Senator Mazie K. Hirono's Political Positions

Biographical

Full Name: Mazie K. Hirono
Current Office: U.S. Senate - Jr, Democratic
First Elected: 11/06/2012
Last Elected: 11/06/2012
Next Election: 2018
Gender: Female
Family: Husband: Leighton Kim Oshima; 1 Stepchild: Malia
Birth Date: 11/03/1947
Birth Place: Fukushima, Japan
Home City: Honolulu, HI
Religion: Buddhist
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Mazie Hirono refused to tell citizens where she stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. Women's Reproductive Rights. 9 December 2009. “Mr. Speaker, reproductive self-determination is one of the most fundamental civil and human rights a woman can have. And this right is under attack in the health care reform debate. Let's be clear that the real goal of the anti-choice opposition is not to maintain the status quo. Rather, they want to extend Federal prohibitions into private pocketbooks. They hope to make abortion coverage so unattractive that insurers eventually stop offering coverage for an otherwise legal medical procedure. Women do not plan to have unintended pregnancies or pregnancies with complications. Unfortunately, these do happen. It is deeply insulting to tell women that if you want to guard against these unplanned situations, go buy additional coverage.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Women's Issues. 20 September 2011. “Fighting for Choice: A woman's right to choose is a constitutionally protected privacy right. Apparently, however, the current Supreme Court doesn't think so. In April the Court upheld significant restrictions on abortion, setting the stage for overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which ensures that women have the right to choose. Congresswoman Hirono is proud that Hawai'i was the first state to legalize abortion and that last year the State Legislature took the additional step of passing our own Freedom of Choice Act.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Affordable Health Care Act for America. 7 November 2009. “Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the Stupak Amendment, an amendment that is anti-choice and anti-women […] The Stupak Amendment would effectively deny low-income women abortion coverage through insurance plans in the health insurance exchange. This is not only discriminatory but dangerous to women's health. Women without abortion coverage will be forced to postpone abortion care while attempting to raise the necessary funds--a delay that can exacerbate both the costs and the health risks of the procedure.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 3. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding of Abortion. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 05/04/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. A Message from Mazie. 20 October 2006. “Today, every woman's power to choose is in danger. While Republicans and Far-Right pressure groups have not yet been able to overturn Roe v. Wade, they continue to chip away at this fundamental right by calling for limits on our reproductive freedom. We need to remain vigilant, to continue to see through the slogans and political spin that anti-choice activists employ to cloud the issue. We must ensure that the public recognizes that phrases like "partial birth abortion" and "parental notification" are rhetoric aimed at turning choice into a wedge issue. The opponents of our right to choose will try to soothe us with smiles and reassuring words, but by staying focused on the real question before us, we will recognize their position for what it is: an attempt to impose their narrow views on our basic right to control our own bodies. I have been a champion of choice my entire political and professional career, and I will continue to fight for our rights in Congress. The women of our state and our nation deserve no less.” (votesmart.org)
  • National Organization for Women. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, the National Organization for Women attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2008, the National Organization for Women gave Mazie Hirono a rating of 100 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. H Amdt 509. 111th Congress. Prohibiting Federally Funded Abortion Services. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 11/07/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Family Research Council. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the Family Research Council 6 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. H Amdt 95. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Use of Federal Funds For Planned Parenthood. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 02/18/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Planned Parenthood endorsed Mazie Hirono in the 2010 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Peace Action West. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of Peace Action West 75 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Afghanistan War Powers Resolution. 17 March 2011. “We have now entered the tenth year that American troops have been in Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history. An overwhelming majority of the American people--including an increasing number of Members of Congress--supports a safe and significant redeployment of U.S troops from Afghanistan soon. There is no question that we need to end our mission in Afghanistan. I will carefully review the Obama Administration's assessment of the war effort, including plans for a drawdown, in the coming months.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Letter to the Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States. 21 June 2011. “We urge a significant and sizable reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan beginning July 2011. With Osama bin Laden killed and Al Qaeda largely driven from Afghanistan, it is time to accelerate the transfer of security responsibilities to the Government of Afghanistan and to reduce the U.S. military footprint there […] Ultimately, this war will end not on the battlefield but through political negotiations. As we scale down our military operations in Afghanistan we need to continue our diplomatic efforts, pushing for a negotiated settlement that includes the Government of Afghanistan and other parties interested in establishing peace and stability. The American public is weary of a war with no end in sight, and we call upon you to bring the longest war in our nation's history to a close. Beginning in July of this year, we urge a swift, significant and sizable drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.” (votesmart.org)
