Press Releases

February 01, 2018

Hirono Continues Advocacy to Protect Sea Grant College Program

Ahead of the Trump administration's Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) urged the President to fund the National Sea Grant College Program at no less than current levels. In a letter to President Trump, the Senators highlighted the important role Sea Grant Programs play in boosting local economies and preserving coastal communities. "Sea Grant is vital to local businesses and an important part of preserving coastal communities for gen… Continue Reading

January 31, 2018

Hirono, Duckworth Lead Effort to Recognize Fred Korematsu Day, Denounce Hate & Discrimination Against Minority Communities

Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) led a resolution recognizing Fred Korematsu for his opposition to the illegal incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and work to advance civil rights. The resolution recognizes January 30 as "Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution" and denounces any effort to discriminate against communities based on national origin or religion. "Fred Korematsu stood up for the rights of nearly 120,000 Japanese… Continue Reading

January 31, 2018

Hirono to Trump: Nominate a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea as Soon as Possible

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after Victor Cha confirmed that he is no longer being considered to serve as the ambassador to South Korea: "One year into his presidency, Donald Trump has yet to nominate an ambassador to South Korea -- one of our closest allies in a volatile region of the world. "That the White House is no longer considering Victor Cha's nomination over his legitimate concerns about preemptive military … Continue Reading

January 31, 2018

Hirono Statement on State of the Union Address

Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on the President's State of the Union address: "President Trump spent the last year pursuing policies that pit one group against another and attacking people who don't agree with him. In his performance tonight, the President tried to show something different and failed. Nothing the President has done in the past year has demonstrated he's serious about bringing our country together to get things done."… Continue Reading

January 30, 2018

Hirono, Senate Democrats Introduce ANTIQUITIES Act to Protect National Monuments from Trump Administration’s Attempts to Roll Back Protections

Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) today introduced legislation to enhance protections for national monuments against the Trump administration's unprecedented attacks on public lands. The America's Natural Treasures of Immeasurable Quality Unite, Inspire, and Together Improve the Economies of States (ANTIQUITIES) Act of 2018 reinforces Congress' intent in the Antiquities Act of 1906: only Congress has the authority to modify a national monument designation. "When the President an… Continue Reading

January 25, 2018

Hirono Announces $300,000 in Federal Funding to Fight Housing Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced today that the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii will receive $300,000 from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)'s Fair Housing Initiatives Program to assist victims of housing discrimination. "In a state with such a high cost of living, Hawaii families already struggle to find and afford a place to live. They shouldn't have to contend with the added burden of housing discrimination," Senator Hirono said. "This federal f… Continue Reading

January 23, 2018

Hirono: Protecting Children, Families, DREAMers Are Battles Worth Fighting

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) released the following statement on the continuing resolution: "There are battles worth fighting. "Protecting DREAMers, reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program, funding Community Health Centers, and providing parity between funding for defense and domestic priorities - without pitting one against the other - were battles worth fighting. "I'm confident that we can reach bipartisan agreement on these issues and it was completely unnecessary for t… Continue Reading

January 21, 2018

Senator Hirono to Donate Pay to Hawaii Community Health Centers During Government Shutdown

Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that she will donate pay she receives during the government shutdown to Hawaii's 14 Federally Qualified Community Health Centers. "Community Health Centers serve hundreds of thousands of Hawaii residents, including keiki who rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program," said Senator Hirono. "Despite broad bipartisan support for both of these programs, the President and Congressional Republicans allowed them to lapse last September. I know we can negotiate a… Continue Reading

January 20, 2018

Senator Hirono Statement on Government Shutdown

Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on the government shutdown: “Tonight, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump turned things upside down. They’ve spent the past year working behind closed doors to take away health care from millions of people and pass huge tax cuts for the richest people and corporations in our country without input from Democrats or the public. At the same time, they’ve ignored reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, funding Co… Continue Reading

January 18, 2018

Hirono Opposes Reauthorization of Warrantless Surveillance Authority

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Hirono today voted against S. 139, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Reauthorization. The bill passed the Senate on a 65-34 vote, sending the legislation to the President. "Congress authorizes covert intelligence programs under FISA for a limited duration so that these programs can be reviewed, debated, and reformed to balance our national security needs with the constitutional rights of the American people," Senator Hirono said. "The bill… Continue Reading

