Hirono, Schatz, Gabbard get committee assignments

Published On: Jan 04 2013 03:24:07 PM HST

Three-fourths of Hawaii's Congressional delegation received their committee assignments Friday.

Sen. Mazie Hirono was assigned to the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

"Our military’s presence in Hawaii not only plays a critical role in our national security but also in driving our state’s economy and supporting thousands of jobs in the public and private sectors," said Hirono.  "I look forward to partnering with my colleague on the House Armed Services Committee, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, in preserving Hawaii’s important role in our national security."

Rep. Hanabusa also serves on the House Natural Resources Committee.

Sen. Brian Schatz was named to the U.S. Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources, Indian Affairs and Commerce.

"Energy is a continuation of the work I have been doing in clean energy and transition fuels.  I see this as a two-way opportunity where I can help direct financial resources to Hawaii," said Schatz.  "And, as Hawaii continues as a test bed for clean energy, focus the eyes of Congress and the country to what we are doing here.  Ultimately we want to direct interest here and spur international technology development in the islands."

Schatz says the Commerce Committee covers infrastructure like rail and roads, as well as the oceans.  He was the only freshman Senator to be named in this influential and powerful committee.

Schatz says he will continue the work started by Sen. Daniel Akaka and Sen. Daniel Inouye in the Indian Affairs Committee with regards to Native Hawaiian federal recognition.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was assigned to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Friday.  She had already accepted an assignment to the House Homeland Security Committee.

"As the U.S. pivots its focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, my work on the Foreign Affairs Committee will ensure Hawaii benefits from, and provides leadership in, this shift in policy and strategy," said Gabbard.  "By drawing on military background and experience leading counterterrorism training during my deployment to Kuwait, I plan to bring unique insights and a firsthand perspective to my position on the Homeland Security Committee.  Given Hawaii’s location and crucial international ports, I will work to bring into focus the impact our nation’s Homeland Security policies have on the islands."


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