04/20/18: On the ground in Kaua‘i
I arrived on Kaua‘i yesterday and received an updated briefing at the Emergency Operations Center. I’ll be headed to the North Shore shortly to spend the day with those who have been hit hardest by this severe weather, providing whatever support I can. I’ll be joining Mayor Carvalho as well as going to Wainiha and Haena who are cut off from the rest of the island - with the only access coming via air and water. Before leaving Washington, I spoke on the House floor about those who are struggling as a result of record-breaking rain, flooding, and landslides. This storm has completely devastated communities, homes, and businesses, washed out roads, and led hundreds of people to have to be evacuated. Many people are without water and electricity.
Time and again, our Kaua‘i community has proven to be strong and resilient, and has again mobilized to support and take care of each other. Mahalo to Mayor Carvalho, the Hawai‘i National Guard, the Coast Guard, FEMA, our brave first responders, organizations like the Red Cross, churches, schools, and leaders of our community who have stood up and taken action to help their neighbors. The road to recovery will be tough and long, but our Hawai‘i delegation stands ready to help in any way that we can. For information on the relief efforts, click here.
I’m heading to Kaua‘i today to support those who are struggling as a result of record-breaking rain, flooding, and landslides.
Update: Calling for Accountability in the EPA
I joined a bicameral coalition of 170 Members of Congress calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign due to his failure to carry out the mission of the EPA, gross misuse of taxpayer dollars, disregard for ethics, and more. The mission of the EPA is ‘to protect human health and the environment.’ To do so, the Agency needs to be led by someone who is committed to fulfilling that mission. Administrator Pruitt has failed to live up to that standard – wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and putting corporate profits before the well-being of the American people and our environment. We need an EPA leader who is dedicated to carrying out its mission, and who is accountable to the people of this country.
A Hui Hou, Senator Akaka
One week ago today, we paid tribute to Senator Daniel K. Akaka in Washington. With a servant’s heart full of aloha, Senator Akaka dedicated his life to serving the people of Hawai‘i and our nation in the U.S. Army, as a public school teacher, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the U.S. Senate. I am grateful to have worked with and known Senator Akaka over the years, and to have witnessed firsthand how he truly embodied the aloha spirit—treating all with kindness, respect, and love. His legacy of service and aloha continues to inspire each of us to live aloha every day—serving others, protecting our planet, and fighting for justice, equality, and peace. A hui hou and aloha, Senator Akaka.
I spoke on the House floor honoring my friend and mentor, Senator Daniel K. Akaka.
It was wonderful to spend time recently with family, friends, and our community in between voting weeks in Washington. Here are a few highlights:
- Hosted pop-up Congress on Your Corners in Līhuʻe and in Hilo in to talk story with residents, listen to their ideas and concerns, share how my office can help with federal agencies, and more
- Joined Representative Cedric Gates, Senator Maile Shimabukuro, and Councilwoman Kymberly Pine in hosting a Wai‘anae Coast community townhall to discuss affordable housing, transportation, foreign policy, taxes, Native Hawaiian education and housing programs, and more
- Questioned state and federal leaders at a U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee field hearing about the details of what went wrong leading up to and immediately following the false ballistic missile alert, as well as what needs to be done now to address the preparedness, communications, and response gaps revealed by the false missile alert
- Visited with local small business owners and craftsmen at the Merrie Monarch Craft Fair in Hilo
- Joined student leaders and the Maui community to push for common-sense gun safety legislation at the March for Our Lives on Maui
I hosted a Congress on Your Corner in Līhuʻe to talk story and hear from Kauai’s community
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:
- April 26: Lihue, Kauai- One on one Federal Agency Assistance with Kaulana. Ha Coffee Bar, 4180 Rice St. #101A. 11:30am-1:00pm
- May 17: Wailuku, Maui- One on one Federal Agency Assistance with Katie. Maui Coffee Attic, 59 Kanoa St. 11:00am-1:00pm
- May 24: Lihue, Kauai- One on one Federal Agency Assistance with Kaulana. Kauai Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Hwy. 11:30am-1:00pm
Other additional highlights:
- Congratulated General Lori Robinson on her retirement from the U.S. Air Force. General Robinson served in Hawai‘i and was the 1st female to lead a unified combatant command and the highest-ranking woman in U.S. military history
- Questioned Defense Secretary Mattis on President Trump’s lack of authority to attack Syria
- Met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District to discuss the Ala Wai project, energy and water programs, and more
- Met with Kim Jong-hoon, a representative of the Minjung Party of South Korea, to discuss finding a peaceful resolution to the threat posed by North Korea
- Met with students from Miliani Mauka High School to discuss school safety, the upcoming snow storm in Washington, and more
- Congratulated Ho'ola Na Pua for their work to make the groundbreaking ceremony for Pearl Haven possible. Pearl Haven will not only provide the direct support our keiki need, but it will also create ripple effects of positive change, helping to reduce recidivism, treat and address youth trauma at its core, and end the painful cycle of exploitation.