Gabbard's first bill sails through Congress

Gabbard's first bill sails through Congress
Published: Aug. 2, 2013 at 9:43 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 3, 2013 at 12:32 AM HST
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Tom Hill, Navy veteran
Tom Hill, Navy veteran

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just eight month on the job but Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is earning a reputation as a quick study.

Gabbard introduced her first piece of legislation -- the Helping Heroes Fly Act -- in March, which has sailed through Congress and is now heading to the oval office.

"Passing this bill -- in record time, unanimously through the House, unanimously through the Senate and getting it to the president -- symbolizes I think what can be accomplished when you work with people in the spirit of Aloha," she said.

The bill makes it easier for injured and disabled veterans to clear the airport security screening process. Gabbard said she heard many complaints from wounded warriors.

"It was very heart wrenching for me to hear directly from folks who had gone through security checkpoints who had to take off their prosthetic legs, put it through an x-ray machine and basically walk through a full-body scan, balancing and hopping on one leg," she said.

Gabbard's bill received bipartisan support in a Congress that often votes along party lines.

"As Chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, I'm pleased we're able to bring Republicans and Democrats together to pass this bill, which is critical to ensuring our wounded warriors are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve," said U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.

Veterans say the measure is overdue.

"It should have been done a long time ago because of what they have done for us," said Tom Hill, a Navy veteran and resident of Virginia Beach, Va.

Added Aiea resident Clifton Ziems: "If there is anyone who deserves to go through TSA a little bit quicker without any of these problems, it's certainly all of our military folks," said Ziems, an Air Force veteran.

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