03/10/18: This week’s updates from DC
Here are a few updates from this week in Washington! In spite of the snow and cold weather, it’s been great welcoming and spending time with a lot of visitors from Hawai'i to the US Capitol.
As 2018 elections quickly approach, I’m working to pass my bill, the Securing America’s Elections Act (HR 5147) to safeguard our electoral infrastructure from hacking. I met with Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause, to discuss my bill that will require a paper ballot or paper ballot back up in all federal elections and see how we can work together to protect the integrity of our elections.
The biggest threat to our elections is the fact that 35 states in our country do not have paper ballots or paper ballot backups for electronic systems, leaving them vulnerable to hackers. We cannot ignore these vulnerabilities that erode voter confidence and expose our elections infrastructure to manipulation. Congress must pass the Securing America’s Elections Act and work with states to safeguard our electoral infrastructure and ensure that each and every American vote is counted accurately.
Click to check out what top Virginia’s Elections Commissioner said about their switch to paper ballots in 2017 and the integrity of the nation’s voting machines.
Do you need assistance with a Federal agency?
In 2017, my team and I assisted more than 800 Hawai'i families with federal agency casework, which included issues like veteran benefits, Social Security and Medicare claims, passports and visas, federal student loans, and much more. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to call my office at 808-541-1986 or email TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov. My staff also hosts regular one-on-one casework sessions in each county to offer assistance:
- March 20: Wailuku, Maui- One on one Federal Agency Assistance with Katie. Maui Coffee Attic, 59 Kanoa St, Wailuku. 11:00am-1:00pm
- March 22: Koloa, Kauai- One on one Federal Agency Assistance with Kaulana. Little Fish Coffee Poipu, 2294 Poipu Rd, Koloa. 11:00am-12:30pm
- April 26: Lihue, Kauai- One on one Federal Agency Assistance with Kaulana. Ha Coffee Bar, 4180 Rice St. #101A. 11:30am-1:00pm
Introduced Legislation to Improve Nurse Safety
Nurses and healthcare workers are at high risk for violence in the workplace-- including strangling, punching, kicking, and even stabbings and shootings. This threatens the personal safety of our healthcare workforce and impacts their ability to do their job and care for patients in need.
As co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, I’ve helped introduce the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act (HR 5223) to require healthcare facilities to develop and enforce violence prevention plans to keep our healthcare workers safe and empower them to continue serving our communities.
I’m working to pass the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act (HR 5223) to improve the safety of nurses and other healthcare workers in Hawai‘i and across the country.
Support Grows for Civil Defense Preparedness Bill
My bill, the Civil Defense Accountability Act of 2018 (H.R. 4949) continues to gain national momentum – adding 18 Congressional cosponsors since introduction. Nearly two months since a false missile alert went out to more than a million people across Hawai'i, many questions still remain unanswered.
This colossal mistake corroded public trust and revealed deep gaps in preparedness measures at every level of government, both in Hawai'i and nationwide. Hawaii’s false missile alert was a nation-wide wakeup call, and we must take action now. Congress must pass the Civil Defense Accountability Act of 2018 to rebuild trust in our civil defense agencies, provide Hawaii’s people with answers, and ensure this kind of colossal failure never happens again.
Tackling the Problems Facing Hawai‘i
I met with Hawai‘i State Association of Counties to discuss how to tackle the many problems our counties face including cesspool conversion, affordable housing, crumbling infrastructure and the need to invest in our communities, protecting our environment and more.
I met with Hawai‘i State Association of Counties to discuss how to tackle the many problems our counties face including affordable housing, crumbling infrastructure, protecting our environment and more.
Other additional highlights:
- Met with Hawai‘i Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to discuss improving veterans healthcare, community care programs, improving records systems, and how VFW is providing aid to veterans in American Samoa after the recent cyclone
- Met with Ambassador Grigor Hovhannissian and Armenian parliamentarians to discuss the prospective US-Armenia double tax treaty, strengthening the bonds between the US and Armenia, and more
- Urged my colleagues to support my bill, the Securing America’s Elections Act (HR 5147) to protect the integrity of our country’s elections
- Cosponsored the Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act (HR 5163) to close the gaps in existing laws and help to keep firearms from those convicted of violent offenses, stalking, or with a pattern of violent criminal activity
- Met with federal firefighters of Hawai‘i to discuss healthcare and retirement equity for firefighters in Hawai‘i and across the country
- Called for a House vote on common sense gun safety legislation that is already supported by both Democrats and Republicans, and a majority of Americans
- Met with the leadership of Hawai‘i Army National Guard to discuss benefits for deploying Guard troops, upcoming military construction projects, and funding to ensure troop readiness