Press Releases

May 04, 2016

Hirono Marks National Small Business Week With Visits To Family Run Businesses

HONOLULU- Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today toured Hawaii Candy, Inc., Island Princess, and Menehune Mac, Hawaii businesses set to participate in the upcoming Hawaii on the Hill, Hawaii's state showcase in our nation's capital. This week is National Small Business Week, an opportunity to highlight the successes within the business community. "During National Small Business week, we celebrate Hawaii's small businesses, which e… Continue Reading

May 02, 2016

Hirono, Ige, Public Health, and Emergency Response Experts Raise Awareness, Call for Funding To Fight Zika

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Governor David Ige, Hawaii Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler, State Administrator of Emergency Management Vern Miyagi, Healthcare Association of Hawaii emergency responders, and Dr. Elliot Parks, CEO of Hawaii Biotech today called for increased public awareness and additional federal resources to prepare for and fight the Zika virus in Hawaii and across the country. Senator Hirono and Governor Ige also got a firsthand look at Hawaii Biotech's work to develop a Zik… Continue Reading

April 28, 2016

Hirono: We Must Act Now To Prevent Widespread U.S. Zika Outbreak

Senators Mazie K. Hirono took to the Senate floor today to raise awareness of the Zika virus and call for expediently funding President Obama's funding request to fight Zika. To date in Hawaii, there are seven confirmed cases of Zika and one case of an infant born with microcephaly, a serious birth defect directly linked to Zika. Senator Hirono is an original cosponsor of legislation that would fund the President's request. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "Hawaii knows firsthand the impact of … Continue Reading

April 26, 2016

Hirono Fights To Confirm Hawaii’s Clare Connors To Federal Bench

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono today took to the Senate floor to call for unanimous consent to confirm Hawaii's Clare Connors and other judicial nominees from courts across the country who have been waiting months, and in some cases over a year, for a floor vote. In yet another showing of Senate Republicans' refusal to do their job and hold confirmation votes on qualified judicial nominees, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked Senator Hirono's request. Senator Hirono also called on … Continue Reading

April 22, 2016

Hirono Introduces Legislation To Fund Fight Against Zika

Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced legislation to fully fund President Obama's $1.9 billion funding request to fight the Zika virus. The measure is also co-sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "In Hawaii, the threat of the Zika virus remains a major public health concern, especially as we approach the summer… Continue Reading

April 20, 2016

Energy Bill Includes Hirono Amendments To Expand Energy Workforce Programs, Strike Derogatory Language In Federal Law

Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted today in support of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, wide-ranging legislation that prioritizes innovation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy investments. If enacted, the Energy Policy Modernization Act would be the most comprehensive update to federal energy law since 2007, and includes several amendments authored by Senator Hirono. S. 2012 overwhelmingly passed the Senate 85-12. "Since Congress last passed a comprehensive energy bill in 2007, we… Continue Reading

April 19, 2016

Hirono Measure To Give Disabled Veterans Additional Paid Leave Passed By Senate

Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted today in support of H.R. 636, a bill to renew and reform the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. aviation law through September 30, 2017. The FAA Reauthorization Act, which passed the Senate 95-3, includes a bipartisan measure authored by Senator Hirono and Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), which puts veterans hired by the FAA and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on par with other veterans working for the federal government in receiving sick leave f… Continue Reading

April 12, 2016

On Equal Pay Day, Hirono Leads Measure To End Gender Barriers In STEM Careers

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today marked Equal Pay Day by introducing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Opportunities Act, legislation that would improve inclusion of women, minorities, and people with disabilities in STEM careers. Equal Pay Day marks the day in 2016 when, on average, women's wages catch up to what men earned in 2015. "It's unacceptable that we are more than 100 days into 2016, but women's salaries are only now catching up with what men made last year," said Sen… Continue Reading

April 06, 2016

Agreement Reached To Include Taiwan In Global Entry Program

Senator Mazie K. Hirono hailed an agreement reached this week between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Taiwan to facilitate its membership in U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Global Entry Program, which will allow for expedited customs clearance for Taiwanese citizens visiting the United States and vice versa. In the absence of formal diplomatic relations, … Continue Reading

April 02, 2016

Hirono, Hawaii Advocates Warn Kupuna Of Tax Fraud

With the federal tax filing deadline less than three weeks away, advocates joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono today to urge Hawaii seniors to be aware of tax-related scams, such as con artists pretending to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents by phone. Senator Hirono, along with representatives from the IRS, AARP Foundation Tax Aide program, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service shared this important message at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. … Continue Reading

