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  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today criticized his Republican colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee for pressuring tech companies so that they stop policing election-related misinformation on their platforms. It is critical to the integrity of the election that tech companies moderate content on their sites and take down misinformation. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act enables them to do that and does not require...
  • WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the state of Hawai‘i will receive $6,132,815 in new federal funding to expand veterans cemeteries on Kauai and Maui. “Thousands of brave service members from Hawai‘i put their lives on the line to serve our country. These federal funds will help us expand our veterans cemeteries so we can continue to honor their legacies,” said Senator Schatz, the top Democrat on...
  •    WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) urged the Census Bureau to reverse its decision to end the self-response period and field data collection for the 2020 Census on October 5 and instead allow operations to continue until October 31. This bipartisan effort follows the Census Bureau’s decision to ignore a recent federal court ruling, which found that ending the counting operations early would result in a...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) led a group of senators in demanding answers on Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks’s intention to investigate some of the country’s largest banks after several of them ruled out financial support for new oil drilling projects in the Arctic. “Federal financial regulators do not have the legal authority to pressure banks to fund specific projects. It would be highly inappropriate to use official tools of...
  • WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that Hawai‘i County is set to receive $2.2 million in new federal disaster relief funding based on damage to Ahalanui Park from lava flows during the 2018 Kilauea eruptions. The new funding may be used to restore the park at its current location or at an alternate site. Once the county decides how to proceed, it will have to submit a proposal to FEMA. “As we continue to recover from the natural...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination. “We are just weeks away from Election Day, but Republicans are rushing to confirm a justice to the Supreme Court before the American people get a chance to make their voices heard. They are hurrying their nominee onto the Court to help overturn the Affordable Care Act, kicking millions off their health care in the middle of the worst public health crisis in...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement on the change in management at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. Earlier this month as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened at the veterans home, Schatz called for immediate federal intervention to contain the spread and help save lives. As a result, the Department of Veterans Affairs mobilized a team to assess and support the veterans home and found a number of serious infection control issues...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) is renewing his call to Hawai‘i Governor David Ige to take additional steps to protect Hawai‘i residents living in long-term care facilities. Schatz first urged the Governor to step up efforts to protect nursing home residents and staff in May. “We have now seen outbreaks of the virus at multiple nursing homes and care facilities, including the tragedy at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. The situation at the...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced the Family Crisis Cash Assistance Act. The legislation will create a new permanent program to help families struggling through a natural disaster or economic crisis with immediate cash assistance. As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, direct cash provides families with immediate relief and gives them the flexibility and choice to use on rent, food, or other expenses. “During a...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), along with U.S. Representatives Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) today slammed Facebook for its failure to protect its users from widespread misinformation on its platform. The lawmakers demanded answers on the inconsistent enforcement of Facebook’s content moderation policies which provide deference to right-wing content and fail to prevent the dissemination of politically-biased, divisive...
  • WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced new legislation aimed at rescuing the struggling local news industry. Local news organizations play a vital role in American democracy, reporting on stories that matter to communities and serving as a watchdog for municipal governments. However, an industry-wide transition to digital media and the pandemic-induced recession has led to a rapid decline of the...
  • WASHINGTON – With schools in Hawai‘i set to reopen for in-person instruction, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today urged Hawai‘i Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, the State Board of Education, and the Hawai‘i Association of Independent Schools to take additional steps to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff at schools across the state. With more recent studies indicating that the coronavirus can spread through airborne...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today took to the Senate floor to call on Senate Republicans to honor U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish that she not be replaced until a new president is installed, instead of rushing through a judicial nominee that will undermine the Affordable Care Act and rip away health care from millions of Americans. “The President has made clear that whomever he nominates to the Supreme Court will be in...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement on a new report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that details serious infection control issues that contributed to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. The VA mobilized a team earlier this month to assess and support the veterans home after Schatz called for immediate assistance as COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to rise at the...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement on the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a brilliant jurist. In devoting her life to advancing equality and justice for all, she made our country a better place and blazed a trail for women in civic life. She leaves behind a powerful and enduring legacy that we must fight to protect. May she...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and 30 of his senate colleagues today called on President Trump to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis to enact legislation that provides the emergency assistance and protections renters need to stay in their homes. Millions of children and youth are at risk of being evicted from their homes due to the Trump administration’s refusal to support critical rental assistance and relief measures to protect their health and...
  • WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced it has approved an additional $70,293,866 grant to Hawai‘i to provide those unemployed due to COVID-19 with an additional $300 per week on top of their regular unemployment benefit. The new funding follows nearly $200 million in federal funding announced last month and $53.4 million announced last week. “While this new funding will provide some immediate help, it’s not enough for...
  • WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced a bipartisan bill that would extend two key statutory deadlines for the 2020 Census by four months and require the Census Bureau to continue field operations through October 31, 2020. Delays in census operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a severe undercount of the population, specifically in Native, minority, and rural communities across the...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called on Avalon Health Care to review and improve its infection control policies and practices as all three of its facilities in Hawai‘i have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks. The Utah-based company operates three facilities in Hawai‘i: Avalon Care Center and Hale Nani Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Honolulu, and the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. In a letter to Avalon’s CEO, Schatz wrote,...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has mobilized a team of infection control experts, nurses, and other health care professionals to provide immediate support and help contain a COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. The move comes just days after Schatz made an urgent request to the VA following rising COVID-19 cases and deaths at the Hilo...