During the Democratic Weekly Address, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said President Trump repeatedly creates a crisis, blames others for what’s happening, and uses the ensuing chaos to demand a legislative solution that often harms even more people.
Hirono was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are her words:
“Aloha, this is Senator Mazie Hirono. I have the privilege of representing the people of Hawaii in the United States Senate. These are not normal times. Every day we face a fresh outrage from Donald Trump and his administration.
On issue after issue, Donald Trump creates a crisis, blames others for what’s happening, and uses the ensuing chaos to demand a legislative solution that often harms even more people.
This is true on issue after issue, but let me focus on two that are deeply personal for me – immigration and health care.
Last month, Donald Trump instituted his zero tolerance policy on people crossing the border, and the consequences have been severe. Children have been ripped away from their parents, placed into mass detention, deprived of adequate legal counsel, and isolated from everyone they’ve ever known.
After millions of people rose up in sorrow and anger over what was happening, Donald Trump did what he always does. He blamed Democrats for a mess he created and proceeded to use these children as leverage to seek legislation that would enshrine the President’s hatred and fear of immigrants into law.
What’s happening to these children and the President’s antipathy toward immigrants speak to me personally. I came to this country when I was 7 years old with my mom and older brother. Mom was escaping an abusive marriage to start a new life for us. Mom worked at low paying jobs for long hours. My 9-year-old brother and I were latchkey kids. We waited at the bus stop every night for mom to come home from work.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it would have been like if my mother had been taken away from us. I know we would have been devastated. That’s what the President is doing to these kids – some 2,400 who have been and are being traumatized by his actions. He apparently views them as collateral damage in furtherance of his policy of prosecuting every single one of their parents.
It’s critically important that these children be reunited with their parents as soon as possible.
Rather than taking responsibility for unnecessarily traumatizing thousands of children, he – as usual – continues to blame others.
On health care, he follows a similar pattern. Over the past year, the Trump administration has led a concerted campaign to undermine our country’s health care system and deprive millions of Americans access to quality, affordable health care.
They eliminated cost sharing reduction payments that help millions of Americans afford their care. They eliminated the health coverage requirement. These changes will increase premiums and make health care unaffordable for the people who need it most.
And, in the latest outrage, earlier this month, the Trump administration refused to defend the Affordable Care Act in a Texas lawsuit to undo one of the law’s key protections, arguing that people with pre-existing conditions – one in four in our country – should not be guaranteed health insurance. The President wants to take us back to a time when an insurance company could deny you coverage because you had diabetes, asthma, heart disease, cancer, or any other pre-existing condition.
When I was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year, I was fortunate; I had health insurance that allowed me to focus on fighting my illness – not how I was going to pay for treatment. I now join the millions of people in our country with a pre-existing condition.
Our stories do not matter to this President or this administration. But they matter to millions of us and to our families.
Democrats are calling on President Trump to use his executive authority to reunite the 2,400 separated children with their parents. We are calling on him to resolve many other problems his executive order created. And we are calling on his administration to stop its sabotage of our health care system and work with us on a bipartisan basis to protect and improve it.
These are not normal times, but we can’t afford to be discouraged. Resisting this President and his Administration requires each of us to step up, raise our voices, and fight back.
It’s an honor to fight alongside you. Mahalo nui loa.”
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.