  • Peace Action. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the Peace Action 75 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. H Con Res 28. 112th Congress. Removing Troops from Afghanistan. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 03/17/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Statement of Congresswoman Hirono on President Obama's Announced Troop Drawdown from Afghanistan. 22 June 2011. "I strongly support President Obama's decision to bring 10,000 of our brave men and women in uniform home from Afghanistan and 33,000 by next summer. The President has successfully dealt with Osama bin Laden, and this is the right time to focus on responsibly winding down our mission in Afghanistan." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. Letter to The Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States. 21 June 2011. “We urge a significant and sizable reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan beginning July 2011. With Osama bin Laden killed and Al Qaeda largely driven from Afghanistan, it is time to accelerate the transfer of security responsibilities to the Government of Afghanistan and to reduce the U.S. military footprint there […] Our economic vitality is a crucial component of our national security. The nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan drains our resources, even as we face serious economic challenges at home. To date, we have spent nearly half a trillion dollars on the Afghan war, and that price tag increases by $10 billion every month we remain. When we calculate the long-term costs of this war, including servicing our debt and caring for our veterans, the dollar figures are almost inconceivable. These funds are needed for rebuilding our own economy, reducing the deficit and generating jobs for Americans.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 3222. 110th Congress. Department of Defense Appropriations, Fiscal Year 2008. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 08/05/2007. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 1363. 112th Congress. 2011 Department of Defense Budget and Additional Continuing Appropriations. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 04/07/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 2642. 110th Congress. Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 06/19/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. H Amdt 13. 112th Congress. Reducing Navy and Air Force Aircraft Procurement. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 02/15/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 4986. 110th Congress. Defense Authorizations Bill. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 01/16/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. National Issues. 22 September 2011. “Our nation's first defense spending priority is to protect ourselves from attack […] As a government we have an obligation to protect our people and our communities. We should do so wisely. Right now, we spend more on the Pentagon than the rest of the world combined spends on defense (Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities). Despite this incredible level of spending, the Pentagon's bookkeeping is marginal at best. No one can link the Pentagon's financial inputs to its policy outputs; in other words, Congress and the public cannot know whether a line item is actually linked to a desired policy outcome. This must change. We expect public schools to be accountable for meeting their goals; it is time to hold the Pentagon to the same standards. We need to eliminate spending on out-dated Cold War-era weapon systems. No private business would continue to produce obsolete products long after their time had past. Further, we must stop paying for untested weapons. This type of reckless spending must be curbed. We are spending too much and getting too little in return. Finally, we need to work closely with our allies to more equally share the costs of maintaining a safer world. This is where Republican foreign policy has most disastrously failed the American people. Successful diplomacy means that we use military force when necessary, and entails bringing other countries on board. Failed diplomacy, as we have seen over the last six years, translates into less money for our public schools, for Social Security, for environmental protection, and most importantly, tragic loss of life.“ (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. “Mr. Chairman, as a cosponsor of H.R. 400, introduced by my colleague from Hawaii, the Honorable Neil Abercrombie, which seeks to prohibit war profiteering, I support H.R. 1362 which champions the same goals. At a time of war, when the lives of Americans are put at risk, when the limited resources of the Nation are being expended and when programs serving millions of Americans are being cut back, no corporation or person should ever be allowed to misuse, waste or misappropriate Federal tax dollars. Unfortunately, due to mismanagement, incompetence and sweetheart deals, and lack of oversight, certain U.S. corporations and their subsidiaries apparently have blatantly over-charged government agencies, engaged in wasteful practices and committed allegedly fraudulent acts that have resulted in the virtual disappearance of billions of dollars […] This bill minimizes the use of no-bid contracts, promote the use of cost effective fixed-price contracts and limit the duration of no-bid contracts, which must be awarded under emergency conditions, to one year. This bill allows the awarding of no-bid contracts which cannot be delayed but require re-bidding when the emergency has elapsed. Public disclosure of the reasons for using no-bid contracts and overcharging will promote transparency and expose improper contracting practices. Fixed price, rather than open-ended cost-plus, contracts will encourage efficiency and minimize unrestricted spending by contractors. H.R. 1362 will go a long way to curb unchecked abuse and overcharging, slipshod accounting practices and lack of accountability. It will give government procurement managers the authority to control wasteful and fraudulent contractor practices, as well as be governed by stricter ethical guidelines to regulate the procurement managers' own behavior.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. Congresswoman Hirono Votes for Economic Stimulus Plan. 29 January 2008. “Experts have determined that spending on food stamps and unemployment benefits provide a bigger boost for the economy than tax breaks. I support measures like these that provide a safety net for those most in need and reflect true compassion. Certainly, as we work to stimulate the economy, we should focus our efforts on helping working families. I strongly oppose the President's call to extend his tax cuts for the richest of the rich. That would not be either fair or effective." