Press Releases

June 16, 2014

HIRONO ANNOUNCES $3 MILLION FOR UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ENERGY RESEARCH

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to the University of Hawaii for energy research. This grant comes as part of the DOE's nationwide initiative to advance hydrogen production and delivery technologies to produce, deliver and dispense hydrogen at a cost equivalent of less than $4 per gallon. Expanding use of hydrogen in transportation can help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, save drivers and families money ov… Continue Reading


June 12, 2014

SENS. HIRONO & MORAN PUSH TO EXPAND VETERAN EMERGENCY CARE

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, introduced the Veterans Emergency Health Safety Net Expansion Act of 2014. This legislation expands access to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) emergency safety net to all VA-enrolled veterans who rely solely on the VA for their medical care. The Hirono-Moran bill helps veterans by cutting red tape and eliminating the 24-month rule that can prevent veter… Continue Reading


June 11, 2014

HIRONO VOTES TO PROVIDE VETERANS WITH BETTER ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs and Armed Services Committees, voted to pass the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act. This bipartisan legislation, cosponsored by Hirono, was introduced in response to widely-reported problems with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. "The compromise bill passed today will help improve veterans' access to health care by giving patients more p… Continue Reading


June 11, 2014

HIRONO EXPRESSES CONCERN FOR HUMANITARIAN CRISIS ON U.S. BORDER, CALLS FOR HOUSE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION REFORM AS A SOLUTION

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement today reaffirming her support for comprehensive immigration reform and expressing her outrage with the recent situation where unaccompanied children have been detained near the southern U.S. Border. Hirono urged her colleagues and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to join her in protecting these children by supporting and passing comprehensive immigration reform. "Opponents of comprehensive immigration reform have… Continue Reading


June 09, 2014

HIRONO STATEMENT ON HAWAII VA WAIT TIMES

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement on data revealed today showing Honolulu's Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center has the longest average wait time - 145 days - in the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) system when it comes to new patient primary care appointments. This information came to light as part of a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) audit of the VA. "These long wai… Continue Reading


June 05, 2014

HIRONO PRAISES DACA RENEWAL FOR UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting renewal requests for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented immigrant children. "I commend the Department of Homeland Security for announcing the renewal of the DACA program for undocumented children. These millions of young people, including the estimated 4,000 in Hawaii who … Continue Reading


June 03, 2014

HIRONO HELPS TO SHAPE SENATE RESPONSE TO VA CRISIS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono and her colleagues on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee released the Ensuring Veterans Access to Care Act today to improve administration and increase accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to quickly expand access to medical care for veterans. The Senate is expected to take up this critical legislation this week. Hirono has hosted numerous veterans roundtables across Hawaii this year and will hold a Veterans Affair… Continue Reading


June 02, 2014

HIRONO APPLAUDS NEW EPA RULE

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded today's new proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants by 30 percent by 2030. "Today's announcement by the EPA is a significant, historic development in the global fight against climate change," said Hirono. "It sends a firm signal to the world that the United States is serious about addressing the growing environmental threat to our people and our livelihoods. As our nati… Continue Reading


June 02, 2014

HIRONO CONGRATULATES DAVID LASSNER ON APPOINTMENT AS UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII PRESIDENT

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono issued the following statement congratulating David Lassner on his appointment by the University of Hawaii (UH) Board of Regents to be the 15th president of the UH system."I have no doubt David's experience and relationships will serve him well as President of the University of Hawaii. While he was interim President, we worked together on important issues such as college affordability, DREAMers and veterans. I appreciated his leadership then and look f… Continue Reading


May 30, 2014

HIRONO STATEMENT ON RESIGNATION OF VA SECRETARY ERIC SHINSEKI

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services and the Veterans' Affairs committees, released the following statement on today's resignation of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki. "General Eric Shinseki's patriotism and dedication to this nation is without parallel. I've had a number of opportunities to talk directly with General Shinseki about the challenges facing the VA. I agree with the President's statement that his 'commitme… Continue Reading


May 22, 2014

HIRONO ANNOUNCES HAWAII BENEFITS IN WATER BILL

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted today to pass a bipartisan water infrastructure bill - the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) - that includes a number of key provisions for Hawaii. The legislation heads to President Obama for his signature. A member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during her six years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Hirono and her office worked with her colleagues on a bicameral basis to include measures to … Continue Reading


