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Profile of Sen Daniel Inouye of Hawaii

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Profile of Sen Daniel Inouye of Hawaii
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Sen Daniel Inouye of Hawaii:

Democrat Daniel Inouye of Hawaii is the most senior U.S. senator in the 112th Congress, in session from 2011 to 2012. He's the second longest serving U.S. Senate member in history, having first been elected in 1962, and reelected to eight additional consecutive terms. 87-year-old Sen. Inouye was last reelected in 2010 by a hefty margin. Sen. Inouye plans to run for reelection in 2016.

As the most senior senator of the majority party, Sen. Inouye is President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, a position third in succession to the presidency, behind only the U.S. Vice President and House Speaker. (See U.S. Senate Democratic Leadership, 2011 to 2012, for a complete leadership listing.)

Sen Inouye is Chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, and of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense spending. Despite his distinguished military record, Sen. Inouye was one of 23 senators to vote No in 2002 against the Iraq War.

Senate Committees in the 112th Congress, 2011-2012:

In the 112th Congress, Sen. Inouye serves as President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, and as a member of the Senate:
  • Appropriations Committee (Chair)
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense (Chair)
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans' Affairs
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Affairs
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Education
  • Indian Affairs Committee
  • Rules and Administration Committee
  • Commerce, Science, Transportation Committee
  • Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries
  • Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space
  • Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, Security
  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
See U.S. Senate Committee Chairs in 112th Congress for a complete listing.

Daniel Inouye's Distinguished Military Service:

In 1943, Daniel Inouye left medical studies at University of Hawaii to enlist in the U.S. Army once it dropped its ban on Japanese-American soldiers. 17-year-old Mr. Inouye was a medical volunteer at the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.

Captain Inouye served in the U.S. Army for four years, from 1943 to 1947, and saw combat until mid-1945 when he lost his right arm, and nearly his life, in Italy. For heroism, Captain Inouye was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, the Distinguished Service Cross, and in 2000, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Interestingly, while recuperating in an Army hospital in 1945, Captain Inouye befriended a fellow wounded soldier, Bob Dole, who subsequently was a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - September 7, 1924 in Honolulu to Japanese immigrants Imanaga and Hyotaro Inouye
  • William McKinley High School in Honolulu. B.A. in economics/government, 1950, University of Hawaii. J.D. 1952, George Washington University.
  • Family - Married to 2008 to second wife Irene Hirano, President of the U.S.-Japan Council. First wife Maggie passed away in 2006 after 57 years of marriage. One son, Ken, born in 1964. Ken graduated from George Washington University with a B.A. in political science.
  • Faith - Christian, Methodist denomination

Sen Daniel Inouye on the Issues:

On Equality for All Americans

"In the Declaration of Independence are 35 simple words that have served as my guiding principle throughout my years of public service. Follow them, and you will never go wrong in whatever path you choose:

"'We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- '
"... I promised myself that whenever I was confronted with an injustice, I would not stay silent. I would gather the facts, step forward and work to correct the wrong.

"Unfortunately, there will always be discrimination. There will always be men and women of prejudice in a free society. While we should expect it to occur, we must never become so complacent to let it go unchecked. There must continue to be a group of voices willing to stand up and speak up. If not for this vocal segment, America may still have segregated schools, theaters and churches. If not for this vocal segment, America may have stayed in the Vietnam War even longer than needed.

"Oftentimes, it takes as much, if not more, courage to speak out and oppose our government’s actions. It should be viewed no less patriotically that those who wave the American flag. This freedom is at the core of our democracy, and is testament of our enduring legacy."

On Foreign Oil Dependence, Need for Renewable Energy Sources

"Hawaii remains the state most dependent on imported oil. About 90% of our energy needs are satisfied with imported oil, creating severe economic and security challenges. At the same time, Hawaii has a wide variety of renewable energy resources, the development of which will not only reduce oil dependence, but result in lasting environmental benefits, and energy self-sufficiency.

We must not falter... in accepting more distributed renewable and clean energy into the grid, such as wind, photovoltaic, geothermal, and biofuels. To do so, we must provide a level of certainty in the amount of renewables the utility will accept and at what price, as well as de-linking utility revenues and electricity profits to encourage conservation, demand-side management, and third-party owned renewable energy systems. We must pursue alternative transportation fuels and electric vehicles. We must also provide greater incentives for energy conservation and demand reduction."

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