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  • Honolulu, HI – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) applauded President Barack Obama’s announcement that the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award on November 24: “All of Hawai‘i is deeply proud that Patsy Mink has been named to posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  As a daughter of the islands, she fought every day of her life to make real the possibilities of equal opportunity for all and the...
  • Honolulu, HI – Today, President Obama announced the United States and the People’s Republic of China have agreed to increase the validity period of short-term visas for tourists and business travelers from one to ten years, the longest validity period possible under U.S. law.  In addition, both countries agreed to extend the validity period of student and exchange visas from one to five years.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chairman of the Subcommittee on...
  • Hilo, HI – President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Hawai‘i today, activating the release of federal funds to help with the recovery effort from the Puu Oo Volcanic Eruption and Lava Flow that began September 4, 2014. “Pahoa and its people are resilient. Our continued efforts to help this community, particularly those impacted by the ongoing lava flow, will now be supplemented by much-needed federal funds," Senator Schatz...
  • Honolulu, HI – Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has approved Amendment 7, a rule proposed by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council to establish a management framework and process for specifying fishing catch and accountability measures for fisheries in the U.S. Pacific territories. Senator Schatz successfully pressed Hawai‘i’s case to the Senate Appropriations Committee, and...
  • Honolulu, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that Hawai‘i County and the National Park Service have reached a formal agreement to begin construction that will restore Chain of Craters Road to include two lanes of traffic.  Construction is scheduled to begin on Friday, October 24th. “I am pleased to see construction will soon begin on the expansion of Chain of Craters Road,” Senator Schatz said.  “The two-lane road is...
  • Honolulu, HI– U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today announced U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grants totaling $3,110,862 to seven Hawaii organizations to support programs that promote asset building, financial literacy and child care for indigenous communities. “Quality child care and early education are two crucial needs for many of Hawaii’s families,” Senator Schatz said. “For Native Hawaiian...
  • Honolulu, HI – U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today announced $3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help end veteran homelessness in Hawaii. “No veteran should ever go without care or without a place to sleep at night,” Senator Schatz said. “These funds from the VA will make sure veterans who have fallen on hard times have access to job training and temporary financial assistance...
  • Honolulu, HI – President Barack Obama today addressed the United Nations Climate Summit and announced a new executive order that will require federal agencies to consider climate change in the design of all international development programs and investments.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, commended the President and leaders from around the world on new commitments to combating climate change. “With more than 120...
  • Washington, DC – Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) voted today to confirm Debra Wada’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at the Department of Defense (DoD). Wada was confirmed unanimously by voice vote. “I join many in Hawai‘i in congratulating Debra Wada on her Senate confirmation to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs," said Schatz....
  • Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced more than $1 million in federal funding for programs aimed to incentivize and further generate economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship. “Investing in programs that spur innovation and boost startup businesses is one of the best ways to create jobs,” Senator Schatz said.  “These investments will give UH...
  • Washington, DC –  Today, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Hawai‘i activating the release of federal funds to help communities recover from Tropical Storm Iselle that occurred from August 7-9, 2014. “This is great news for the thousands of people in Puna who were affected by Iselle,” U.S Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) said.  “This federal assistance is critical to supporting our communities’ ongoing...
  • Honolulu, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Hawai‘i County as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by wind, rain, and flooding from Tropical Storm Iselle. After a review of the Hawai‘i County Loss Assessment Reports, the USDA determined that there were sufficient agricultural production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation....
  • Honolulu, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced the award of $1.9 million in federal funding to the Hawaiian Shores Community Association in Puna, Hawai‘i.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding will help the homeowner’s association improve and repair the community’s water system, ensuring safer, clean water and providing adequate water flow for fire protection.  Senator Schatz’s office worked closely with the USDA...
  • Honolulu, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) expressed his sincere sympathy upon the passing of former legislator, Robert Herkes: “We extend our condolences to the family, many friends and all the people Bob Herkes steadfastly served as a Hawai`i County Council member and Hawai`i State legislator.  Bob was a plain spoken leader who was simultaneously business and community minded.  His colleagues always sought his opinion because he was smart, balanced...
  • Honolulu, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced he will rejoin his team, who have remained on the ground in Puna, on Tuesday to assist with the recovery efforts, specifically focusing on federal funds, the mitigation of albizia trees, and disaster recovery. Schatz will meet with state and county officials and continue his collaboration with community members from Puna. “I said on Friday night that my commitment to Puna's recovery...
  • Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will receive an $802,500 grant from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration to rebuild the last 2.3 miles of the 18-mile long Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) Road, which suffers from deterioration due to the high altitude and harsh conditions.  Prior 2012 funding allowed for 8 miles of the road to be rebuilt, but left...
  • Honolulu, HI – Today Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) announced an agreement on legislation to improve accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and give veterans the flexibility to seek care in their community should the VA be unable to provide care in a timely manner.   U.S. Senator Brian Schatz  (D-Hawai‘i), who has repeatedly called for...
  • Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that state and local preparedness programs in Hawai‘i will receive $8,902,185 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  The grants will provide funding for various activities throughout the state for disaster management and preparedness, port security, and terrorism prevention planning, organization, training, exercise, and equipment. “As...
  • Washington, DC - Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted unanimously to advance the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act (S. 2250), legislation to reauthorize Brand USA, a successful travel promotion program aimed at boosting international tourism to the United States.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Tourism, Competitiveness, and Innovation, and 24 other Senators introduced the...
  • Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed that Honolulu’s aerial advertising ordinance remains valid.  The mainland-based company Aerial Banners North has been flying aerial banners over Oahu in violation of Honolulu’s ordinance banning aerial advertising, while ignoring citations from the Honolulu Police Department.  The company has argued that its FAA certificate of...