December 13th, 2012

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono will serve on the energy, judiciary and veterans’ affairs committees when she moves to the U.S. Senate in January, Senate Democrats announced on Wednesday.

Hirono, who replaces retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, was named to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She has called for a national renewable energy standard and supports Hawaii’s goal of generating 70 percent of energy through renewable sources and conservation by 2030.

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hirono will help vet nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts. Hirono has said that she would weigh legal opinions on abortion rights, health care reform, campaign finance and gender discrimination when considering judicial nominees.

Hirono will follow Akaka on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Akaka was formerly the committee’s chairman.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, will retain his chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees federal spending. Inouye, as the chamber’s senior Democrat, also serves as Senate President Pro Tempore and is third in line of succession to the presidency.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced the committee assignments Wednesday subject to approval from the Democratic caucus and the full Senate.

(*Note: This item was posted on the Star-Advertiser’s website Wednesday afternoon but did not make it into Thursday’s newspaper.)

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