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 3 October 2008. “Madam Speaker, the emergency financial rescue package I am supporting today, while far from perfect, contains noticeable improvements on the Paulson Plan we considered on Monday […] The new package provides tax relief for middle-class families and tax incentives designed to create new jobs and economic opportunities in Hawaii, where people have been hit hard by the economic downturn that preceded this financial crisis. The majority of the tax relief, tax credits, and tax extenders added to the package will provide direct relief and economic assistance to middle-class families and working people—such as the Alternative Minimum Tax, AMT, relief provision and tax credits to speed research, development, and use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The AMT fix, for example, will prevent some 40,000 constituents in my second district of Hawaii from having to pay higher taxes that were originally intended only to affect wealthy taxpayers. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Middle Class Tax Cuts. 15 September 2010. “I will oppose those who hold the middle class tax cuts hostage so that people earning more than $1 million will receive average tax cuts of $100,000 annually. The top 2 percent of these income earners in our country can afford to pay their fair share. Extending the Bush tax cuts for this group will pile on a whopping $700 billion to our deficit over the next 10 years.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. National Issues. 22 September 2011. “Quite simply, I support eliminating tax breaks for the richest 2 percent of the country. These tax breaks illustrate the fiscal irresponsibly and greed that has run rampant in Washington since President Bush and his Republican friends took over. Further, we must simplify the tax code, and we must eliminate the corporate welfare it currently includes. If working families have to pay their fair share, big companies have to pay their fair share too. Also, I oppose repealing the estate tax, which seems to come before Congress year after year. Permanently repealing this tax on the extremely wealthy - on estates that are worth more than $2 million - does not make sense to me. At a time when our deficit is more than eight trillion dollars, and growing larger each day, it is fiscally irresponsible to pursue a policy that will cost the country $1 trillion in the first ten years.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Statement By Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono in Opposition to H.R. 4853. 16 December 2010. “I rise in reluctant opposition to H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act. Two weeks ago, I voted for a better bill, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act, which passed the House but was not taken up by the Senate. That bill would have extended tax cuts for middle class taxpayers, including about 323,000 lower- and middle-income families in my congressional district who make less than $200,000 (under $250,000 for joint filers). The bill that is on the floor today extends the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans in the top two income tax brackets at a cost of $61 billion. Under this bill, the millionaires and billionaires can sleep soundly, secure in the knowledge that their tax cuts will continue for at least another two years, while the unemployed get relief for only 13 months. Economists predict that many millions will continue to be unemployed beyond the 13 months. This deal is weighted so heavily toward the richest few that the unemployed only receive 7 percent of the total package. We must fight for a better deal.” (votesmart.org)
  • Americans for Tax Reform. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the Americans for Tax Reform 0 percent in 2007." (votesmart.org)
  • National Taxpayers Union. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported reasonable tax and spending policies as defined by the National Taxpayers Union 6 percent of the time in 2010." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. HR 5297. 112th Congress. Small Business Lending Fund and Tax Law Amendments. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 09/23/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • The Club for Growth. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2010, The Club for Growth gave Mazie Hirono a rating of 0 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono Statement on H.R. 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 29 September 2008. “We need to focus on growing our economy and creating jobs in Hawaii. Last week, the House passed a second economic stimulus package that spurs investment in our infrastructure and provides immediate relief to struggling families by extending unemployment benefits, supporting job training efforts, and providing Medicaid and food assistance […] These are measures that will provide immediate assistance to our families and businesses. It is important that Congress come up with a strategy to not only address the crisis in financial markets, but to keep families in their homes and invest in our economy, especially in green technology job creation.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 3 October 2008. “I am disappointed that it appears the Senate is not taking up the economic stimulus package (H.R. 7110) recently passed in the House, which will create jobs, extend unemployment benefits, help States with Medicaid reimbursements, and support our Food Stamp program. This bill represented some $222 million for Hawaii. I did talk to Senator Obama about his perspective and my concerns about this bill. We both know that much more work remains to be done to address the underlying economic and regulatory problems that won't be fixed with this bill. We agree that new Federal investments are needed in transportation and clean water infrastructure as well as in education to enhance our Nation's competitiveness and to put people to work.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Economy. “I strongly support increased federal investment in infrastructure, including our roads, mass transit, sewer and wastewater facilities. This is one reason I sought membership on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over highways, transit, aviation, maritime commerce and clean water and wastewater infrastructure. Island families are struggling to make ends meet. Our country cannot afford another eight years of this broken Bush economy. Strengthening the Economy: Congress passed an economic stimulus package in February to boost consumer spending and stimulate business investment. We also passed sweeping housing overhaul legislation to stabilize the housing market and help struggling families get into affordable homes, which will help to jumpstart our economy.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Press Conference With Freshman House Democrats - Federal Bailout Legislation. 3 October 2008. ”It's very clear that this [federal bailout legislation] isn't the only step that we need to take to revitalize the economy. And to answer your question a little bit further, these investments are important in that effort -- putting money back into incentives that will spur job growth in our communities is a piece of revitalizing this economy and was an important piece of putting it into this bill to make it a bit more balanced.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Press Conference With House Democratic Member - Financial Bailout Plan. 30 September 2008. “And the reason that this economic stimulus package should be passed is that it creates jobs for Hawaii. It represents $222 million that can be infused into the Hawaii economy for infrastructure support, to create more support for food stamps, extend unemployment benefits. These are the kinds of economic help that will help our families and working people immediately. So we need to get to the root causes. And I agree with my colleagues that certain no-cost things should have been done by this administration. Mr. Paulson said that he has a regulatory -- tool books and he hasn't used them, and we're saying go use them. Do what you need to do to help our financial institutions.” (votesmart.org)
