Securing our country’s elections
Here’s a quick update on legislation I’ve introduced in Congress and how we are working for Hawai‘i. As you may know, the Department of Homeland Security reported that 21 state electoral systems were targeted with hacking attempts in the 2016 election, revealing serious vulnerabilities and threatening the integrity of our elections. Soon after, at DEFCON, the world's largest hacking conference, hackers breached every piece of election equipment, some within mere minutes.
We cannot ignore these vulnerabilities that erode voter confidence and expose our election’s infrastructure to manipulation by adversaries. With 2018 elections quickly approaching, Congress must act now by working with states to safeguard our electoral infrastructure and ensure that each and every American vote is counted accurately.
That’s why I introduced the Securing America’s Elections Act that will ensure our elections are hack-proof by providing the American people with a secure, auditable paper record of their votes in time for the 2018 elections. It will also begin to address the effectiveness and security of our voting machine software. This is critical to renew our citizens’ faith in the electoral process.
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.
Passing Gun Safety Legislation Now
The horrific tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 dead, at least 14 injured, and a community and nation in mourning. On the first assembly back at school, some Hawai'i students, teachers, and volunteers delivered a Lei of Aloha to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community, to share our aloha with them and to let them know we stand with them not only during this time of tragedy, but as we work toward necessary reforms to our gun safety laws. We can’t allow partisan politics to get in the way of common sense change.
Here are a few bipartisan, common sense actions that I’m working on:
- Requiring background checks on anyone seeking to purchase a gun
- Closing the Gun Show Loophole and pushing the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act
- Banning military-style assault weapons through the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018
- Banning Bump Stocks – devices that turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon and can fire 400 to 800 rounds a minute
- Closing the Sutherland Springs Background Check Loophole to ensure that any individual convicted of domestic violence cannot legally purchase a firearm
Honoring Day of Remembrance for WWII Japanese Incarceration
Over 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated on American soil during World War II. As we recognized the annual Day of Remembrance recently, we were reminded of the brave men, women, and children who lost everything. But, their spirits were not broken. Countless stories of bravery, courage, and resilience defined an entire generation, including the Nisei-only “Go for Broke” 442nd Infantry Regiment, who became the most highly decorated unit in Army history. We must follow in the footsteps of the 442nd and be inspired by the light and love of the Aloha spirit to stand up against intolerance, bigotry and hatred.
Click to watch my speech on the House floor honoring over 120,000 Japanese Americans who were incarcerated on American soil during World War II.
Fighting to Re-Ban Chlorpyrifos from Harming Keiki, Workers, Environment
Administrator Pruitt’s recent decision to lift the ban on Chlorpyrifos was reckless and short-sighted, and has put the health and well-being of our keiki, expecting mothers, field workers, agricultural communities, and 'aina at risk.
We’ve seen the direct impact here at home, where Kauai workers were hospitalized after exposure to this dangerous chemical. The fact that the Trump-run EPA allowed Syngenta to get away with a slap on the wrist after this illegal act is absolutely unacceptable. In addition to passing the Pesticide Protection Act of 2017, we must take action to hold industrial agri-businesses accountable for putting at risk the health and safety of the American people and our planet.
Supporting Veteran Treatment Courts in Hawai‘i, Nationwide
In Hawai‘i and across the country, veteran treatment courts are helping veterans who are dealing with substance abuse and who have committed nonviolent crimes get treatment and get their lives back on track.
Through high-intensity supervision and a network of support that includes veteran-to-veteran mentorship, job and housing support, employment assistance, treatment and counseling and more, veteran treatment courts ensure that our heroes get the care and services they need to heal. I’ve met veterans in Hawai'i who have graduated from this program, and who tearfully shared how this program has literally saved their lives.
Our legislation, the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act honors our veterans and their sacrifice by providing them with the care and treatment they need, and is just part of the long overdue reforms needed in our criminal justice system.
Here are some additional highlights:
- Received the Charles Dick Medal of Merit for distinguished legislative contributions to the National Guard
- Cheered on participants of the Hoku Relay, a 134-mile relay around O'ahu that supports Hoku Scholars— a scholarship program that helps students in Wai'anae prepare for college, including helping with school tuition, PSATs, summer enrichment classes, textbooks, and more
- Announced opening submissions from Hawai'i high school artists in the 2nd Congressional District for the 2018 Congressional Art Competition
- Co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to address the severe shortage of nurses in Hawai’i and across the country
- Voted against legislation that unravels civil rights protections for millions of individuals with disabilities in Hawai‘i and across the country
- Introduced bicameral legislation to restore net neutrality and reinstate open, fair, and equal Internet access for all
- Voted against legislation (H.R. 4296) that would roll back financial regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis by reducing capital requirements for the nation’s biggest banks