June 13, 2017

Hirono Fights Efforts to Eliminate Federal Native Hawaiian Housing Programs

Senator Hirono: We Cannot Allow “Divide and Conquer” Tactics

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono spoke before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee opposing S.1275, which would completely eliminate federal Native Hawaiian housing programs, while preserving federal housing programs for other Native communities. Native Hawaiian community advocates attended the hearing, but were not invited by the Indian Affairs Committee to testify.

Senator Hirono joined Senator Brian Schatz, a member of the Indian Affairs Committee, in calling for the bill to include the renewal of Native Hawaiian housing programs.

From Senator Hirono’s remarks:

“By omitting Native Hawaiian housing programs, the BUIILD Act strikes a blow not only to the 37,000 Native Hawaiians who would benefit from their inclusion, but also over 500,000 Native Hawaiians in our country.

“But this is about much more than just stripping out Native Hawaiian housing programs from a bill. At a time when we see ‘us against them’ perspectives rising in our country, we cannot allow ‘divide and conquer’ tactics to undermine collaborative efforts to bring people together.

“I understand that suggestions have been made to native tribes that supporting Native Hawaiian programs may jeopardize funding for their own programs. I strongly oppose those suggestions and believe that dividing native communities is, frankly, unconscionable.”

Senator Hirono also submitted written testimony on behalf of the Hawaii Congressional Delegation in opposition to S.1275.

6.13.17  Senate Indian Affairs Committee opposing S.1275

Click on the photo above to watch Senator Hirono’s full statement 

Click here to download broadcast quality video 

###