  • Americans for Prosperity. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the Americans for Prosperity 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 1424. 110th Congress. Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 10/03/2008. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. Congresswoman Hirono Votes for Economic Stimulus Plan. 29 January 2008. "Small businesses power our economy in Hawai'i. Our bill gives businesses an incentive to expand their operations, hire new workers and help get our economy back on track." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 3 October 2008. “Madam Speaker, the emergency financial rescue package I am supporting today, while far from perfect, contains noticeable improvements on the Paulson Plan we considered on Monday. This package is much more balanced in favor of helping everyday people, middle-class families, and small businesses. The bailout package we considered on Monday was simply too geared toward Wall Street and the corporations whose irresponsible practices helped create this crisis in the first place. This new financial rescue package raises the cap on FDIC-insured bank accounts from $100,000 to $250,000, which will assist families and small businesses while restoring Americans' confidence that their savings are secure. The new package provides tax relief for middle-class families and tax incentives designed to create new jobs and economic opportunities in Hawaii, where people have been hit hard by the economic downturn that preceded this financial crisis. The majority of the tax relief, tax credits, and tax extenders added to the package will provide direct relief and economic assistance to middle-class families and working people--such as the Alternative Minimum Tax, AMT, relief provision and tax credits to speed research, development, and use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Business. 21 September 2011. “Congresswoman Hirono understands the importance of small businesses to our economy in Hawai'i and all of America. She serves as a member of the House Small Business Committee, a position she sought so she can better enable small businesses to grow and succeed, create new jobs by supporting cutting-edge research that leads to further innovation in the private sector, and provide tax relief for small businesses to help them invest in new equipment and hire new workers. Provide urgently needed tax relief: Congresswoman Hirono supports legislation that provides tax relief for hard-working business owners. Repeal a tax provision that will hurt businesses with government contracts: Congresswoman Hirono is a cosponsor of the Withholding Tax Relief Act. If enacted, this bill will repeal a new 3 percent withholding requirement on government payments to vendors that will take effect in 2011. Companies doing business with the government should not have to worry about a provision that will impinge on company cash flows and increase administrative costs. Extend tax relief for small business owners: Congresswoman Hirono voted in support of the Small Business Tax Relief Act. This bill, which passed the House, extends the work opportunity tax credit through 2008 and increases the amount of small business assets eligible for expensing.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Economy. 21 September 2011. “Strengthening the Economy: Congress passed an economic stimulus package in February to boost consumer spending and stimulate business investment. We also passed sweeping housing overhaul legislation to stabilize the housing market and help struggling families get into affordable homes, which will help to jumpstart our economy. This is a great start, but we need to do more. For one, we should consider introducing another stimulus package that targets increased infrastructure spending to generate jobs and have an immediate effect on our economy. It is also vitally important that we pass legislation that invests in our small businesses and act quickly to extend the renewable energy tax incentives that expire at the end of the year.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. On the Importance of Education Reform. 27 October 2009. “One of the most notable improvements I've seen since the beginning of this administration is the importance the President has placed on education. I know I'm not alone in recognizing how President Obama and Education Secretary Duncan have changed the tone in the education community. Last Friday, David Brooks used his column in the New York Times to praise the President and the Secretary for their efforts in raising the bar on education reform: partnering with Congress, they have set high standards, and are providing $5 billion in competitive grants to those states that can best demonstrate their commitment to reform. As a result, there's real excitement among the states to put their best education reform foot forward as they gear up for the competition for these grants. At a time when the U.S. is falling behind other countries in educational attainment, at a time when state budgets are stretched thin, we need to focus more, not less, on strengthening education in our country to enable us to compete in the global economy.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Education. 