Press Releases

January 15, 2016

Hirono Joins Congressional Delegation To Middle East

One year after supporting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, Senator Mazie K. Hirono traveled to the Middle East to discuss JCPOA's implementation and broader security challenges in the region. During the six-day trip, Hirono traveled to Austria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, meeting key leaders and decision makers in each country, including: the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, in Austria… Continue Reading

January 12, 2016

Hirono: We All Have A Part To Play In Shaping America’s Future

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement commending President Obama's final State of the Union address: "Tonight, President Obama laid out how far our country has come since he took office in 2009 and the road that lies ahead. The President emphasized that quality education is a key part in the continued success of our country. My guest Sierra Schmitz is one of millions of students who are struggling to afford a college education. Large financial debt shouldn'… Continue Reading

January 11, 2016

Hawaii Student To Attend State Of The Union

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced that Sierra Schmitz, a Hawaii native and current American University student, will accompany her to President Obama's final State of the Union address tomorrow, Tuesday January 12, 2016. "While a quality education is an important key to success in today's economy, college costs continue to skyrocket. Sierra, who is paying her own way through American University with the help of federal programs such as Pell Grants, and students like her are why I will con… Continue Reading

January 06, 2016

Hirono Statement On The Announced End Of Sugar Production In Hawaii

HONOLULU - Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on the announcement that Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) will end its sugar production operations by the end of 2016 and transition to a diversified agricultural model. "Today's announcement marks an end to plantation agriculture that shaped our state's history. Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company has been a source of economic stability for the County of Maui, pioneered technical innovation in the field o… Continue Reading

December 24, 2015

Hirono Encourages COFA Citizens In Hawaii To Utilize Extended Health Care Insurance Enrollment Period

Senator Mazie K. Hirono encourages eligible Hawaii residents from the Compact of Free Association (COFA) nations to enroll in health care coverage following the announcement that the enrollment period has been extended to February 15, 2016. Earlier this month, Senator Hirono led a Hawaii delegation letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell ( to request a special enrollment period for COFA citizens in Hawaii due to the challenges experienced… Continue Reading

December 18, 2015

Hirono Supports Budget Deal That Benefits Hawaii

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today supported the bipartisan omnibus package, a $1.1 trillion bill that funds the government, including a number of programs that will help Hawaii families, through September. The measure also provides tax relief for individuals and businesses and renews incentives for clean energy. The bill passed the Senate 65-33. "The appropriations and tax package approved by Congress is very much a hard fought, bipartisan compromise. I have deep concerns about ending the ban on U.… Continue Reading

December 11, 2015

Hirono, Schatz, Gabbard Announce Nearly $1.5 Million For Coral Reef Conservation

Washington, D.C - Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai'i), and U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded $1,485,007 in various grants to support coral reef conservation and coastal management in Hawai'i and throughout the Pacific. "Climate change and other manmade threats pose a serious risk to Hawaii's coral reefs and fisheries, vital parts of our state's ecosystem a… Continue Reading

December 11, 2015

Hirono Successfully Advocates For Improvements To Veterans’ Services

Two of Senator Mazie K. Hirono's proposals to improve services for veterans and their families were approved by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee as part of S. 425, the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act. Senator Hirono's provisions expedite the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) survivors benefits claims process and improve VA practices to recruit physicians. "The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act makes progress on ensuring that vetera… Continue Reading

December 09, 2015

Hirono Supports Major No Child Left Behind Overhaul

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today voted for the Every Student Succeeds Act, the first comprehensive legislation aimed at improving elementary and secondary education to pass Congress since the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. "Our schools should be places where students' curiosity about the world can grow into a lifelong passion for learning," said Senator Hirono. "The Every Students Succeeds Act makes the one size fits all mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act a thing of the past, and Hawaii stud… Continue Reading

December 07, 2015

Hirono, Reid, Kaine Urge President To Expedite Program To Reunite Families Of Filipino WWII Veterans

Senators Mazie K. Hirono, Harry Reid (D-NV), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) urged President Obama to quickly implement the Administration's newly proposed parole program to reunite Filipino World War II veterans with their family members. In July, after years of advocacy from Senator Hirono and others, the Obama Administration recommended that the Department of Homeland Security create a parole program to allow certain family members of Filipino World War II veterans to come to the United States to provid… Continue Reading

