans and 
Pacific Islanders have made to this country. The AAPI community of over 
18 million draws from a variety of distinct cultures, each of which has 
enriched American society and challenged our Nation to aspire to be 
better. This community comprises 45 distinct ethnicities and more than 
100 different languages. Through hard work and a steadfast commitment 
to American ideals, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific 
Islanders have strengthened this country as leaders, laborers, 
activists, artists, and trailblazers.
  I remember our beloved former colleague, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, 
who lost an arm defending America during World War II as part of the 
``Go for Broke'' 442nd Regiment, which was composed almost entirely of 
American soldiers of Japanese ancestry and became the most decorated 
unit for its size and length of service in the history of American 
warfare. In Maryland, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made 
significant contributions and serve our Nation with distinction. The 
Honorable Theodore D. Chuang of Bethesda, for example, is a U.S. 
District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland 
and is the first Asian American judge in history to sit on the Federal 
bench in Maryland or the Fourth Circuit, which includes Maryland and 
four other States.
  As the former chairman and current ranking member of the Senate 
Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, I have 
been closely engaged on issues affecting the Asia-Pacific American 
community and their families abroad. I will continue to work on behalf 
of this community, especially on issues such as human rights, security, 
and peace. I have, therefore, cosponsored two resolutions related to 
Asian Pacific Heritage Month. One resolution--the one the Senate is 
currently considering--recognizes the accomplishments of Asian American 
and Pacific Islanders and May 2016 as Asian Pacific American Heritage 
Month. The other resolution notes the historical significance of 
Japanese internment and its end. I support this resolution, too, 
because as we honor Asian Americans, we must remember and acknowledge 
that dark stain on our history as we redouble our efforts to ensure 
that the United States of America remains a beacon of tolerance and 
inclusion. Discrimination based on the actual or perceived race, 
ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, or sexual orientation of 
people is anathema to the values we cherish as Americans.
  Once again, I would like to thank Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, 
and Pacific Islander Americans in Maryland and all around the country 
for their tremendous contributions to and sacrifices for our Nation.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed 
to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be 
considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or 
debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolution (S. Res. 481) was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  (The resolution, with its preamble, is printed in today's Record 
under ``Submitted Resolutions.'')

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