Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, last week continued to miss voting on key measures so she can fundraise and campaign for the seat left open by the retirement of U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
According to Congress.org, a vote tracking system that issues regular reports on the nation’s political leaders, Hirono missed three votes last week and was present for five other votes.
She was absent for a total of 18 votes in the last few weeks.
The three votes she missed include:
- Senate Confirmation (Streamlining Process – Suspension vote that “will reduce by 169 the number of executive branch positions requiring Senate confirmation.”
- The Tax Debts Suspension Vote, which “makes individuals (including federal employees) with seriously delinquent tax debts (defined here as one for which a notice of lien has been publicly filed) ineligible for federal employment beginning nine months from the bill’s passage.”
- and the District of Columbia Abortion Restriction Suspension Vote, which “fell 30 votes shy of passing a measure that would have banned abortions in our nation’s capital after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except when the life of the mother is endangered.” Hirono is endorsed by Emily’s List for her pro-abortion stance.
In past weeks, Hirono missed 15 additional votes. See the details here.
Hirono is a candidate in the Saturday, August 11, Primary Election and is competing against former Congressman Ed Case, D-Hawaii (2002-2007) for the coveted spot. Whoever wins Saturday’s election will take on former Gov. Linda Lingle in the November 6 General Election.
Carolyn Tanaka, spokesperson for Hirono’s U.S. Senate campaign, said in two previous emails: “Mazie is committed to continuing to work for the people of her district while also running a vigorous campaign for U.S. Senate, where the stakes for Hawaii are very high.”
Tanaka said Hirono is “out in the community meeting and visiting with small businesses and their employees talking about job creation and getting our families back to work.””
Explaining why Hirono is putting campaigning ahead of voting in the U.S. House, Tanaka said in a July 18, 2012, statement to Hawaii Reporter: “Because if Hawaii doesn’t like the partisan games being played nearly every day by the Republicans who control the U.S. House, then we certainly cannot afford to allow the Republican Party to win the four seats required to seize control of the U.S. Senate.”
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, has not missed any votes.
According to Congress.org, Hanabusa cast votes for every bill that Hirono missed.
Hanabusa is being challenged by former Congressman Charles Djou, R-Hawaii, in the November 6 General Election.
Hanabusa’s spokesperson, Richard Rapoza, said “Rep. Hanabusa stays in DC when there are votes to be cast; fulfilling her duties as a U.S Representatives is her top priority.”
Rapoza added Hanabusa returns to Honolulu when her schedule permits—“on long weekends or during district work periods, for example—and participates in campaign events then.”