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As our nation and Hawai‘i continue through unpredictable economic times, I am focused in Congress on addressing our immediate challenges while investing in a more sustainable and prosperous future. My efforts include fighting inflation and the high cost-of-living, and working through my House Appropriations Committee and otherwise to secure federal investment to improve our infrastructure, strengthen of core industries like tourism, defense and agriculture, and grow new industries.  

Supply Chains & Cost-of-Living

The high and increasing cost of gas, groceries, rent and other consumer goods in Hawai‘i is extremely concerning and must be addressed. Supply chain disruptions, which are responsible for stock shortages and accelerating inflation, must be directly addressed. 
To address underlying problems in our shipping marketplace, I introduced three bills to modernize the Jones Act for Hawai‘i and other U.S. noncontiguous areas (Alaska and the island territories). My bills would (1) exempt such locales from the Jones Act while ensuring that any company that enters the U.S. domestic shipping market complies fully with U.S. law, including labor and environmental requirements (the Noncontiguous Shipping Relief Act); (2) limit the rates that Jones Act carriers can charge to within 10 percent of comparable international rates (the Noncontiguous Shipping Reasonable Rate Act); and (3) exempt noncontiguous areas from the Jones Act if a duopoly or monopoly exists (the Noncontiguous Shipping Competition Act).
I will prioritize these bills and work to lead a conversation in Congress about the practical effect of the Jones Act on our Hawai‘i and ways to provide relief to the noncontiguous areas. For more information, you can read my press release on the introduction of the bills last Congress (2021-2023) at

Small Businesses

Periods of economic uncertainty, such as the 2008 financial crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, illustrate how reliant Hawaii’s economy is on tourism and vulnerable it is to a recession. I have long supported developing a technology industry in Hawai‘i to help diversify our economy. To that end, I have been an advocate for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, which help high-tech startups get federal contracts. 

I am also focused on helping Hawaii’s small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our state. The average small business in Hawai'i employs just twelve people, but as a whole, small businesses make up the vast majority of our workforce and are the backbone of our economy. 
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have fought to bolster small business training, education and entrepreneurial development programs that can help our Hawai‘i. For example, I helped draft and enact into law a Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill that provides $1.1 billion for the Small Business Administration, which delivers various federal programs to assist small businesses. This includes:

 -$140 million for Small Business Development Centers,
 -$41 million for the Microloan Technical Assistance Program,
 -$27 million for the Women’s Business Centers Program,
 -$25 million for the Native American Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program,
 -$20 million for the State Trade Expansion Program,
 -$10 million for the Regional Innovation Clusters Program, and
 -$4 million for the Historically Underutilized Business Zones Program.

To learn more about resources available to local businesses in our Hawai‘i, please visit my Small Business Resources webpage.