Daniel Kahikina Akaka
United States Senator

Senator Akaka of Hawaii, a Democrat, has served in the United States Senate since 1990. Appointed to the Senate in April 1990 and sworn into office on May 16, 1990, Senator Akaka handily won a spirited special election in November 1990 to complete the unexpired four-year term of the late Senator Spark M. Matsunaga. Elected to a six-year term in 1994, he was reelected in November 2000 with over 70 percent of the popular vote. Senator Akaka serves on the Armed Services, Energy and Natural Resources, Governmental Affairs (GAC), Veterans' Affairs, and Indian Affairs committees. He is also a member of the Select Committee on Ethics.

On the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Akaka is a leader in renewable energy research and development; park and wildlife issues, tropical agriculture and coral reef conservation, ocean sciences and technology, aquaculture research, and marine protection and environmental preservation. Senator Akaka is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on National Parks.

In his assignment on the Armed Services Committee, and as Ranking Member of the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, Senator Akaka aims to continue Hawaii's excellent relationship with the military, and works with the Defense Department to meet our nation's security interests in the Pacific and around the world. Senator Akaka is an advocate for veterans, working to improve services and increase employment and housing opportunities for the men and women who have served in our nation's Armed Services. Senator Akaka seeks an efficient and responsive Federal Government for American taxpayers, and is a recognized leader in providing parity and equity to Federal employees, postal workers, and annuitants.

As Ranking Member of the GAC Subcommittee on Financial Management, the Budget, and International Security, he has taken a leading role in a number of critical national security and homeland security areas and is a champion for the interests of Federal employees and retirees. He has worked to ensure deployment of an effective and financially efficient national missile defense program, guarding against potential missile attacks by rogue states, and promoted efforts to improve controls of sensitive dual-use exports and safeguard critical information at our most sensitive nuclear weapons laboratories. He has promoted ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and worked to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. In addition, he has worked with the Administration to improve controls on small arms exports to discourage the use of weapons for criminal activities.

Senator Akaka is a leader in the Senate on issues dealing with the Freely Associated States (FAS) and Pacific U.S. Territories. He has worked closely with the national governments, state governments, and federal agencies to address issues of concern to the Pacific islands and FAS. He has closely monitored the safety and security of shipments of radioactive mixed plutonium-uranium oxide (MOX) fuel from Europe to Japan for nuclear power purposes. He has directed the General Accounting Office to investigate immigration procedures in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and worked with the U.S. Department of State to discourage global human trafficking for sexual purposes.

Senator Akaka is a powerful champion of the rights of indigenous peoples. He brings the unique perspective of Hawaii's history and multicultural society to bear in his efforts to promote dialogue and reconciliation between Native Hawaiians and the Federal Government, and heighten awareness of the rights and circumstances of indigenous peoples in the United States and worldwide. He is chairman of the Hawaii Congressional Task Force on Native Hawaiian Issues that is working to address longstanding issues concerning the relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States.

Senator Akaka is a leading advocate for economic and financial literacy, having authored the Excellence in Economic Education Act in the No Child Left Behind Act for students in grades K-12. He is working to expand efforts in this area to reach as many constituencies as possible, including college students, military families, low-income families, senior citizens, and immigrants.

Senator Akaka was first elected to Congress in 1976 to represent Hawaii's Second Congressional District. He won seven consecutive elections by wide margins. He is the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry and is the only Chinese American member of the Senate.

Source: http://akaka.senate.gov/about.html


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