January 28, 2014

Hawaii congressional delegation supports Obama's economic proposals

Hawaii's congressional delegation today stood firmly behind President Barack Obama's call in his State of the Union address to try to reduce the income gap between the rich and the poor.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said: "Tonight, we heard a real commitment from President Obama to reversing income inequality. Helping those who are stretched thin is even more important in Hawaii, where so many of our families struggle with the high cost of living. People who work hard and play by the rules should be able to get ahead."

Schatz said Congress must raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who has said she will run against Schatz for Senate, said: "We can no longer ignore the simple fact that while the economy is recovering, only a small segment of our citizens have seen gains from that growth. We have to do more to ensure that our middle class and those in need also benefit from our successful efforts to get our nation back on track. I think that should start, right now, with extending long term unemployment benefits and raising the minimum wage."

Noting that Obama may be forced to use his executive powers to achieve some of his goals, Hanabusa said she supports the president in trying to reform the tax code, improve access to education and create jobs.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono said: "I applaud President Obama for laying out a clear, concrete strategy to grow our economy so that everyone has a chance at the American Dream. Proposals to raise the minimum wage, increase workforce development and job training, expand early childhood education and make college more affordable are ways that we can close the opportunity gap and help strengthen the middle class and those striving to get into the middle class."

Read the entire piece at: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20140128_Hawaii_congressional_delegation_supports_Obamas_economic_proposals.html

Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser