Press Releases

April 13, 2020

Hirono, Wyden, Schumer, Senate Democrats: Workers Must Receive Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) joined Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and 31 of their Democratic colleagues to urge the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure that workers who Congress intended to allow access to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program receive the benefits they deserve. The Senators sent this letter after the DOL issued new guidance for the program, seeking the DOL … Continue Reading

April 10, 2020

Hirono, Hassan, 13 Senate Colleagues to Trump: Protect Americans from Counterfeit Personal Protective Equipment, Price Gouging

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) signed onto a letter that Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and 13 of their Senate colleagues sent to President Trump, calling on him to intervene in the production of counterfeit personal protective equipment and price gouging on essential medical goods. The letter calls for a clear and comprehensive national plan to produce and distribute medical supplies across the country. The Senators also call on President Trump to instruct law enforceme… Continue Reading

April 10, 2020

Senator Hirono Statement on Additional Funding for the Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senator Mazie K. Hirono issued the following statement about providing additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program: "Small businesses I've heard from in Hawaii appreciate the action by the federal government to provide relief, but now find themselves frustrated by the confusing rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Congress enacted the program to support businesses during the current pandemic so the last thing we need is more uncertainty for our small bu… Continue Reading

April 09, 2020

Hirono, Senate Colleagues Demand Administration Protect Transit Workers with Personal Protective Equipment, Clear Safety Guidelines

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) signed onto a letter that Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.) led, urging the Trump Administration to establish strong public health practices for transit agencies and provide frontline transit workers with personal protective equipment (PPE). The letter was also signed by 19 of their Senate colleagues. It highlights Detroit bus driver Jason Hargrove's death from COVID-19 after he took to social media to criticize a passenger on his bus who did not cover their mouth… Continue Reading

April 09, 2020

Senator Hirono Statement on Irene Hirano Inouye

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senator Mazie K. Hirono issued the following statement on the passing of Irene Hirano Inouye: "My thoughts go out to the Yasutake and Inouye ohana today as we mourn the passing of Irene Hirano Inouye. Irene's passion for serving her community on the local, national and international levels was profoundly evident in her life's work. From her service as the President and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum, chair of the Ford and Kresge Foundations, to President… Continue Reading

April 08, 2020

Hirono Joins Call to Support Local Journalism During Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and 17 other Senators to call for funding to support local journalists and media in future COVID-19 relief packages. The letter, sent to Senate leadership, cautions of the already widespread devastation of the coronavirus pandemic on local and regional news outlets who are experiencing sinking advertising revenue while public demand and reliance on local reporting are increasing during the … Continue Reading

April 07, 2020

Hirono Announces Over $10 Million for Community Health Centers in Hawaii to Respond to Coronavirus Pandemic

ASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced that community health centers across Hawaii will receive over $10 million in additional funding to respond to, prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19. The funds are available as part of the CARES Act, the third coronavirus relief package Congress recently passed. Community health centers in Hawaii also received about $1 million in funding in the first coronavirus relief package. "Our community health centers continue to meet t… Continue Reading

April 07, 2020

Hirono, Durbin, Harris, Menendez to Facebook: Shut Down WhatsApp Spread of Coronavirus Misinformation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter calling on Facebook to stop the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic on WhatsApp. The Senators sent their letter after widespread reports of dangerous false information about the coronavirus circulating among the two billion WhatsApp users worldwide. "On January 30, Facebook announced that it would … Continue Reading

April 06, 2020

Hawaii Delegation to USDA and SBA: Small Agricultural Producers Need Your Coordination in Response to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Ed Case (D-Hawaii) wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza to request their coordinated assistance for Hawaii's small agricultural producers. The Hawaii delegation sent this letter in response to hearing frustrations from agricultural producers in naviga… Continue Reading

April 03, 2020

Hirono, Harris, Chu, Grijalva, Correa Introduce Legislation to Provide Critical Assistance to Vulnerable Communities Impacted by COVID-19

Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Representatives Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Lou Correa (D-Calif.) unveiled new legislation to ensure that everyone in our country - especially vulnerable communities - can access health care and other critical resources during the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act would, among other provisions, help ensure that all communities are able to access COVID-19 testing and t… Continue Reading