22 September 2011. “Education is the great equalizer. We should be investing more into our children's future. Every family should have access to high quality early education, great public schools, and affordable college. I have used my seat on the Committee on Education and Labor to advocate for major reform to the flawed No Child Left Behind law, and to increase Pell Grants and loan forgiveness for college students and graduates. I introduced the PRE-K Act to provide increased federal funds for high quality preschool, and am working with Congressional leaders to get it signed into law. Early Education: I am a champion of early education. Research shows that the social and educational development that occurs in preschool is highly correlated with greater academic success in adolescence and young adulthood. Youth who have access to high quality early education are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college and find gainful employment. They are less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system or rely on public assistance as adults. PRE-K Act: The Providing Resources Early for Kids Act of 2008 (PRE-K Act) would establish a federal grant program to encourage and support state efforts to provide high quality preschool opportunities for our children. Since the goal is for children to have access to quality pre-school programs, grant funds can be used to invest in the professional development of preschool teachers and provide more classroom access and opportunities for children, among other uses. To qualify for these grants, states must meet minimum quality requirements […] No Child Left Behind: While I am in support of increased accountability, we need to address many of the harmful flaws in the current NCLB law. We also need to fully fund any federal education policy, so that our school reform is properly supported. We also need to move away from our reliance on high-stakes testing. I am in favor of using growth models to track the performance of students from year to year, allowing teachers and parents to work together to support student learning.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Congresswoman Hirono Lauds President Obama Early Education Initiative. 25 May 2011. "The 'Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge' illustrates once again President Obama's strong commitment to quality early education. President Obama deserves enormous credit for his commitment to providing early childhood education to so many children and families in Hawaii and across the country, and for doing so in such an innovative and competitive way.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Statement by Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono on the Hawaii Department of Education being named a finalist in the National Race to the Top Competition. 27 July 2010. “Congratulations to the Hawaii Department of Education for being named one of 19 national finalists for President Obama's Race to the Top program. Hawaii's teachers, staff, and administrators on all islands spent countless hours on the application, and were recognized for working together. Their tireless efforts overcame national criticism of Hawaii's Furlough Fridays. Under the leadership of acting School Superintendent Kathy Matayoshi, Hawaii developed an innovative preschool-through-college (P-20) approach to reform. This plan includes closing achievement gaps between groups of students, ensuring that all students are prepared for college and careers, and focusing on the Science and Engineering skills of the future. The most important factor in student achievement is the teacher in front of the classroom, and Hawaii's plan will provide teachers with better training and support. While not all of these finalists will receive these Race to the Top grants, that Hawaii made it to the finals is an achievement to be applauded and acknowledged.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Energy. 22 September 2011. “Congresswoman Hirono is committed to helping our nation towards energy independence. We will strengthen our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil […] Congresswoman Hirono is working with her colleagues in Congress to lead us on a path to energy independence. Repeal Big Oil giveaways to invest in clean energy: She voted for a measure that repeals $23 billion in tax subsidies and royalty relief provisions for Big Oil companies given during an era of record profits. The bill, which passed the House, closes a tax loophole for these companies and promotes improved accountability for companies that drill for oil and gas on federal lands.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 1230. 112th Congress. Offshore Leasing Act. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 05/05/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. H Amdt 773. 112th Congress. Ending Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Rigs that Meet Certain Safety Standards. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 07/30/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 3534. 112th Congress. Offshore Drilling Regulations and Other Energy Law Amendments. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 07/30/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan. 25 July 2012. “Instead, the bill before us keeps us on the same path of dependence we've been on. This bill is a failure for our economy in the long term, fails to address the safety reforms for offshore drilling that numerous experts have advocated for, and seeks to give oil companies another windfall without ensuring that they are paying their fair share to drill on public lands.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Renewable Energy. 22 September 2011. “I am committed to helping our nation towards energy independence. We must strengthen our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil […] I do not believe that drilling for oil in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) is the solution to reducing our gas prices. Currently, 68 million acres of undeveloped onshore and offshore federal oil reserves are being warehoused by the energy industry. The oil industry should diligently develop production on these reserves instead of locking up more public lands and threatening our beaches and wilderness.” (votesmart.org)
  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of Environment America 93 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act. 11 May 2011. “Once again the House will vote on Republican legislation that takes a 'let's put all our eggs in one basket' approach to our national energy policy. And what's their answer to high gas prices? Drill for more oil offshore, and preserve taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil […] Republicans also want to pretend that there are no consequences to the near indiscriminate drilling authorized by these bills. Less than a year after the catastrophic BP oil spill, which was caused by lax regulation of a dangerous industry, they want us to undo the reforms that have been made. And for what? The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimates that drilling authorized by these bills may lead to a measly 1.6 percent increase in domestic energy production from 2012 to 2030. That is not a prescription for relieving pain at the pump in the short term, and it's a poor strategy for long-term energy security. Instead, we need to invest in fuel-efficient technologies and expand our transportation options. We need to focus on harnessing clean alternative energy sources, and that way, we can leave our children a cleaner, healthier planet and wean ourselves from foreign oil. I urge my colleagues to vote against this rule and against this drill-only bill.