U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), a longtime advocate of the Jones Act and U.S.-flag shipping, as well as a trusted ally of the SIU, is the recipient of the 2017 Salute to Congress Award. The legislator received the award May 2 during this year’s International Propeller Club Salute to Congress event at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia.
“America’s maritime industry is vital to our island state, accounting for thousands of jobs and infusing $1.8 billion into Hawaii’s economy each year,” Hirono said in accepting the honor.
She continued, “A strong domestic maritime industry is critical to accessing the goods local families need to lead productive, healthy lives, and that’s why I will continue to advocate for the Jones Act and other measures that support this vital segment of our economy and national security.
“America is a maritime country,” she added. “Know that I am on your side.”
SIU Executive Vice President Augie Tellez and Legislative Director Brian Schoeneman represented the SIU during the event. “Hawaii plays a critical role for the merchant marine, and the senators and representatives from Hawaii have often been some of our strongest supporters. Senator Hirono is the senior senator from Hawaii, and her support for the Jones Act, Maritime Security Program (MSP) and cargo preference has been steadfast,” said Schoeneman.
Rep. John Garamendi (D-California), who was last year’s Salute to Congress honoree, told the audience that Hirono “understands the critical role the domestic maritime industry plays in the nation’s economic, national and homeland security”
Since its inception 33 years ago, the prestigious Salute to Congress event has recognized one legislator each year for his or her efforts on behalf of the maritime industry, and by extension, is intended to thank all members of Congress for their support. Hirono is the ranking minority member of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Seapower and supports many programs of importance to maritime community.
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