March 24, 2016

Maui Sugar Workers To Receive Federal Job Training, Placement & Income Assistance

Senator Mazie K. Hirono hailed U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez's decision to approve the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 142's request for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative TAA for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company workers displaced by the cessation of sugar production. "As nearly 700 HC&S employees complete Hawaii's final sugar harvest and consider their next steps, they now have access to federal funding for employment placement … Continue Reading

March 23, 2016

Hirono Introduces Fix To Maintain Medicare Access To Vital Medical Equipment

Senators Mazie K. Hirono, Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act, legislation that would provide durable medical equipment (DME) providers and patients in certain parts of the country with relief from harmful payment policies. DME providers help connect patients with medically necessary equipment like wheelchairs, hospital beds, and oxygen. This bipartisan legislation would extend the current payment phase-in period of six mon… Continue Reading

March 18, 2016

Hirono, Takai Unveil Proposal To Increase Coral Reef Conservation

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Representative Mark Takai (D-HI) introduced the Coral Reef Sustainability Through Innovation Act, legislation that would jumpstart research related to coral reef conservation. "In the past two years, Hawaii's coral reefs have experienced two serious coral bleaching events, and with rising ocean temperatures, we can expect these events to become more commonplace," said Senator Hirono. "There is much to be learned about mitigation and the long term effects of co… Continue Reading

March 18, 2016

Hirono Urges Labor Secretary To Quickly Review And Approve ILWU Petition For Maui Sugar Worker Assistance

Senator Mazie K. Hirono urged U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Tom Perez to expedite review and approval of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 142's request for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative TAA for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company workers displaced by the cessation of sugar production. "Maui's last sugar harvest is already underway, and obtaining the assistance that affected Maui families deserve in a timely manner will require coord… Continue Reading

March 17, 2016

Hirono, Maloney Mark Women’s History Month By Increasing Opportunity For Women & Minorities In STEM

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today introduced the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act, legislation that would provide support to increase the number of women and minorities entering science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. "Approximately half of the U.S. population and workforce is made up of women, but women make up just over a quarter of the STEM workforce," said Senator Hirono. "As we honor female pioneers during Women's Histo… Continue Reading

March 17, 2016

Hirono: Mandatory Labeling For Genetically Modified Foods Necessary To Protect Consumer Choice

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today voted against legislation that would override state laws that require labeling of genetically modified food products. The legislation would establish a voluntary national labeling standard and would only create a mandatory disclosure program if, three years after enactment of the law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds insignificant adoption of the voluntary standard by industry. The measure failed to advance in the Senate 48-49. "As a longtime advocate for c… Continue Reading

March 15, 2016

Hirono and Fischer Release Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Disabled Veterans Additional Paid Leave

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced legislation Tuesday to ensure veterans with a disability rating of 30 percent or higher who are hired by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can access additional paid sick leave during their first year on the job for the purposes of receiving medical care related to their service-connected condition. This additional paid leave has been available to newly hired eligible veterans at other federal agencies since en… Continue Reading

March 08, 2016

Hirono Urges Supreme Court To Uphold President’s Immigration Actions

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that she and 224 other Members of Congress today will file an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the United States v. Texas case, in which Texas and 25 other states sued to block implementation of the President's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. The Administration's DAPA and DACA programs are on hold until the case is resolved by the Supreme Court, leaving wor… Continue Reading

March 08, 2016

Hirono Presses Forest Service To Do More To Combat Rapid Ohia Death

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono questioned U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Thomas Tidwell on progress to combat Rapid Ohia Death at today's Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. Senator Hirono also called for robust funding for the USFS as Congress reviews the President's Fiscal Year 2017 budget request. Rapid Ohia Death, first observed as impacting 15,000 acres of Hawaii Island's Ohia forest in 2014, now has spread over 30,000 acres. "We depend on the expertise and… Continue Reading

March 03, 2016

Hirono: Republican Failure To Act On Supreme Court Nominee Unprecedented

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, joined by Senate colleagues and Congressional Black Caucus leaders today, took Senate Republicans to task over their failure to do their job and commit to taking any action on President Obama's eventual nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by Justice Antonin Scalia's death. "It is unprecedented to announce unilaterally that no part of advice and consent will occur until after an election," said Senator Hirono. "There is a law enacted nearly 150 years ago t… Continue Reading

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