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • League of Conservation Voters. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the League of Conservation Voters 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 2454. 111th Congress. Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ("Cap and Trade"). Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 06/26/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Sierra Club. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Sierra Club endorsed Mazie Hirono in the 2010 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of Environment America 93 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012. 15 July 2011. “Together, these programs fund crucial research and development in a variety of renewable technologies with the goals of ending our national dependence on fossil fuels, more efficiently powering our homes and businesses, and lessening the cost of energy for families. These types of investments are incredibly important in my home state of Hawaii. We are the most oil dependent state in the nation--we must import 90 percent of the oil products that fuel our cars, homes, and businesses. So when the world markets that set the price of oil gyrates--as it has in recent months--our economic growth and quality of life are significantly impacted.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Energy. 21 September 2011. “By employing new technology we can lower energy costs and have greater efficiency. We must shift to cleaner energy to reduce global warming. Hawai'i has significant potential for clean, alternative energy sources including solar, wind and ocean energy. Reduce global warming: Congress is helping to protect our planet by passing initiatives that target climate change. Fund climate change research: Congress has passed legislation that bolsters research on solar, geothermal, and marine renewable energy. This legislation also establishes a comprehensive coastal and ocean observation system that will greatly enhance our ability to monitor and predict climate change and its effects on our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. Promote federal leadership: As the federal government is the largest energy consumer in the U.S., Congress has passed legislation that requires federal government operations to be carbon-neutral by 2050, with annual government-wide emissions targets. This will save taxpayers $7.5 billion through 2030.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Renewable Energy. 21 September 2011. “I am committed to helping our nation towards energy independence. We must strengthen our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. By employing new technology, we can lower energy costs and have greater efficiency. We must shift to cleaner energy to reduce global warming. Hawaii has significant potential for clean, alternative energy sources including solar, wind and ocean energy. I support increased investment in renewable energy technology and strongly support requiring that we mandate that renewables become an increasing share of our energy source. Hawaii can and should be a leader in alternative and renewable energies. We must make this commitment to our future and explore options that could promote diversifying our economy.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 910. 112th Congress. Energy Tax Prevention Act. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 04/07/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Environment. 22 September 2011. “Global Warming: I am a cosponsor of the two major bills in Congress addressing climate change: the Safe Climate Act and the Climate Stewardship Act. It is essential that the U.S. at long last provide international leadership in addressing this very real crisis by establishing mandatory limits on greenhouse gases. I also support Vice President Gore's call to set a national goal of producing all of our nation's electricity from renewable sources.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Gun Owners of America. 04/18/2012. "In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Mazie Hirono a grade of 9." (votesmart.org)
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsed Mazie Hirono in the 2008 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 6842. 110th Congress. Repealing Portions of the D.C. Firearm Ban. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 09/17/2008. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. Affordable Health Care for America Act. 7 November 2009. “H.R. 3962 represents a critical milestone in the effort to reform our health care system […] H.R. 3962 is a bill that will provide for comprehensive health care reform that will protect consumers, hold insurance companies accountable, rein in health care costs, reduce the deficit, and cover 36 million uninsured Americans. In supporting this bill, I want to highlight three key points. First, for Hawaii the bill includes the Hirono Amendment that provides an exemption for Hawaii's Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974, which is our nation's first and only employer mandate law of its kind. Second, the bill will provide health insurance coverage for an unprecedented number of Americans while still reducing our deficit. And third, the bill strengthens and improves the Medicare program for our seniors.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 2. 112th Congress. Repealing the Health Care Bill. Mazie Hirono voted Nay on 01/19/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • American Public Health Association. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Congresswoman Hirono Votes In Favor Of Sweeping Health Care Reform. 21 March 2010. “We took a stand tonight for hard-working middle class families who deserve a better value for their health care dollar, better health care for America's seniors, and for those who have been denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition or whose insurance is rescinded when they needed it most. Once this bill is signed into law, Americans will see immediate benefits. Seniors served by Medicare who hit the doughnut hole will start to see immediate relief, preventative services will be free under Medicare, and small businesses will be eligible for a tax credit of up to 35% of premiums. The bill will also ban insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and it eliminates lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on coverage.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Health Care Reform. 