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Reps. Gabbard & Hanabusa Will Not Accept Salary During Shutdown

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa announced on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, that they will not accept their salary during the federal government shutdown.

Hawaii Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, left, and Colleen Hanabusa. Courtesy photos.

“Congress’ job is to serve the people, and it has failed,” said Rep. Gabbard. “Partisan posturing and grandstanding has taken precedence over human lives. Enough is enough. The failure to pass a year-long budget, and allowing the government to shutdown, while playing political football with issues of humanity is inexcusable. I will not accept any pay during this shutdown, and stand with our troops, law enforcement, first responders, and federal employees in Hawaii and nationwide who continue to serve and report for duty with no pay during this shutdown. Congress needs to put people before politics and reopen the government.”

“If we cannot work together through the regular order to keep the government funded and functioning then we should put our salaries to good use supporting causes that help people and nurture the communities who need it most,” said Rep. Hanabusa. “I intend to donate the salary I earn during the period that the government is shut down to charity.”

Background: Both members also did not take pay during the 2013 government shutdown. In 2013, Gabbard returned her salary to the U.S. Treasury and Hanabusa donated her salary to Meals on Wheels and the Moiliili Community Center.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes to Pass Bipartisan Funding Bill to Keep Government Open – Hawaii Gets…

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the statement below after voting to pass a bipartisan funding bill to keep the government open through September 2017:

“Today we voted to keep the government open, avoiding a disastrous government shutdown, while also including funding for many Hawaiʻi priorities that I fought for. It included funding for the East-West Center, Native Hawaiian housing, healthcare, and education programs, critical environmental protections, and clean energy initiatives. As North Korea continues to increase its nuclear and ballistic missile activity and capabilities, this bill increases funding for missile defense for Hawaiʻi to keep our communities protected. In addition, it includes provisions to allow COFA migrants to be treated at Army medical facilities in Hawaiʻi, and help ensure the federal government delivers on its promise to provide care to our COFA communities.

“In my recent tour of criminal justice facilities across Hawaiʻi, I saw firsthand how prison overcrowding has strained our resources and communities. This bill includes funding for initiatives to reduce recidivism like veteran treatment courts and the HOPE program that has had high success rates in Hawaiʻi. It also increases funding for key local law enforcement hiring, training, and community programs in Hawaiʻi and nationwide.

“As Hawaiʻi continues the process to open medical marijuana dispensaries, this bill included important language that specifies no federal funds may be used to stop states like Hawaiʻi from ‘implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.’

“From Flint, to Standing Rock, to Red Hill, it’s clear our water infrastructure nationwide is in dire need of investment and updates.  This bill invests in our clean water infrastructure, and includes funding for critical Hawaiʻi resources like the Lower Hamakua Ditch, Upcountry Maui Watershed, Lāhainā Watershed, and Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed.

“Passing this bill with bipartisan support is a positive step, and shows what is possible when both parties come together to put the people of this country above partisan politics.”

Hawaiʻi will benefit from federal funding that includes:

  • $16.7 million for the East-West Center
  • $2 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program
  • $14.4 million for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems program
  • $47.2 million for Native Hawaiian Education programs
  • $24.5 million for the Sea-based X-band (SBX) Radar at Pearl Harbor for the continued improvement of Hawaiʻi’s missile defense capabilities
  • $12 million for the Barking Sands Tactical Underwater Range (BARSTUR) on Kauaʻi
  • $3.194 million for agricultural education grants for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Institutions
  • $222 million for the environmental restoration of formerly used defense sites, including the 117 sites in Hawaiʻi
  • $1.49 billion for community health centers nationwide, including 15 community health centers in Hawaiʻi
  • $6.5 million for the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program, which helps prevent pollution of groundwater in rural communities in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
  • $150 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program, which funds Hawaiʻi projects like the Lower Hamakua Ditch, Upcountry Maui Watershed, Lahaina Watershed, and Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed
  • $617 million in Department of Justice grants that support law enforcement hiring, training, and community programs in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
  • $4 million to expand Project HOPE programs to reduce recidivism in new sites nationwide
  • $7 million for Veteran Treatment Courts in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
  • Includes language allowing for funds to be used for humanitarian assistance to COFA nations, and for patients from COFA nations to receive treatment at Army medical facilities in Hawaiʻi
  • The bill also specifies that no federal funds may be used with respect to any of a number of listed States, including Hawaiʻi, to “prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Tweets Live During Lockdown as Shots Fired Outside US Capitol Building

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and her office were put on lockdown as gunshots were fired outside the US Capitol Building today in Washington DC.

