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Rep. Gabbard Questions Leaders on False Missile Alert; Outreach Event in Hilo

April 5, 2018, 4:47 PM HST
* Updated April 6, 10:55 AM
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard questioned state and federal leaders on Thursday, April 5, 2018, about the false ballistic missile alert that went out across Hawaiʻi on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Rep. Gabbard will host a “Congress On Your Corner” at the KTA on Pu‘ainako Street in Hilo on Friday, April 6, from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. and will also attend the Merrie Monarch Festival.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard questions state and federal leaders on Hawaiʻi’s false missile alert. Courtesy photo.

At a U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee field hearing, Rep. Gabbard and the Hawaiʻi congressional delegation questioned leaders from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), United States Pacific Command (PACOM), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HiEMA) and Hawaiʻi Association of Broadcasters about the details of what went wrong leading up to the false alert and immediately following, as well as what needs to be done now to address the preparedness, communications, and response gaps revealed by the alert.

Rep. Gabbard said, “Nearly three months after Hawaiʻi’s false ballistic missile alert, many questions remain unanswered. Today’s hearing was an important opportunity to dig deeper into the gaps that still exist across every level of government, and what needs to be done going forward. One takeaway that is abundantly clear is that the status quo is both outdated and inadequate given the serious nuclear threat Hawai’i faces from North Korea. We must work to address the problems that have been identified, strengthen our missile defense system, and exhaust all diplomatic means to denuclearize North Korea peacefully and remove this threat.”

Earlier this week, Rep. Gabbard hosted a Congress On Your Corner in Līhuʻe, where she visited with dozens of Kauaʻi residents, listened to their ideas and concerns, and answered questions about legislation and her work in Congress and at home in Hawaiʻi. The congresswoman also shared information about hurricane season and disaster preparedness, including a 14-day checklist for Hawaiʻi families.

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On Wednesday, April 4, Rep. Gabbard joined Representative Cedric Gates, Senator Maile Shimabukuro, and Councilwoman Kymberly Pine in hosting a Wai‘anae Coast community townhall, held at the Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. More than 200 Wai‘anae residents attended and asked questions of their local, state, and federal representatives. The discussion included questions on affordable housing, transportation, foreign policy, taxes, Native Hawaiian education and housing programs, and more. Rep. Gabbard also updated constituents on the omnibus spending bill that was recently signed into law, which contains major federal investments in Hawaiʻi, including key missile defense capabilities, opioid treatment and prevention measures, veterans’ healthcare, rural infrastructure, affordable housing programs, and more. She discussed bills she introduced since the false missile alert to increase public transparency and invest in community preparedness measures, as well as her Securing America’s Elections Act to secure federal election infrastructure through the use of voter-verified paper ballots or a paper ballot backup.

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