Hirono Recovering After Second Planned Surgery

By Sophie Cocke

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono’s surgery to remove part of her rib Tuesday was successful, and she is in recovery, according to staff from her office. The operation was the second of two surgeries planned since Hirono was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer earlier this year.

Last month Hirono, 69, had one of her kidneys removed. The operations were expected to remove all traces of cancer.

It’s not clear when Hirono will be back at work, but she bounced back quickly from her first surgery, and during a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, she said that she looked forward to getting back to the fight against the Republican health care proposal.

“I’m going to be back as quickly as I can to keep up the fight against this mean, ugly bill,” she said. “The stakes are too high to stay silent.”

Hirono, who has held her Senate seat since 2012, has been firm about her plans to run for re-election next year, and her Hawaii colleagues in the House have made clear in recent days that she has their support. Both U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa have issued early endorsements of Hirono’s re-election campaign.

Despite speculation in political circles in recent years that Gabbard might try to challenge Hirono for her Senate seat in a Democratic primary, Gabbard told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser earlier this month that she had promised Hirono both in 2013 and January of this year that she had no intention of doing so.

Last week, Gabbard endorsed Hirono, saying she was “encouraged by her fighting spirit.”

“I was happy to hear Mazie say that she is going to be running for re-election in 2018. It’s an honor to work with Sen. Hirono in Congress,” Gabbard wrote on her Facebook page. “As I’ve said before, Mazie is doing a great job in Washington and I fully endorse her re-election.

“I know she will keep working hard as a champion for women, education reform, affordable health care, immigration reform and so much more as she continues to represent Hawaii in the U.S. Senate.”

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa also endorsed Hirono yesterday morning, sending out an email to supporters asking them to support Hirono’s re-election through a $25 campaign contribution.

Hirono “never forgets where she comes from or who she’s fighting for,” Hanabusa wrote. “She’s spent her entire career fighting for the little guy and to make sure that Hawaii families have a fair shot at getting ahead. In Congress, we’ve teamed up to fight for legislation that will create opportunity for our keiki, keep our promises to our veterans and protect our aina. But battles don’t stay won and our work isn’t finished — not by a long shot. And we need Mazie with us.”

Hirono recovering after second planned surgery

Rep Grace Meng on why she voted yesterday for the Spending Bill

Ending the Attacks on Asians

In light of recent attacks and hate crimes targeting South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Middle Eastern, and Jewish communities – including the recent shooting of two South Asian men in Olathe, Kansas and the shooting of a Sikh man in Kent, Washington – Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:

“The alarming number of attacks facing the South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Middle Eastern, and Jewish communities is appalling and must end. The recent shooting of Deep Rai, a Sikh American, outside of his home in Washington follows the murder of Srinivas Kuchibotla and attempted murder of Alok Madasani in Kansas. The stark parallels in these cases are undeniable. In both attacks, the assailants told the victims to go back to their country before opening fire on them.

“While both shootings are now being investigated as hate crimes, this is not enough to stymie the increase in xenophobic attacks targeting communities of color and religious minorities that we have seen since the presidential election. In fact, just last week, we learned of the fatal shooting of another Indian man, Harnish Patel, who was murdered outside of his home in Lancaster, South Carolina. While the facts of this particular case are still being investigated, it is clear that we must do more to address the surging tide of hate and the emboldened anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric plaguing our national discourse.

“This begins with President Trump and our nation’s leaders not only condemning these incidents of hate, but also moving away from the dangerous rhetoric that has enabled this violence to flourish. We must also take proactive steps to investigate and prevent future hate crimes impacting our communities. These hateful actions run contrary to our values as a nation and have no place in our society. No community should have to live in a constant state of fear in their own country.”

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.

Our Friend Rep. Lieu Statement Regarding The Need to Investigate White House Conflicts of Interest

Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement regarding Republicans on the House Judiciary committee rejecting a resolution of inquiry (H. Res 111) introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). The resolution directs the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives with information relevant to President Trump’s conflicts of interest, his potential violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, and ties between his advisors and the Russian regime. The full text of the Resolution of Inquiry can be found here.

“I am disheartened that House Republicans would oppose efforts to bring transparency to the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia and business conflicts.
In the past few weeks, we’ve heard of questionable interactions between Administration officials and Russian agents, yet congressional Republicans have refused to take any concrete effort to learn more about the connections. Moreover, the President has failed to adequately remove himself from his business, going so far as to host official events at his hotel. Still, Republicans have turned a blind eye to these clear conflicts of interest.”

“The American people deserve to know the truth. We also deserve elected officials who don’t shrink from their responsibilities as the people’s representatives, but do everything they can to put the interests of Americans first. Today’s debate – or lack thereof – suggests the contrary from my Republican colleagues.”

Congressman Lieu is a member of the House Foreign Affairs and House Judiciary Committees.  

Mr. Lieu is also a Veteran, an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus, a Colonel in the Air Force Reserves, and 1 of 24 immigrant Members of Congress.

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