October 17, 2013

Isle delegation vexed by close call

After voting to reopen the government and avoid default Wednesday, Hawaii's congressional delegation said they were exasperated about how close the nation came to being unable to meet financial obligations and underscored the importance of moving forward.

"When you look at how long it took for us to have this vote tonight … I think it gives you a good sense of how much work lies ahead of us to bring people together," U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said in a phone interview after the House vote Wednesday. "People are tired of the political games and want to see real results."

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said the agreement reached was a relief because it "puts an end to what I consider just absolute nonsense."

"To think that we came to the brink really because of a handful of individuals in the Republican caucus just made no sense," Hanabusa said in a phone interview.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said he had similar frustrations.

"One of the most important lessons here is that no political party ought to threaten to bring the economy to its knees for the purpose of making a partisan political point," he said by phone. "Real families across the state have suffered as a result of this shutdown and these reckless games, and now that it's over we've got to get back to work and focus on supporting growing the middle class."

In a news release Schatz's office sent, the senator noted that congressional action to end the shutdown and avoid default "are not legislative achievements."

"This is the bare minimum to keep the country running," he said. "This has been a waste of time that has hurt the American people and threatened our country's reputation. Let's get back to work."

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a news release that "dysfunction is not the proper way to govern."

She added, "Now Congress must make up for lost time and tackle key issues including immigration reform, energy and food sustainability, the farm bill and long-term budget solutions."

Read the entire piece here: http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/20131017_Isle_delegation_vexed_by_close_call.html?id=228138321

By:  Sarah Zoellick
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser