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Tulsi Gabbard Talks National Threats

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard visited Molokai last month to hold a town meeting, attended by a large and attentive crowd of residents. Community members had a chance to ask questions and talk story with the national democratic politician and Iraq war veteran, representing Hawaii’s second district.

North Korea’s missile capabilities particularly concerned her, and what she called the direct threat it poses to Hawaii.

“We have seen a lot in the news recently about North Korea’s continued increasing intercontinental ballistic missile capability…” she explained. “[Many]… are not aware of the very serious threat posed by North Korea and the fact that the intercontinental ballistic missiles that they have put Hawaii within range… this is not just some theoretical issue but something that threatens our state’s existence and something we have to take seriously.”

She said she has been working on missile defense on Kauai “should that worst case scenario happen” and urging state and federal officials to take action.

Her outspoken views on Syria have also made headlines recently.

“I’ve received some flack and criticism for criticizing President Trump’s missile attack on Syria, one that is… illegal and unconstitutional,” she said. “It is a war that Congress has not authorized and directly violates the War Powers Act…. We have to, in Congress, assert our responsibility and authority for this president and any future president who tries to start or escalate wars that Congress, and therefore the American people, have not debated and have not authorized.”

Gabbard said she is continuing to build support for the Stop Arming Terrorist Act.

“What many people are not aware of is that our taxpayer dollars for years now have been used to provide weapons, arms, intelligence, even paid salaries and other types of support both directly and indirectly to armed militants who are allied and often working under the command of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda,” she said, explaining to the need for the act. “This is all towards this counterproductive and illegal regime change in Syria.”

In addition to military issues, Gabbard said she lead the effort to help renew the Native Hawaiian Education Act as part of an overall education bill that was passed, which she called vital to “preserving and perpetuating Native Hawaiian education for our keiki.”

She also expressed her support for the legalization of marijuana, saying treating it the same as heroin and other hard drugs in terms of enforcement and punishment is taking an economic toll by overcrowding prisons. She also voiced the importance of affordable health care and her support for the Medicare for All Act.

Though she said the current federal outlook on climate change may look bleak, she urged action at the county and state levels to protect natural resources.

“I’m going to continue to fight for protection of our `aina, our home, and water, with everything that I have,” she vowed.

If you missed Gabbard on Molokai and would like to connect with her, call her Hawaii office at (808) 541-1986 or email TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.

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