May 21, 2014

HIRONO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $15 MILLION FOR HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced more than $15 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation for Honolulu International Airport improvements. These grants will fund the improvement of the intra-terminal shuttle stations within the Overseas Terminal Building and the replacement of a metal roof canopy covering passenger loading and unloading areas within the Overseas Terminal. "As Hawaii's largest airport and often the first impression visitors have of our state, Honolulu… Continue Reading


May 21, 2014

HIRONO APPLAUDS SELECTION OF HAWAII AS HOST OF IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded today's announcement that Hawaii will host the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, a major international event that brings together a wide range of stakeholders to tackle environmental and conservation challenges. Beginning with the 1948 Congress in Fontainebleau, France, Congresses are now held every four years, with Hawaii serving as the first American host. "It makes perfect sense to host… Continue Reading


May 16, 2014

HIRONO FIGHTS FOR NATIONAL GUARD

WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, Senator Mazie K. Hirono introduced the National Guard Leadership Act, legislation to provide the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB) with greater input into the selection of senior leadership for the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. Currently, the NGB's internal recommendation process is fluid and not governed by law or regulation. As a result, the input of the Chief of the NGB may or may not be sought. This legislation ensures that the Chief of the … Continue Reading


May 09, 2014

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE COMPLETES DRAFT STUDY OF HONOULIULI THAT HIRONO HELPED TO COMMISSION WITH INOUYE IN 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded yesterday's announcement by the National Park Service that Honouliuli Internment Camp has been identified for potential inclusion as a National Historic Site or National Monument into the National Park System. The study that led to this announcement, the Honouliuli Internment Camp Special Resources Study Act of 2009, was requested by Senator Daniel K. Inouye as part of the Interior Appropriations bill in 2009. A stand-alone bill was also intro… Continue Reading


May 08, 2014

HIRONO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $3.1 MILLION FOR HAWAII ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND OCEAN MANAGEMENT EFFORTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced the release of more than $3.1 million from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for Hawaii environmental research, education and ocean management efforts. Funds will support the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, University of Hawaii Marine Option Program, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research and Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. "As one of the most biodiverse places in the world an… Continue Reading


May 08, 2014

HIRONO VOTES TO CONFIRM HAWAII-RAISED EXECUTIVE, PUNAHOU GRADUATE TO SERVE AS U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO UNITED NATIONS IN GENEVA

Washington, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono today voted to confirm Pamela Hamamoto to serve as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva with the rank of Ambassador. Hamamoto is a Punahou School graduate and has served in numerous executive roles in financial and educational institutions. Hamamoto was confirmed by voice vote. "Congratulations to Pamela Hamamoto on her confirmation to serve our nation as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva," Hirono said. "P… Continue Reading


May 06, 2014

HIRONO CONGRATULATES HAWAII STATE SENATOR JILL TOKUDA ON ‘CHAMPION FOR CHARTERS’ AWARD

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono issued the following statement congratulating Hawaii State Senate Education Committee chairwoman, Jill Tokuda, on receiving a 'Champion for Charters' award this evening. "Access to education can make all the difference in the lives of our keiki," said Senator Hirono. "I consider Jill a dear friend and am so pleased that her hard work to improve education for all students is being recognized today. In 2012, Jill's task force on charter school governance… Continue Reading


May 06, 2014

HIRONO FIGHTS TO PROTECT STUDENTS FROM DEBT

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today to introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers. Many borrowers with outstanding student loans have interest rates of 6.8 percent or higher for undergraduate loans, while students taking out new undergraduate loans before July 1 will pay a rate of 3.86 percen… Continue Reading


May 05, 2014

HIRONO, GABBARD ANNOUNCE $1 MILLION IN FUNDS TO FIGHT THE COFFEE BERRY BORER

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Representative Tulsi Gabbard and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $1 million to help combat the coffee berry borer that has been ravaging Hawaii Island coffee farms for almost four years.The funding will be distributed through the Integrated Pest Management (IMP) Program at USDA and be divided between Hawaii ($700,000) and Puerto Rico ($300,000). The program is a scientifically-based approach to fighting invasive species. … Continue Reading

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