16 March 2010. “Your health or your home? Americans should not have to make this choice, but all too often they have to because of the high cost of health care. Lesley Czechowicz of Kihei, Maui, called my office yesterday to tell me about her 20-year-old niece. Last year, her niece collapsed and fell into a seizure. Medics rushed her to the hospital; and, ultimately, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. Her niece had a part-time retail job that did not offer health insurance to their employees. Because of the emergency care and subsequent follow-up visits to the doctor, her niece was recently forced to sell her house so that she could pay her medical bills. Lesley called me because she wanted to make sure I would support health care reform. She told me that while it's too late for her niece, it's not too late for our country. I couldn't agree more. Private health insurance companies run a business. Their goal is to make money for their shareholders. They pay their CEOs millions of dollars a year while raising health care costs for the rest of us. Whose side are you on?” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Health Care. 22 September 2011. “Access to quality, affordable health care is critical to the well being of America, today and in the future. Central to this is addressing the needs of the 46 million uninsured Americans, strengthening the Medicare system, providing health insurance to our low-income children, funding cutting-edge research into cures for diseases, and giving patients the clout to challenge the decisions of health insurers. Only through action on these critical issues can we meet the pressing health care concerns of our nation. Health Care Reform: In June, the Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees unveiled their discussion draft for health care reform. The three panels with jurisdiction over health policy in the House have been working together as one committee to develop a single bill that fulfills President Obama's goals of reducing health care costs, protecting and increasing consumers' choices, and guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Letter to The Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States. 15 July 2011. “The Congressional Task Force on Seniors is committed to protecting the financial security, health, and well-being of America's seniors. As members of the Task Force, we want to thank you for your leadership in fighting for those priorities and urge you to continue to oppose harmful cuts, or reductions in benefits, to programs that benefit older Americans, specifically in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security […] As older Americans rely on Social Security, they also rely on Medicare and Medicaid for their health and long-term care needs. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we took measures to lower health care costs without cutting benefits or increasing cost-sharing requirement. While we can make more improvements, we must not abandon that commitment. Proposals to raise out-of-pocket costs, cut benefits, or reduce federal Medicaid spending would have a negative impact on current enrollees, their families, and our economy as a whole.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 5281. 112th Congress. DREAM Act. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 12/08/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Congresswoman Hirono Votes in Favor of DREAM Act. 8 December 2010. “I have listened to numerous stories in Hawaii about young adults who came to the islands as children and are now facing the nightmare of deportation. The DREAM Act gives those undocumented young adults who work hard and meet the strict requirements the chance to become legal residents. Our nation was founded on the powerful ideals of freedom and tolerance. These values still elude other nations to this day, which is why the American Dream endures in the minds of so many around the world.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Grijalva Joined By Broad Cross-Section of Members of Congress In Praising Yesterday's First Ever Senate Hearing on The DREAM Act. 29 June 2011. "I applaud the Senate for holding a hearing on the DREAM Act and hope it will bring the measure to the floor for a vote. As a cosponsor of the DREAM Act in the House, I know this legislation will make a difference in the lives of young adults throughout the nation, including in Hawaii. I know of young people in Hawaii who came to this country as youngsters, didn't know they were undocumented, now facing deportation. The DREAM Act would give these young people a chance at a better future in the only country they know, America. It is time to address these special circumstances in a fair and responsible manner." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Huffington Post - House DREAM Passage Puts Pressure on Senate. 9 December 2010. "Our nation was founded on the powerful ideals of freedom and tolerance. These are values that still elude other nations to this day, which is why the American Dream endures in the minds of so many around the world. As an immigrant to this country myself, I know the power of that dream. My vote today is in support of the high-achieving and patriotic children who already call this country home." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. HR 3685. 110th Congress. Sexual Orientation Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA). Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 11/07/2007. (votesmart.org)
  • Human Rights Campaign. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the Human Rights Campaign 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. HR 2965. 112th Congress. Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act. Mazie Hirono voted Yea on 12/15/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • American Family Association. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the American Family Association 11 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono Completes Survey. 28 September 2010. “ Yes, I do [support civil unions], because I believe in equal rights and protections for all [...] I have and will continue to support equal rights for gay and lesbian couples.” (pd-hawaii.com)
  • Mazie Hirono. Letter To The Honorable President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schumer, And Chairwoman Lofgren. 9 February 2010. “As members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, we are writing to express our strong support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill which would end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) binational families. We urge Congress to include the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1024lS. 424) in any comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Currently, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents may sponsor their spouses (and other immediate family members) for immigration purposes. But, same-sex partners committed to spending their lives together are not recognized as "families" under U.S. immigration law and thus do not have this same right. As a result, tens of thousands of binational families are either already living separately, face imminent separation, or have left the U.S. entirely in order to remain together. This is unacceptable, and we believe comprehensive immigration reform- legislation must include a strong family reunification component inclusive of LGBT families.