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Schatz votes for deal to reopen government


U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz joined a bipartisan group Wednesday in voting for a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, preventing our nation from defaulting on its loans.

“This shutdown caused terrible, unnecessary pain for Hawaii families, and we are all relieved that it is nearly over,” Schatz said. “It’s time for Congress to get back to work, and focus on helping the middle class.

“We’ve got lots of work to do and simply re-opening the government and preventing default are not legislative achievements – this is the bare minimum to keep the country running. Now we need to move quickly and aggressively on to our major national issues – economic recovery, clean energy growth, immigration reform, and college affordability. This has been a waste of time that has hurt the American people and threatened our country’s reputation. Let’s get back to work.”


Gabbard votes to protect economy by re-opening government, preventing default

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted Wednesday for a bipartisan measure to re-open the federal government immediately and prevent the government from defaulting.

The legislation funds the government until Jan. 15, raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, and requires that the House and Senate agree on a budget by Dec. 13. It passed the House tonight by a vote of 285-144.

“For more than two weeks, hard-working families, veterans, and federal workers have suffered due to partisan fights which cost our economy $300 million per day,” Gabbard said. “I am relieved that we are finally moving forward today with a bipartisan agreement that will protect our economy and allow time for a larger agreement on a long-term budget and fiscal plan. People in Hawaii and across the country have been watching this circus for sixteen days and are tired of the political games in Washington. These preventable crises and petty arguments are distracting us from dealing with the very real issues we need to confront, such as growing our economy and creating jobs.”

Before and during the shutdown, Gabbard supported several measures to provide relief for Hawaii servicemembers and federal workers during the shutdown. She proposed legislation that ensured continued pay for active-duty troops, a version of which passed the House on Sept. 28. She also co-sponsored legislation that passed the House to pay back furloughed federal workers.

The federal government has been shut down since Oct. 1, after Congress failed to pass a funding bill before the start of the new fiscal year. According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the debt ceiling would have been reached no later than Oct. 17.


Governor’s Statement on the end of the federal government shutdown

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is in Washington, D.C. to meet with the Hawaii Congressional Delegation and former colleagues. Wednesday, he spoke with White House officials and met with Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono. He plans to meet Thursday with Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard, as well as with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Before departing for the nation’s capital, the governor spoke with all four mayors regarding their collective concerns about federally funded programs and employee positions throughout the state. The governor’s intent is to form a coordinated effort and ensure that Hawaii is well protected from the residual effects of the shutdown.

Abercrombie stated:

“I am pleased that Congress has finally reached an agreement that will allow the federal government to fully operate again. Like other states and counties, Hawaii was placed in a fiscally vulnerable position where benefits, programs and jobs were on the line. We continue to monitor the situation hour by hour and day by day.

“Fortunately, the State of Hawaii has seen signs of our economy rebounding and, due to prudent management by this administration, we were equipped to weather the three weeks of the government shutdown. However, we do not want these circumstances to arise again, putting our progress in jeopardy. Since this ‘new deal’ will only be in place for a short term, we must remain vigilant regarding our finances. I will continue to voice our concerns on behalf of the state and the counties, and work with our congressional delegation.”

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