December 03, 2015

Hirono Fights To Protect Health Care Access For Hawaii Women And Families

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today voted against H.R. 3762, a Republican bill to defund Planned Parenthood, undermine federal support for research on heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, and gut key Affordable Care Act provisions. The legislation passed the Republican-controlled Senate 52-47. President Obama has vowed to veto the bill. After the final vote, Senator Hirono released the following statement: "The budget reconciliation legislation is yet another Republican attempt to push a far… Continue Reading

December 03, 2015

Hirono Supports Five-Year Transportation Bill That Will Bring $1.3 Billion To Hawaii

Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted to support H.R. 22, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, legislation that will fund our nation's highways and transportation infrastructure for the next five years. The FAST Act passed the Senate 83-16 and is headed to the President's desk for his signature. "The FAST Act is long overdue and will provide stability for transportation agencies as we continue to search for solutions to modernize and maintain our critical infrastructure needs," said… Continue Reading

December 02, 2015

Hirono Opposes Attacks On Women’s Health In Budget Reconciliation Bill

Senator Mazie K. Hirono took to the Senate floor to speak out against the latest Republican attempts to turn back the clock on women's health care by defunding Planned Parenthood. The provisions to defund Planned Parenthood's critical work are part of the budget reconciliation legislation currently being considered on the Senate floor. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "Limiting the ability of women to access health care services at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country is just one part o… Continue Reading

November 20, 2015

Hirono: Misleading, Divisive Rhetoric Neglects Facts Of Immigrant Communities

Senator Mazie K. Hirono took to the Senate floor to speak out against anti-immigrant sentiment and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling against President Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "Together, the expanded DACA and DAPA programs, will mean that around 5 million more individuals will be able to work legally, pay their taxes, and car… Continue Reading

November 19, 2015

Hirono, Cornyn, Chu, & Royce Push To Level Playing Field For Minority College Students

Senators Mazie K. Hirono and John Cornyn (R-TX), and Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced the Minority-Serving Institution Fairness Act in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives today, legislation that would make Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI) eligible to compete for, and receive, multiple federal grants for the purpose of serving a wider range of minority students. "Hawaii's colleges and universities serve diverse populations of students, and they shou… Continue Reading

November 17, 2015

Hirono Stands Up For Climate Action, Votes Down Republican Efforts To Undermine Obama Climate Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, voted today against two resolutions to overturn standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan to reduce pollution that harms public health and contributes to climate change. President Obama announced his intention to veto both resolutions. "President Obama has taken important steps to clean our air and help reduce the harmful e… Continue Reading

November 16, 2015

Hirono, Honda Praise Awarding Of Presidential Medal Of Freedom To Civil Rights Leader Minoru Yasui

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono and Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) commended President Obama's announcement that Minoru Yasui, who protested the illegal incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, will be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "Minoru Yasui stood up for what was right at a time of injustice toward Japanese Americans," said Senator Hirono. "I am proud to have worked with so many passionate advocates in support of this nomination.… Continue Reading

November 12, 2015

Hirono to Host Federal Grants Webinar

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: HONOLULU - Senator Mazie K. Hirono will host a federal grants webinar in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Individuals and nonprofit organizations interested in learning about federal funding opportunities for their respective arts, culture or linguistics programs are invited to join the free webinar on Tuesday, November 17, from 9:00 to 10:… Continue Reading

November 10, 2015

Hirono Secures Hawaii Priorities In Defense Authorization, Military Construction & VA Funding Bill

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs Committees, today voted in support of both the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) Appropriations Act. The Military Construction and VA Appropriations Act includes important provisions for Hawaii including funding for $444 million in Hawaii military construction projects, an increase in funding for veterans' health care, and a provision authored by Se… Continue Reading

November 05, 2015

Hirono Fights To Ensure Social Security Increase For Seniors & Veterans

Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and a coalition of 15 other U.S. Senators to introduce the SAVE Benefits Act, legislation that would provide Social Security beneficiaries with a modest Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) starting in 2016. For only the third time in more than 40 years, seniors will not receive a COLA increase in 2016. "In Hawaii, one out of four seniors relies on Social Security as their only source of income," said Senator Hirono. "Many Hawaii senior… Continue Reading

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