January 17, 2018

In Conversation with Secretary of Defense, Hirono Emphasizes Importance of Resolving North Korea Tensions through Diplomatic Means

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a call with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) emphasized the importance of strong diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions with North Korea. "Earlier today, I called Secretary of Defense Mattis to emphasize the urgency of resolving the situation with North Korea peacefully," Senator Hirono said. "Hawaii families immediately assumed that the alert meant an attack from North Korea. This speaks to the broad concern about the threat North … Continue Reading

January 17, 2018

Hirono: I Am Calling for a Thorough, Transparent Investigation into False Emergency Threat Alert

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) took to the Senate floor today to provide an update on Saturday's false emergency threat alert, and outlined steps she will take to get to the bottom of what occurred to make sure the mistake never happens again. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "This incident has undermined the public's faith in our state government's ability to provide timely and accurate information about a potential crisis. At a time when we face heightened tensions… Continue Reading

January 16, 2018

Hirono Secures Commitment from DHS Secretary to Investigate False Emergency Threat Alert, Provide Clear Instructions on Disaster Alerts & Readiness

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following Saturday's false emergency threat alert, Senator Mazie K. Hirono secured a commitment from Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to improve communication between the federal government and states on emergency alerts, including verification of the information contained in alerts. In response to Senator Hirono's inquiry, Secretary Nielsen clarified that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has contacted the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EM… Continue Reading

January 12, 2018

Hirono Announces $770,000 to Protect and Enhance Hawaii’s Watersheds

Senator Hirono announced that the State of Hawaii will receive $770,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect and improve Hawaii’s watersheds. “Today’s investment recognizes Hawaii’s ongoing commitment to the protection and restoration of our forested watersheds, and will help enhance the health of our state’s unique ecosystems,” said Senator Hirono.The Hawaii Watershed Initiative supports projects that move forward the state’s goal of protecting 30%, or 253,000 acres, of Ha… Continue Reading

January 05, 2018

Bipartisan VETS Act Passes Senate

The bipartisan Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act, introduced by Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) unanimously passed the Senate. This legislation seeks to improve veterans' access to health care services by expanding telehealth services - including mental health treatment - provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "The VETS Act will help Hawaii veterans access high quality VA care and health services when they need it, where they need it," said S… Continue Reading

January 03, 2018

Leeward Oahu VA Clinic Project Clears Key Hurdle Following Hirono Advocacy

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works' approval of a resolution to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to move forward with the solicitation of a lease for the future Leeward Oahu VA Outpatient Clinic. "I thank my colleagues on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for their approval of a resolution that brings us closer to making the Leeward Oahu VA project a reality," said Senator Hirono. "Hawaii veter… Continue Reading

December 22, 2017

Hirono: Canada Preclearance Agreement Approval Will Benefit Hawaii, U.S. Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded Canada's approval of legislation to implement a 2015 agreement with the United States to expand U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance locations at airports in Canada. "Canada's approval of the 2015 preclearance agreement strengthens our close bilateral ties and advances opportunities to support Hawaii's second largest international visitor market," said Senator Hirono. "The preclearance expansion will create Hawaii jobs, while… Continue Reading

December 21, 2017

Statement from Senator Mazie K. Hirono on the Continuing Resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono issued the following statement after opposing the continuing resolution: "I voted against the continuing resolution because it did not include programs that would actually help people such as the DREAM Act, a real reauthorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program and Community Health Centers, or parity between defense and non-defense funding in a long-term budget deal." ###… Continue Reading

December 20, 2017

Hirono & Schatz Announce Nomination of Jill Otake to U.S. District Court

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz announced the nomination of well-respected, career prosecutor Jill Otake to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Ms. Otake was among those recommended by Senators Hirono and Schatz, and a merit-based Federal Judicial Selection Commission in 2015. "Ms. Otake is a well-qualified nominee to serve on the U.S. District Court," said Senator Hirono. "As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I made clear to the Whit… Continue Reading

December 20, 2017

Hirono: Republican Tax Bill Is a Scam, Will Not Help Middle Class

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement following her vote against the Republican tax bill: "The Republican tax bill is a scam. After months of empty promises to the middle class, the President has been caught in another big fat lie. This bill will not help the middle class. It is nothing more than a fulfillment of the Republican Party's mission to eventually gut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to pay for trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the riches… Continue Reading

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