She tweeted the following during the incident (read in reverse order for chronological sequence):

Gabbard Tweets
Here is a video of the chase that lead up to the shooting:
[youtube=http://youtu.be/LINM-_S4QiY]

At a 6:00 pm ET (22:00 GMT) press conference, officials confirmed the car chase suspect is dead and that a child, approximately a year-old, was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. The female suspect attempted to “breach” an outer-perimeter checkpoint to the White House just prior to a pursuit by police.

Miriam Carey

Miriam Carey

Washington reports the driver has been identified by law enforcement as Miriam Carey.

Senator Brian Schatz on the Government Shutdown – “Let Them Vote”

Sen. Brian Schatz

Sen. Brian Schatz

Aloha —

Let them vote.

It has been widely reported today that a majority of the Republicans in the House would vote for a clean spending bill if it came to the floor. Of course a majority of Democrats have already pledged to support a clean bill to end the shutdown.

That means that a bill to end the shutdown right now would pass with over 300 votes in the House. America is being held hostage by a fraction of the far right of the Republican Party.

So let’s let them vote.

Every member of Congress, Republican or Democrat, deserves the opportunity to vote so that their constituents know exactly where they stand. In the Senate we have already voted to pass a clean bill to end this shutdown, but Speaker Boehner won’t let the House vote on it.

So, on behalf of my colleagues in the House, I am starting a petition to tell Speaker Boehner to let them vote.

Everyday that this shutdown continues is hurting our economy, and putting hard working families at risk. Representatives in the House deserve the opportunity to show their constituents where they stand.

Sign your name to tell Speaker Boehner: Let them vote!

It’s past time to move forward. The House needs to vote, but they need to hear it from you. Join me today to tell Speaker Boehner: Let them vote!

Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator

Skydive Hawaii Offering 10 Free Tandem Jumps Each Day to Federal Workers Affected by Shutdown

Skydive Hawaii just posted the following comment on Facebook offering free tandem jumps to residents of Hawaii who are FEDERAL WORKERS AND HAVE BEEN AFFECTED by the Government Shutdown:

If you have a Hawaii ID and you are a Hawaii affected federal worker, how about we take up to 10 people a day at no charge for the skydive. Must be over 18 and weigh under 200 pounds and sign the liability release.If an affected worker has already made a deposit to make a tandem skydive during this period of shutdown, let us know and we’ll refund it and offer you a free tandem instead.

Setting a Hawaii Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record on December 10, 2011 at Skydive Hawaii

Setting a Hawaii Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record on December 10, 2011 at Skydive Hawaii

I will toss this in just for the fact of the matter… Please be prepared to show your Federal Identification badge or card.

They are also offering affected Federal workers with a Skydiving License a free lift in the sky:

We are very sad to hear that many people will be affected by the US Government‘s shutdown. Skydive Hawaii will be offering free lift tickets during the work week (Monday-Friday) to all USPA licensed sport skydivers who are federal workers directly affected by the shutdown. We will keep this up until you’re working again or we no longer can bear the costs.

Mahalo to Skydive Hawaii for hooking folks up during this time of need.  For more information on the promotion… you will need to call the company directly at 808-637-9700 or 808-945-0222.

Government Shutdown Forces Closure of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – 217 Employees Affected

Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.  All visitor facilities including Kīlauea Visitor Center, park hotels, campgrounds and roads – except for Highway 11, a thru way – are closed.  The park will remain closed until the government reopens.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Superintendent Cindy Orlando said that park visitors in all overnight campgrounds and lodges will be given until 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 to make travel arrangements and leave the park. In addition, all park programs and special events have been canceled, including tonight’s After Dark in the Park presentation on earthquakes.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park hosts 4,500 visitors on average each day; nationally, more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System. The park will lose an estimated $12,800 of entrance fees each day of the shutdown, plus other fees. Nationwide the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Visitors spend about $96,990,000 a year in the communities around Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, or approximately $265,726 a day.

In Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 127 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown and another 90 concessions employees are similarly affected.  Thirteen park employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services.

Nationwide the shutdown has also furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees are also affected.

Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov has more than 750,000 pages and 91 million unique visitors each year.

For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.

About the National Park Service. National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.