Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Sworn in to Serve in 114th Congress
Passes Bill to Promote Hiring Veterans, Co-Sponsors Bill for Native Hawaiian Housing Assistance
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) takes the oath of office to serve the people of Hawaii’s 2nd District as their Representative in the 114th Congress with House Speaker John Boehner (OH-08). The photo above and more from Opening Day of the 2015 Session are available here for download.
Washington, DC – Joined by many supporters, family, friends, and colleagues this afternoon, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) was sworn in to serve the people of Hawaiʻi for a second term as their Representative in Congress. Session convened at noon, and by evening, Rep. Gabbard had assisted in advancing two critical pieces of legislation—the Hiring More Heroes Act, which encourages businesses to hire veterans, passed unanimously by a vote of 412-0, and the introduction of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act, which she co-sponsored to support housing opportunities for Native Hawaiians.
“As we begin the 114th Congress, passage of this bipartisan Hire More Heroes Act, which focuses on empowering and employing our veterans, is the perfect tone to bring in the New Year,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Captain in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard. “This legislation will help decrease the number of unemployed veterans and support our small business owners as they work hard to grow our economy. I was honored to immediately offer my support and co-sponsor the bill because of the important constituency that it serves—those who willingly serve and sacrifice for our nation."
The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act, also called NAHASDA, seeks to empower Native communities by assisting low-income families with affordable housing. Similar legislation was introduced last year that omitted Native Hawaiian benefits, but the Gabbard-sponsored bill that was introduced today includes key provisions to ensure that Hawaii's native people are not forgotten. Once passed, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands will be able to continue using NAHASDA funds to manage a trust established by Congress to support Native Hawaiians through homesteading.
“Over 1,400 low-income families in Hawai‘i have benefited from these services and, in many cases, homeownership would not have been possible given the $640,000 median price of a single-family home on the island of Oʻahu,” explained Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Nationwide, passage of this legislation would represent an important step toward removing roadblocks to economic success in Native communities and reaffirm the House’s long-standing commitment to tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”