Press Releases

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

March 02, 2016

Senate Unanimously Passes Hirono Resolution In Support Of American Heart Month

The United States Senate unanimously approved a resolution authored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono recognizing February 2016 as American Heart Month, and February 5, 2016 as National Wear Red Day. This is the second year that Senator Hirono led the effort to recognize American Heart Month and reaffirm the country's commitment to fighting heart disease and stroke in the United States Senate. "I thank my colleagues for joining me in raising awareness of heart disease, the leading cause of death in th… Continue Reading

February 25, 2016

Hirono Condemns Xenophobia, Marks Anniversary of Japanese American Internment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono introduced a resolution marking the anniversary of the issuance of Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, and affirming that America must stand against intolerance. In a show of support, advocates from nearly ten organizations were present in the Senate gallery as Senator Hirono provided remarks from the Senate floor. "Seventy-four years ago, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order… Continue Reading

February 25, 2016

Hirono Commends President’s Commitment To Diversify Bench

Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded President Obama's nomination of Lucy Koh to serve on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "Lucy Koh's experience on the federal bench, in private practice, and as a prosecutor make her a qualified candidate to serve on the Ninth Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes Hawaii, and I look forward to supporting her confirmation in the United States Senate," said Senator Hirono. "I support President Obama's continued commitment to ensuring that our… Continue Reading

February 24, 2016

Hirono Votes To Confirm FDA Commissioner

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted to support the confirmation of Dr. Robert M. Califf to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Califf was confirmed today as FDA Commissioner by a bipartisan 89-4 vote. "The FDA is facing real challenges in addressing the impact of opioid addiction in our country, which has quickly become a serious public health issue," said Senator Hirono. "While I share the concerns raised by several of my colleagues regarding the FDA's rol… Continue Reading

February 20, 2016

Hirono Promotes Newly Permanent Tax Credits For Middle Class Families

HONOLULU - With the federal tax filing deadline set for April 18th, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono and advocates today urged Hawaii families to utilize helpful tax credits, now that these important benefits have been made permanent by Congress. Representatives from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), the AARP Foundation Tax Aide program and Catholic Charities Hawaii joined Senator Hirono to promote the tax benefits and free tax services available to seniors and low-income households. Senator H… Continue Reading

February 18, 2016

Increased Flights To Haneda A Boost to Tourism

HONOLULU - Today, the U.S. Department of State announced a final agreement between the U.S. and Japanese governments to increase flights from the U.S. to Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Under the new agreement, five round trip flights during the day and one round trip flight at night will operate between the U.S. and Haneda. Currently, U.S. airlines operate four round trip flights to Haneda Airport, all during late-night hours. In addition to speaking with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary An… Continue Reading

February 12, 2016

Hirono Measure To Improve Veterans Services Advances

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation authored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono that streamlines the process for families of veterans to receive survivors benefits. The Veterans' Survivors Claims Processing Automation Act was introduced by Senator Hirono in the Senate and identical legislation was introduced in the House by Representative Raul Ruiz (D-CA). The bill was also approved by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in December 2015. House passage… Continue Reading

February 11, 2016

Hirono Supports Additional North Korea Sanctions

Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted to support H.R.757, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, which passed the Senate 96-0. Before the vote, Senator Hirono took to the Senate floor to speak in support of additional sanctions on North Korea in the wake of the North Korean regime's recent missile tests, and called for continued support for the Asia-Pacific rebalance. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "My support of this bill is grounded in my belief that the United States must stand with our allies … Continue Reading

February 09, 2016

Hirono: President’s Budget Reflects Hawaii, Middle Class Priorities

Senator Mazie K. Hirono praised President Obama's inclusion of a number of Hawaii priorities in his Fiscal Year 2017 budget, released today. "The economic and social progress that our country has made since President Obama took office in 2009 is a testament to the Administration's work and the resilience of the American people. The President's final budget continues to fund priorities that support middle class families and small businesses, and charts a path forward to face challenges that lie … Continue Reading

February 09, 2016

Hirono Leads Effort To Raise Awareness Of Heart Disease

Senator Mazie K. Hirono led a bipartisan coalition of 17 senators to introduce a resolution to designate February 2016 as American Heart Month, and February 5, 2016 as National Wear Red Day. "Heart disease kills three out of every ten people in Hawaii and one in seven nationwide, including a significant number of women and minorities," said Senator Hirono. "It is through preventative treatment and research that we will ensure that fewer families are impacted by heart disease, and with the suppo… Continue Reading

February 02, 2016

Hirono & Meng Champion Measure To Strike Term “Oriental” From Federal Law

The U.S. Senate unanimously voted to include a provision authored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono that removes offensive terms such as "Oriental" from federal law. The amendment was added to S. 2012, the Energy Policy and Modernization Act, which is currently being debated by the Senate. Legislation removing derogatory terms, sponsored by U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY), was also passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December. "Clearly the use of derogatory terms to refer to different… Continue Reading

February 02, 2016

Hirono Announces Class Of 2020 Nominations To U.S. Service Academies

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced her nomination of 46 students to the U.S. military service academies for the Class of 2020. The students' applications are now being considered by the four academies for final selections. "I commend these students for their years of study, hard work, and dedication as they represent the highest caliber of young leaders the State of Hawaii has to offer. These young men and women are exceptional individuals with records of outstanding acad… Continue Reading

January 27, 2016

Hirono Calls For Confirmation Of U.S. District Court Of Hawaii Nominee Clare Connors

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono welcomed Clare Connors, nominee for the U.S. District Court Judgeship for the District of Hawaii, to the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Senator Hirono affirmed Ms. Connors' vast experience, and called for the Committee to approve her confirmation quickly. "Clare is a first rate intellect and is described by her peers as an attorney of great integrity who works extremely hard and treats everyone with respect," said Senator Hirono. "It is because of Cl… Continue Reading

January 26, 2016

Hirono Statement On Passing Of State Senator Gilbert Kahele

Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on the passing of State Senator Gilbert "Gil" Kahele: "Gil Kahele served Hawaii and our country with distinction for more than 50 years, first in the U.S. Marine Corps, then as a community advocate and in elected office. I will remember Gil for his kindness and tireless work on behalf of the people of Hawaii Island and our state. Gil's steadfast advocacy on behalf of individuals and families ensured that the resources were available to ad… Continue Reading

January 22, 2016

Hirono Marks Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Senator Mazie K. Hirono took to the Senate floor to mark the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman's right to access abortion care. Senator Hirono acknowledged the many challenges that women still face when accessing reproductive care, and called for the Supreme Court to continue to protect a woman's right to access a full range of health care services. From Senator Hirono's remarks: "This decision enabled women to gain control over their own … Continue Reading

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