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  • Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Appropriations advanced the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for important public safety programs.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) secured $26.88 million in the bill to strengthen the tsunami warning system that protects Hawai‘i and coastal communities across the nation.  The funding allows the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation...
  • Washington, DC – The Senate Committee on Appropriations advanced the Fiscal Year 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which delivers funding for programs that build the nation’s transportation network and invest in infrastructure and affordable housing projects.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) secured and increased funding for several programs key to reducing housing and transportation costs for Hawai‘i...
  • Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) cosponsored the Ensuring Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014, legislation that would make the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) more accountable, make way for a major new VA medical facility on Oahu, cut wait times, and improve access to health care for veterans.  The Senate is likely to consider the new legislation on the floor next week. “Our veterans and their families have made tremendous...
  • HONOLULU, HI – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz released the following statement regarding Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki's resignation this morning. "General Shinseki is a war hero and public servant who gave everything he had to our country and the job of Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  In his judgment, it was time for new leadership to move forward. The problems uncovered are appalling and unacceptable and the VA must deliver accountability for any wrongdoing and systemic changes to...
  • Honolulu, HI – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced more than $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help fund Head Start programs in Maui County.  Head Start is a federal early childhood education program that promotes the school readiness of children from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. “We know that when we prepare our kids for school, they have a better shot at...
  • Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) introduced legislation in the Senate with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), to provide a pay increase for federal employees who lost over a billion dollars in salary and benefits due to sequestration and a three-year pay freeze from January 2011 to December 2013.  The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act would provide a 3.3 percent pay raise to federal workers in calendar year 2015.  “Hawai‘i’s...
  • Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz hailed the selection today of Hawai‘i to host the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress – the world’s largest conservation event – in 2016.  “The World Conservation Congress coming to Hawai‘i is a big deal and will benefit our local economy.  This is the first time the United States is hosting this important meeting of world leaders and it is an honor...
  • Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called for improvements in the safety of roads in Hawai‘i and across the country following a new report out today, Dangerous by Design 2014, by the National Complete Streets Coalition that found more than 200 people were killed while walking in Hawai‘i from 2003 to 2012, accounting for more than 20 percent of traffic deaths in the state.  The report also found that Hawai‘i had the highest pedestrian death...
  • Washington, DC -- U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) co-sponsored the Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014 to make sure all legal marriages are treated equally by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  The bill would ensure that same-sex spouses receive the same spousal benefits afforded to married, heterosexual couples.  Because the Social Security Administration uses an individual’s current place of residence to determine benefits, many legally...
  • Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) stood with students and the Young Invincibles today and sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education urging it to put in place stronger protections for students in career education programs—particularly those at for-profit colleges—who take on significant debt to attend but are frequently left with meager job prospects.  Schatz sent the letter together with Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin...
  •     Washington, D.C. – In advance of the release of the bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chairman of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Water and Power announced key provisions included in the bill that would improve Hawai‘i harbors and provide resources for flood control, water supply, and wastewater infrastructure projects.  The bill is scheduled to be released...
  •     Washington, DC –  The expansive Senate transportation bill announced last night by Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chairman Barbara Boxer (D- Calif.) includes U.S. Senator Brian Schatz’s (D-Hawai‘i)  Transit-Oriented Development Infrastructure Financing Act.  Schatz’s legislation, which is co-sponsored by Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), would help finance the development of...
  •     Washington, DC – Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) applauded President Obama and his administration following an announcement from the White House that he will be making more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency.  The President announced executive actions that will lead to $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in Federal buildings; smarter...
  •       Washington, DC – Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that Hilo International Airport will receive a $3.1 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.  This grant will provide funding to rehabilitate the airport’s runway by improving the structural integrity of the pavement and minimizing debris on the airstrip. “These funds for the Hilo International Airport are an important investment for Hawai‘i...
  • Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) announced the National Park Service (NPS) has taken an important step towards designating the Honouliuli Internment Camp as a National Historic Site with the release of the final draft of a special resource study on the site.  Following the release of the draft study on the Honouliuli Internment Camp, Senator Schatz called Director Jarvis to discuss ways to expedite the designation process.  Inclusion in the...
  • Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and the United States Senate voted to confirm Pamela Hamamoto as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva.  The United Nations Office at Geneva serves as a connection between research institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and diplomatic missions.  Hamamoto will have the rank of Ambassador and report directly to U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.  “Pamela...
  • Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) said that the Third National Climate Assessment Report out today by the U.S. Global Change Research Program shows an urgent need for Congress to renew energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation and for the Environmental Protection Agency to be able to curb carbon.  The report detailed potentially devastating impacts around the country, including in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, where coastal flooding, decreasing...
  • Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) introduced today with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and colleagues the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, legislation that would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers. Over the last 30 years, the cost of college has increased by 300 percent.  Student loan debt is now the highest form of personal debt in the nation,...
  • Washington, DC –  Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced legislation with Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, that will help finance the development of better walkable, bikeable communities near transit stations.  The Transit-Oriented Development Infrastructure Financing Act (S. 2275) would support community development that integrates housing,...
  • Honolulu, HI – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) recognized this year’s U.S. Service Academy appointees during a reception held in his Honolulu office. “The U.S. Service Academies have educated some of our Nation’s finest leaders, men and women who secure our daily liberties,” said Senator Schatz, “This year’s appointees represent Hawai‘i’s best and brightest students with the dedication to serve our country as commissioned officers...