Press Releases

August 01, 2018

Hirono Calls for Passage of Bill to Assist Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

WASHINGTON, D.C.- In a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono called for the passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, legislation to ensure that thousands of Navy veterans, known as "Blue Water" veterans, are able to receive the disability compensation and health care they need after exposure to Agent Orange while serving on ships off the Vietnamese coast during the Vietnam War.Under current law, veterans who served in Vietnam on land or in its "Bro… Continue Reading

August 01, 2018

Hirono Secures Restoration of Full Per Diem Rates for Service Members & Department of Defense Civilians on Long-Term Assignments

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Service Seapower Subcommittee, secured a full repeal of the Department of Defense's reduced per diem policy for traveling service members and Department of Defense civilians in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA conference report was passed by the Senate 87-10 today, and now goes to the President for his signature. Senator Hirono's full repeal will cancel a Department of Defe… Continue Reading

August 01, 2018

Hirono Secures Important Hawaii Priorities in National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, successfully secured important Hawaii priorities in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate today on an 87-10 vote. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. "This year's National Defense Authorization Act reinforces the central role Hawaii plays in advancing and supporting our country's interests in the Indo-Pacific region," Senator H… Continue Reading

August 01, 2018

Congress Passes Hirono Measure to Close Domestic Violence Gun Loophole

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono's Military Domestic Violence Reporting Enhancement Act, which would close a dangerous loophole in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that enables convicted abusers to purchase firearms, was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference committee report that was passed by the Senate 87-10 today. The NDAA was passed by the House last month, and now goes to the President for his signature. "Last November's mass shooting in S… Continue Reading

August 01, 2018

Senate Unanimously Confirms Jill Otake to Serve on U.S. District Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced that the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Jill Otake to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. "Throughout her confirmation process, Jill Otake demonstrated her respect for the rule of law and the serious thought she's given to how she would approach her work as a judge. She is exactly the type of nominee this president, or any president, should be nominating for every district court vacancy," Senator Hirono… Continue Reading

July 30, 2018

Hirono, Murkowski Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Urging Approval of Law of the Sea Treaty

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today introduced a resolution calling on the U.S. Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS, ratified by over 160 nations, sets out the rights and responsibilities of countries related to the world's oceans including guidelines for businesses and the management of marine natural resources. Sunday marked 24 years since the U.S. signed UNCLOS on July 29, 1994, but the U.S… Continue Reading

July 27, 2018

Hirono Denounces Grassley Decision to Send Partisan Request for Kavanaugh Records

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, issued the following statement on Chairman Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) partisan, Republican-only document request on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination that will not include records from Judge Kavanaugh's service as President George W. Bush's staff secretary: "Chairman Grassley's decision today is a shameful capitulation to Donald Trump's style of doing business. Republicans on the Ju… Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Marking Anniversary of ACA Repeal Defeat, Hirono Calls Attention to Continued Attacks on Health Care System

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono took to the Senate floor to mark the one year anniversary of the defeat of Senate Republicans' attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Senator Hirono also outlined her continued opposition to actions taken by President Trump and Congressional Republicans to sabotage the American health care system by raising health care costs and reducing access for Hawaii families and residents. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "Two weeks ago, the President ann… Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Hirono Stands Up to Trump’s Attacks on Federal Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono took to the Senate floor to denounce the Trump administration's attacks on the federal workforce and highlight the important role of federal workers in Hawaii. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "Over the past year and a half, Donald Trump and his administration have launched a concerted attack on federal workers and the unions that fight on their behalf. There appear to be no lengths to which Donald Trump and the anti-union, moneyed interests who support… Continue Reading

July 23, 2018

Congress Passes Hirono Bill to Strengthen Economic Ties Between United States and New Zealand

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. House unanimously passed the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors (KIWI) Act (S. 2245), a bipartisan bill authored by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to extend trade and investor visas to New Zealand citizens to increase international business between the United States and New Zealand. The KIWI Act was passed by the Senate last month, and will now be sent to the President for his consideration. "New Zealand visitors supported over 2,… Continue Reading