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. National Issues. 20 September 2011. “The Constitution should expand our rights and protections, not contract them. Bans on same sex marriage have no place in the Constitution. I was the highest ranking elected official to publicly oppose Hawaii's Constitutional amendment which resulted in the banning of same-sex marriage.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Statement from Congresswoman Hirono on Passage of Hawaii Civil Unions Law. 23 February 2011. "This is a landmark day for the State of Hawaii. I want to recognize the hard work of Hawaii's lawmakers and grass roots organizations that made this moment possible. This legislation is about equality and providing basic civil rights and protections to all people of Hawaii. I appreciate the legislature's action on this measure and share Governor Abercrombie's respect for our island's diversity and constitutional rights." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Mazie Hirono. Letter to The Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States. 21 June 2011. “International terrorist networks remain a grave threat to the United States, as Al Qaeda affiliates now have a significant presence in countries like Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. But maintaining anywhere near 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan is not an effective means of combating a global and decentralized enemy.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Statement of Congresswoman Hirono on the Successful U.S. Mission to Hunt Down Osama bin Laden. 2 May 2011. “I am enormously proud of President Obama, our U.S. intelligence agencies, and our U.S. military personnel for their persistence and precision, their discipline and decisiveness, in bringing the world-wide manhunt for Osama bin Laden to its successful conclusion. Their leadership and performance represent a shining example of America at her best. We must, and will, remain ever-vigilant in the face of al Qaeda and any threat to our homeland security. But, on President Obama's order, justice has been served for those who perished on September 11th, 2001 and an earthshaking blow has been delivered against those who would do us harm. For this, the people of Hawaii and the United States are deeply grateful.” (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Alliance for Retired Americans. 04/18/2012. "Mazie Hirono supported the interests of the Alliance for Retired Americans 100 percent in 2008." (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. A Message From Mazie. 6 November 2006. “Let's remind ourselves of why we are doing this, why we have devoted so much time and effort in this campaign. With a win on election day, we can put a stop to President Bush's ill-advised and unsuccessful policy in Iraq, bring an end to the war, and return our soldiers home safely; protect Social Security as an economic safety net for our seniors, and stop the White House plan for privatization; defend every women's fundamental right to make reproductive decisions without government interference; and repeal the president's tax breaks for America's wealthiest citizens, and instead offer tax relief to our nation's working men and women.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Issue Position: Social Security. 22 September 2011. “Today over 200,000 Hawaii seniors depend on monthly social security benefits as their primary income source. Republicans opposed the creation of Social Security, and today they are once again working to undermine this program that so many seniors rely on. Republicans want to take that retirement security and leave it to the whims of Wall Street. I believe that we can protect Social Security's solvency for future generations and we can do it without slashing benefits, privatizing the program, or making people work into their golden years.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Letter to the Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States. 15 July 2011. “The Congressional Task Force on Seniors is committed to protecting the financial security, health, and well-being of America's seniors. As members of the Task Force, we want to thank you for your leadership in fighting for those priorities and urge you to continue to oppose harmful cuts, or reductions in benefits, to programs that benefit older Americans, specifically in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. At a time when older Americans are less secure in their retirement and less able to afford quality health services, now is not the time to cut their benefits […] As older Americans rely on Social Security, they also rely on Medicare and Medicaid for their health and long-term care needs. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we took measures to lower health care costs without cutting benefits or increasing cost-sharing requirement. While we can make more improvements, we must not abandon that commitment. Proposals to raise out-of-pocket costs, cut benefits, or reduce federal Medicaid spending would have a negative impact on current enrollees, their families, and our economy as a whole.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Letter to the Honorable Barack H. Obama, President, United States of America. 15 October 2010. “We write today to express our strong support for Social Security and our view that it should be strengthened. We oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age. We also oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, in whole or in part […] If any of the Commission's recommendations cut or diminish Social Security in any way, we will stand firmly against them. We urge you to join us in protecting and strengthening Social Security rather than letting it fall victim to a misguided attempt to reduce budget deficits on the backs of working families.” (votesmart.org)
  • Mazie Hirono. Social Security. 12 July 2011. “Madam Speaker, we can all agree that we need to bring down our deficit, but we disagree on how to do it. Republicans in Congress say that the only way to do this is to gut the services that American families rely on. Their priority is to protect the wealthiest among us who continue to enjoy loopholes and tax breaks. They should be paying their fair share. Social Security is a promise to every American worker for years of hard work and provides dignity in retirement and help to support surviving children. Today nearly 55 million Americans rely on Social Security, including 214,000 in Hawaii. The program is vital to women, particularly single women, who disproportionately face poverty in old age. The American middle class and our seniors deserve a fair solution on the deficit that gets our economy back on track and creates jobs--but not, not on the backs of our families and seniors.” (votesmart.org)

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