April 02, 2020

Hawaii to Receive $107 Million for State Transit Coronavirus Response

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced that Hawaii will receive more than $107 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. These funds are distributed out of the third coronavirus relief package Congress passed last week. The grants support urban and rural transit service. The grants will help transportation providers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing funds for operational expenses during this time of… Continue Reading

April 02, 2020

Hirono Announces $12 Million in HUD Grants for Hawaii Coronavirus Response and Recovery

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced that Hawaii has received more than $12 million in Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants to address the critical housing needs of Hawaii residents during the coronavirus pandemic. These funds come from the third coronavirus relief package Congress passed last week. The grants include Community Development Block Grants, Emergency Solutions Grants, and grants through the Housing Opportunities for Persons with… Continue Reading

April 01, 2020

Hirono Statement on Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for State of Hawaii

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) issued the following statement after President Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Hawaii. This declaration will trigger the release of additional federal funds to help Hawaii recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. "Combating the coronavirus pandemic will require us to marshal resources at the federal, state, and county level. Today's approval of the federal disaster declaration will unlock crucial federal resources to a… Continue Reading

April 01, 2020

Hawaii to Receive $5.5 Million to Support State and County Law Enforcement Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced today that Hawaii will receive $5.5 million in funding under the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program to support state and county law officials as they combat the coronavirus outbreak. Congress passed an increase in JAG grant funding as part of the third coronavirus relief package to help police officers and other first responders who are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 as they combat the coronavirus outbreak. … Continue Reading

March 31, 2020

Hirono Joins Klobuchar, Moran, and 31 Other Senators to Call for Federal Trade Commission to Protect Seniors from Coronavirus-related Scams

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following reports of coronavirus-related scams targeting seniors, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), along with 31 of their colleagues called upon Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons to boost consumer protection for seniors and take more measures to better inform them about these scams. The Senators cite reports that, during this time of heightened public fears, scammers are targeting seniors with fake coronavir… Continue Reading

March 30, 2020

Hirono, Menendez Lead Senate Colleagues in Call for Increased Funding for Public Health Preparedness Programs in Fiscal Year 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) led 24 of their Senate colleagues in calling for increased funding in Fiscal Year 2021 for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), which enable hospitals and public health departments to prepare to prevent, respond, and rapidly recover from public health crises. Recent legislation has provided supplemental emergency funds for both the PHEP and HPP to res… Continue Reading

March 27, 2020

Hirono Joins Baldwin, Warren, Booker, Senate Colleagues in Urging FDA to Change Discriminatory Blood Donation Policies to Combat Shortages Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the United States confronts a growing blood shortage brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and a group of their colleagues expressed concern about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discriminatory blood donation deferral policy for men who have sex with men (MSM). As government officials encourage every healthy American to consider donating blood during … Continue Reading

March 26, 2020

Hirono Secures Debt Relief for Hawaii Small Businesses in Third Coronavirus Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) successfully secured debt relief for Hawaii small businesses in the third coronavirus recovery package. The package includes provisions from the Small Business Debt Relief Act, which Senator Hirono introduced last week with Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) to temporarily cover small business loan payments for existing 7(a) and 504 loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). "During this difficult time, local small businesses need t… Continue Reading

March 25, 2020

Hirono Statement in Support of Bipartisan, Compromise Coronavirus Response Package that Bolsters Response, Helps Families, Workers, and Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) voted in favor of H.R. 748 - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This wide-ranging legislation will inject $2 trillion into boosting funding to our medical system, providing economic support to workers, small businesses, and state and local governments that are bearing the brunt of the necessary but difficult measures being put in place to combat the coronavirus. "The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge tha… Continue Reading

March 25, 2020

Third Coronavirus Funding Package Includes Hirono-Backed Unemployment Assistance Expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced today that she successfully secured a major expansion of unemployment assistance in the third emergency coronavirus stimulus package. The package, which is the product of intense bipartisan negotiations, includes Senator Hirono's Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act - legislation she introduced with Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Senator Hirono's bill expands unempl… Continue Reading

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