This was what’s known here as vote-a-rama, where before passing the Senate version of the budget, senators went through dozens of amendments. Most were ideological and political, designed to get members of the other part to take bad votes — like measures to ensure the United States government funds its military at higher levels than the militaries of foreign holders of its debt or to prohibit raising taxes while the unemployment rate is above 5.5 percent. Others, like expressing support for the Keystone Pipeline, were more substantive.
To top it off, the amendments the senators were up until 5 a.m. voting on are non-binding.
Hawaii’s Democratic senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono voted together along party lines. One exception was a measure to support Congress creating a budget every two years instead of every year. Schatz voted with the majority, while Hirono voted against it.
Among other votes:
— In a voice vote, the Senate passed an amendment co-sponsored by Hirono to oppose using the so-called chained CPI to measure increases in veterans benefits. The chained CPI would provide for smaller annual cost-of-living increases than the CPI. The amendment sends a signal to President Barrack Obama who is open to using the chained CPI to reduce spending. Veterans groups strongly oppose the chained CPI method;
— Schatz highlighted one vote in particular. Both he and Schatz voted with the majority to ensure that employers cannot deny coverage of basic services, such as access to contraception through private insurance plans, and other important family-planning services. …
About the Author
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A legal clinic trying to exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted has new leadership that’s hoping to free more innocent people.
As the sun finally overpowered the clouds, some visitors couldn’t resist venturing a little farther out on Oahu’s southeast shores than safety officials would prefer.
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The Public Utilities Commission hears a lot about alternative utility ownership models, but little about a proposed sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries.
Candidates include Walter Ritte, Rowena Akana, Bumpy Kanahele, Dante Carpenter, Lilikala Kameeleihiwa and Faye Hanohano.
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Keith Davis was in an unusual and sometimes dangerous line of work, often spending weeks at sea to make sure fishermen abide by the rules.
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The Navy says the plume is stable, but it is nearly half the volume of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
As the ACLU launches a legal battle against Honolulu’s sweeps of homeless encampments, it points to a Los Angeles case in which that city’s sweeps were ruled unconstitutional.
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The justices consider a change after nearly two dozen attorneys requested the ability to help clients who want to establish dispensaries.
Hawaii is underserving its 12,000 youths who suffer from mental illness, and the problem is getting worse.