Press Releases

February 13, 2018

Hirono Urges VA Secretary to Honor Veterans’ Emergency Care Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, are calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that it is reimbursing veterans who were billed for emergency treatment at private hospitals. In January, the VA announced that it would not retroactively reimburse veterans for their emergency treatment despite a court decision that ruled the VA is responsible for emergency medical costs at private, non-VA … Continue Reading

February 12, 2018

Hirono & Schatz Statements on the Nomination of Mark Bennett to U.S. Circuit Court

Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz announced the nomination of former Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett to serve in the open Hawaii seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Attorney General Bennett has extensive experience practicing law in the public and private sectors in Hawaii and at the federal level," Senator Hirono said. "Mark is a well-qualified nominee to serve on the Ninth Circuit." "Mark Bennett has a long and distinguished career as a lawyer and publi… Continue Reading

February 12, 2018

Hirono: Trump Budget Bad for Hawaii, Reflects Misplaced Priorities

Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on President Trump's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2019: "Instead of investing in programs that help middle and working-class families across our state, the President proposes trillions of dollars in cuts that would harm nearly everyone in Hawaii," Senator Hirono said. "I will continue to fight to protect Hawaii residents from this administration's misplaced priorities." The President's FY 2019 Budget makes harmful cuts to many pr… Continue Reading

February 09, 2018

Statement from Senator Mazie K. Hirono on the Budget Deal

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) released the following statement after voting against the budget deal and continuing resolution: "Throughout the debate on government spending, I have consistently supported efforts to fund critical domestic priorities without pitting groups against one another. "A lot of hard work and compromise went into this budget deal, which includes a number of provisions I strongly support. However, Dreamers were left out of the bill to allow this deal to go forward. … Continue Reading

February 06, 2018

Hirono, Murkowski, Women Senators Recognize American Heart Month

Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) led the Senate’s annual resolution recognizing February as American Heart Month. “Each February, the women of the Senate come together to recognize American Heart Month and raise awareness of heart disease,” Senator Hirono said. “Heart disease impacts millions of families each year, and this resolution continues our bipartisan commitment to supporting advances in research, prevention, and treatment. “Heart disease is the leading… Continue Reading

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

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