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Updates from Rep. Gabbard (Nov. 13-20)


Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) sponsored bipartisan legislation, H.R.5747, to give the President temporary authority to directly arm the Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight against ISIL and other Islamic extremists.

Currently, U.S. military aid is being dispersed solely through the Iraqi central government, which so far, has not supplied the Kurds with the equipment they need.

“The Kurdish Peshmerga are courageously fighting to destroy ISIL. They are the primary offensive force fighting against ISIL on the ground, and are doing so with inadequate weapons and resources. We should be doing everything we can to get them the heavy weapons and equipment they need to support their fight to eliminate our common enemy,” said Gabbard, a Military Police Captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard and an Iraq War veteran.

“This bipartisan legislation will help level the playing field for this fighting force, which is vastly outgunned and mostly using outdated light weapons. Systemic changes need to occur within the structure of the Iraqi government, but we cannot wait; we must stop routing these weapons through a still dysfunctional Shiite-led central Iraqi government, which has thus far withheld necessary support to the Peshmerga, and provide equipment and heavy weapons directly to the Kurds. Their needs are urgent. We cannot waste any more time, as ISIL continues to grow, increasing the threat to the United States and our partners,” she said.

Gabbard has consistently and strongly supported the arming of the Kurdish Peshmerga with heavy weapons and armored vehicles, and met yesterday with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa, and Dr. Fuad Hussein, President Barzani’s Chief of Staff, expressing her full support and commitment to increasing direct U.S. military aid to the KRG.

Led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), the legislation:

· Establishes as the policy of the United States to provide direct assistance to the Kurdistan Regional Government to combat ISIL;

· Identifies Iraqi Kurds as a reliable and stable partner of the United States;

· Recognizes that the Peshmerga are the official security force of the Kurdistan Regional Government, organized in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution;

· Emphasizes that ISIL is a significant terrorist threat which may employ more than 4,000 captured heavy weapons, 1,500 armored vehicles, and 50 long-range artillery pieces;

· Maintains existing Congressional oversight of significant arms transfers; and

· Sunsets after three years, in recognition of the emergency nature of this authority.

Gabbard, Aaron Schock Introduce Resolution to Recognize #GivingTuesday

U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) and Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL-18) introduced H.Res. 761 to recognize #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday, the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, kicks off the holiday giving season with a global day dedicated to charitable giving and volunteerism, to follow the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The #GivingTuesday resolution, recognizes that philanthropy and charitable giving knows no party divide, as giving has the ability to transcend any differences of political ideologies and has the power to unite people across boundaries.

“There are too many things that cause divisions within our communities, but one thing that can bring us together toward a common goal is that of giving to others, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said Gabbard. “We should always be looking for opportunities to serve others and give generously of our time and resources to worthy causes. ‘Giving Tuesday’ is a great way to raise awareness of our responsibility to serve others before ourselves, and give back to our communities. I encourage everyone to embrace these values and the spirit of Giving Tuesday.”

“According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, 73 percent of millennials gave to charity in 2013,” said Schock. “Generosity and philanthropy are important to our generation, and we are rising to do our part as previous generations have done. For some, it’s through financial support of a favorite charity, church, or synagogue. For others, it’s through acts of service in their communities, or even through our nation’s most important form of volunteer service in the United States Armed Forces. Whatever the avenue they choose, millennials are wholeheartedly following the great American tradition of giving back and paying it forward.”

Now in its third year, #GivingTuesday is a worldwide movement with over 16,000 U.S.-based partners that celebrates the power of giving in all its forms.

Launched by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in 2012, this worldwide movement harnesses the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities and celebrates the power of giving in all its forms.

This resolution was co-sponsored by Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA-52), Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Todd Young (R-IN-09), and Rodney Davis (R-IL-17).

#GivingTuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, follows the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, kicking off the holiday giving season with a global day dedicated to charitable giving, combining the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities.

Now in its third year, #GivingTuesday is a worldwide movement that celebrates the power of giving in all its forms. This effort builds on the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.

#GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world.

#GivingTuesday leverages the power of social media to create a global moment that is dedicated to giving around the world.

#GivingTuesday was founded by 92nd Street Y and is spearheaded in tandem with the support of the United Nations Foundation.

A team of recognized experts, influencers, and founding partners originally spearheaded this effort. The founding partners include Blackbaud, CECP, charity: water, GlobalGiving, Groupon, Kiva, Microsoft, Pvblic Foundation, (RED), Unilever, United Nations Development Programme and Univision among many others.

The movement includes signature media partner MSNBC, who will help spotlight the innovative ways that people are giving back in their communities and the world.

— Find out more:

Gabbard Works with CDC to Ensure Hawaii Can Test for Ebola In-State

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced a collaboration resulting in Hawaii having the ability to quickly and effectively test for Ebola in-state. Previously, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) would need to send patient samples to mainland laboratories to test for the deadly Ebola virus.

A few weeks ago, the congresswoman met with Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Toby Merlin, Director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Bill Gallo, Associate Director for Insular Area Support at the CDC, to discuss the global challenges related to the Ebola virus, and the necessity for a properly equipped Hawaii testing facility.

They resolved to supply the state Department of Health with resources to test for Ebola, supporting State Department of Health and medical personnel with a quicker testing turnaround time.

The DOH State Laboratories Division received and validated the U.S. Department of Defense-developed, CDC-deployed real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test for 2014 outbreak-associated Ebola Zaire Virus.

“The safety and well-being of Hawaii residents is my highest priority, and it’s important that our state be equipped with the resources needed to quickly and effectively test those who may be suspected Ebola patients,” said Gabbard. “Ensuring our medical professionals are given the tools they need to protect themselves, and to serve the public at large, is of the greatest importance, and I’m glad to see that we were able to bring this testing capability to our islands.”

One Response to “Updates from Rep. Gabbard (Nov. 13-20)”

  1. FAUthman says:

    Thank you very much Rep. Gabbard for these wonderful and touching words about the Kurds and for your help in drafting this magnificent section of House Reolution 5747 to arm the Peshmerga directly. Thank you also for yours and that of others for the sacrifices made serving in Iraq. To the Kurds in Iraq and now in Syria, the mountains may be their best friend but the U.S. walks away with the silver, a close second. Thank you!


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