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  • WASHINGTON—Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, voted to pass public lands legislation that would bring more federal funding to Hawai‘i and protect historic sites in the state. The package of bills provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which funds projects in Hawai‘i, and includes Schatz-authored legislation making Hawai‘i eligible for drought management and water...
  • WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and John Thune (R-S.D.) today reintroduced the Veterans’ Disability Compensation Automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Act. This bipartisan legislation would require the federal government to provide disabled veterans with an automatic COLA in years when there is an increase in benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act, which sets the requirements for disability insurance benefits. “The...
  • WASHINGTON - Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) reintroduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, a bill that would provide federal employees with a 3.6 percent pay increase in 2020. Schatz and Connolly introduced similar legislation last Congress.“The shutdown was insult on top of injury. For years federal workers in Hawai‘i and across the country have watched their earnings get cut as a result of...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) introduced the Census Improving Data and Enhanced Accuracy (Census IDEA) Act, legislation that would protect the accuracy of the 2020 census and ensure any proposed changes to the count are properly studied, researched, and tested.“The leadership at the Commerce Department has not been on the level about the census,” Senator Schatz said. “We saw with the citizenship question that presidential appointees are...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), co-chair of the Senate Climate Action Task Force and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, led a group of eight senators in calling on investment firms to help mitigate climate change by using their investment portfolios to stop tropical deforestation.“We are concerned that some companies in your portfolio may not be living up to their commitments to address deforestation in their supply chain—if they have...
  • WASHINGTON – Today 13 senators, including U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), sharply criticized the Trump administration’s newly-extended deployment of active duty...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) led a group of eight senators in calling on the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to protect federal employees and contractors from any damage the Trump shutdown may have done to their credit.“Workers’ credit reports and scores should not be ruined for reasons entirely outside of their control.  We hope that your companies will take this opportunity to correct...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement in response to the agreement reached to end the Trump shutdown and reopen the government. “I want to express my sympathy and my solidarity with all of the workers in Hawai‘i who had to go through this experience. A huge thank you must also go to Hawai‘i’s banks, credit unions, utilities, and non-profits that stepped up to help federal workers in our state. Shutdowns...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) went to the Senate floor to call for an end to the Trump shutdown. In his remarks, Schatz highlighted the negative impacts of the shutdown, including the harm to Hawai‘i’s federal workers, the economy, and our national security.“I’m grateful that, for every story I’ve heard of someone suffering, there’s also a story of people stepping up to help. In Hawai‘i, local utility companies and...
  • HONOLULU – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s address on the government shutdown.“We need to open the government first. We can negotiate a proposal on border security and immigration later, but risking the health and safety of Americans, hurting the economy, and delivering pain to families can never be the start of a fruitful negotiation.”  ###
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) went to the Senate floor today to call for an end to the Trump shutdown. In his remarks, Schatz highlighted the harm the shutdown has caused families in Hawai‘i by sharing the story of Scott and Jay Pekalib. Scott, a furloughed U.S. Geological Survey employee, and his husband Jay, are Hilo residents who are struggling to pay bills and medical expenses as the shutdown drags on. “Scott and Jay spent all their savings to get...
  • WASHINGTON — Last night, the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act was signed into law by President Trump. The new law, authored by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), will require federal agencies to publish public information in an open, machine-readable format and catalog it online, so that individuals, organizations, and other government offices can use it. It also addresses privacy and national security...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement in response to a federal judge’s decision to strike down the Trump administration’s plan to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 Census. Schatz led a bicameral group of over 120 current and former members of Congress on an amicus brief to support the lawsuit filed by the State of New York to stop the addition of a divisive untested citizenship question to the 2020...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act. The legislation, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will make sure federal employees who are required to work during the government shutdown are given full back pay once the shutdown has ended.“Our federal workers shouldn’t suffer because the President and Republicans in Congress don’t know how to...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) led a group of 22 lawmakers in introducing the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act. The new legislation would protect federal workers and their families from foreclosures, evictions, and loan defaults during a government shutdown.“While the President and Senate Republicans struggle to get their act together, real people are suffering,” said Senator Schatz. “Right...
  • WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump signed into law the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reimburses veterans for missed or underpaid Forever GI Bill housing benefits.The legislation was introduced by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, to hold the VA...
  • WASHINGTON— The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reimburses veterans for missed or underpaid Forever GI Bill housing benefits.“For many student veterans, every dime counts. That’s why the VA needs to get this right and pay student veterans the full amount of money they were...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate passed sweeping legislation to improve the criminal justice system, including a bipartisan measure authored by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i). The Granting Release and Compassion Effectively (GRACE) Act improves the Bureau of Prisons’ approval process for compassionate release.“Too many people who are eligible for compassionate release die in prison because the decision takes so long. And many others wait for months just to get a...
  • WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation authored by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that will expand the AMBER Alert system to include all U.S. territories. The national AMBER Alert network distributes alerts on highway billboards, TVs, radio, and cellular phones to mobilize the public when a child is missing or abducted. It has helped rescue more than 900 children.“AMBER Alerts have helped save hundreds of children....
  • WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), will ensure more people receive relevant emergency alerts on their mobile phones, televisions, and radios, explore new ways of alerting the public through online video and audio streaming services, track and study false alerts when...