July 18, 2018

Hirono Introduces Bill to Prioritize Native Plants

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced the Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act. The bill encourages federal land management agencies to hire botanists, conduct research on native plant materials, and incorporate native plants in projects on federal land when feasible. "Native plants play a crucial role in conserving and protecting our land, and are an important part of our culture. They recharge our watersheds and are … Continue Reading

July 12, 2018

Hirono Announces $637,000 in Federal Grants to Provide Job Training for Homeless Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced today that Hawaii's U.S.VETS and Catholic Charities will receive a total of $637,258 in 2018 grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) to provide on-the-job training, occupational skills training, apprenticeship opportunities, job placement, and follow-up assistance after placement. The program funding currently serves more than 300 homeless veterans in Hawaii. "The staff at U.S.VETS - Ba… Continue Reading

July 11, 2018

Hirono, Senate Democrats Demand Judiciary Committee Hearing on Family Separation

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and eight Senate Democrats urged Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to convene an oversight hearing on family separation and the Trump administration's haphazard plan to reunite immigrant children with their parents. The Senators' letter to Chairman Grassley follows a troubling call last week with Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar in which only three Senators were able to ask questions on HHS' rol… Continue Reading

July 10, 2018

Hirono Named to NDAA Conference Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono was named to the Senate-House Conference Committee for the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today. The conference committee will resolve differences between Senate and House versions of the bill. "The Senate-passed NDAA includes a number of critical Hawaii priorities, and I will fight to ensure that they are preserved in conference," Senator Hirono, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee said. "I … Continue Reading

July 10, 2018

Hirono Votes to Confirm Hawaii’s Mark Bennett to Ninth Circuit Court

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted to confirm former Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Bennett's nomination was approved by the Senate 72-27. "Mark is recognized as one of the best qualified lawyers in the State of Hawaii. He has served as a federal prosecutor, as our state's Attorney General, and in private practice," Senator Hirono said. "I have every confidence that Mark will put his skills and experience to good use on the … Continue Reading

July 09, 2018

Hirono Statement on Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, released the following statement on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court: "Today, Donald Trump selected Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court from a list hand-picked by two organizations with a far-right ideology - the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation. "As a federal appellate court Judge, Brett Kavanaugh's record is replete with decisions … Continue Reading

July 05, 2018

Hirono Statement on the Resignation of Scott Pruitt

HONOLULU - Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's resignation: "During his time in office, Scott Pruitt exemplified the toxic mixture of corruption and hostility to government we've come to expect from the Trump administration. I joined 38 other Democratic Senators in calling for his resignation in April, and I certainly welcome his long-overdue resignation today. "Andrew Wheeler is a former fossil fuel industry … Continue Reading

July 05, 2018

Hirono Encourages Continued Commitment to Supporting Mentorship & Entrepreneurship Programs

HONOLULU - Senator Mazie K. Hirono encouraged organizers and program leaders of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership (MCBL) Girls' Summit to continue their work empowering young women to pursue leadership roles. Each year, the Girls' Summit connects over 300 high school students with mentors, and holds workshops exploring a number of career fields, encouraging advocacy, and teaching the importance of personal financial management. "We all have to do more to continue the progress… Continue Reading

July 02, 2018

Hirono Continues Advocacy for Hawaii Island Residents Affected by Ongoing Volcanic Activity

LOWER PUNA - Senator Mazie K. Hirono continued her advocacy for Hawaii Island communities affected by ongoing volcanic activity during a visit to Puna today. Senator Hirono met with affected residents, volunteers, and business owners in visits to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center, World Central Kitchen, Pahoa Community Center, Sacred Heart Church/Hope Services, and a meeting with floriculture growers. "Hawaii Island residents and business owners continue to… Continue Reading

June 30, 2018

Hirono Joins Families Belong Together Rally, Calls for End to Family Separation & Detention

HONOLULU - Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined hundreds of activists at the Hawaii State Capitol today to protest the Trump administration's family separation and detention policies. The Honolulu Families Belong Together rally was one of over 700 held across the country. "Today, people are coming together all across the country to say that we can't be locking up children and separating families," Senator Hirono said. "Donald Trump created this crisis through his own actions, blamed others for what's… Continue Reading

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