January 07, 2013

SENATOR MAZIE K. HIRONO STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NOMINATION OF REPUBLICAN SENATOR CHUCK HAGEL TO SERVE AS SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Hirono: I Look Forward to Getting To Know Senator Hagel And Discussing His Views On How Anticipated Defense Cuts And President Obama's Asia Pivot Will Affect Hawaii

Washington, D.C. - Just days after securing a seat on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee that will conduct the confirmation hearings for Secretary of Defense, Senator Mazie K. Hirono today released the following statement regarding President Obama's nomination of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to serve as Secretary of Defense:

"President Obama is to be commended for nominating a Republican Senator to serve in one of the top positions in his Cabinet. Senator Hagel is a decorated combat veteran and has a long history of standing up for the men and women who serve our country. He served bravely in the Vietnam War and was awarded two Purple Hearts. Senator Hagel would be the first enlisted soldier and first Vietnam veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense.

"During his service in the U.S. Senate, Senator Hagel displayed courageous and invaluable judgment in becoming an early critic of the Iraq War. The senator was instrumental in passing the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a measure that has allowed thousands of Hawaii residents to attend college and enroll in job training. He is a widely respected voice on national security issues.

"In the coming months and years, our country could face a series of potentially devastating cuts to defense and military spending, which is of particular importance to Hawaii. Hawaii is home to U.S. Pacific Command and over 100,000 service members, their families and Department of Defense civilian employees. The military is the state's second largest industry and supports over 134,000 Hawaii jobs in the public and private sectors. I look forward to getting to know Senator Hagel and discussing his views on how these cuts and President Obama's Asia pivot policy will affect Hawaii.”

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