HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Jade Storms
U.S. District Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway held a swearing-in ceremony for U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono at the United States District Court early Tuesday morning.
Senator Hirono had her official swearing-in to the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C. last month, but most of her family and friends were unable to attend.
"It was really a nice gathering of all my friends and my family and I was really happy that my two mothers, my mother and my mother-in-law could be here because they could not be in DC for the swearing in there," Sen. Hirono said. "I thought Judge Mollway was so gracious in offering to do this in Hawaii, so it's really wonderful.
After the ceremony, Sen. Hirono was asked about the upcoming sequestration deadline.
"That's a challenge that not just Hawaii, but that our entire country faces," Sen. Hirono said." I'm hopeful still with just a little over a week to go that we'll be able to come up with a balanced alternative to sequestration, which will be harmful to our military and to our programs here in Hawaii that will affect our families."
Hirono recently said that federal cuts could be devastating to Hawaii and could include massive jobs cuts statewide.
"There would be possibly some 11,000 jobs that will be lost, 8,000 in the military, 3,000 non-military," Sen. Hirono said. "Some 18,000 civilian employees of the military here in Hawaii may need to be furlough one day a week for however long sequestration goes. That's not talking about all of the federal funds that come to us for TSA agents at the airport, inspectors at the airports, head start programs. Every program that has federal dollars will be cut if sequester goes ahead and we need to avoid that."
In addition to addressing sequestration, Sen. Hirono also plans to work on other big issues such as immigration reform and gun control.
"I just want to thank the people of Hawaii for giving me a chance to serve," Sen. Hirono said. "We know we have these challenges ahead of us but the people of Hawaii are very resilient and we will get through these times together."