The federal government has a significant presence in Hawaii, in part because of its relative size to a small state like Hawaii but especially because of Hawaii’s military history and strategic presence for the United States. In 2016, the federal government employed 33,200 people, and there were 40,000 serving in the military. That is almost half the number of state employees which is 65,000.
The numbers of Defense Department employees and overall federal workers in Hawaii has steadily increased since 2006, according to state labor data.
The federal government spent the most money per capita of any state in the nation on salaries and wages of workers in Hawaii in 2010. That $7.9 billion on salaries was part of a more than $20 billion in federal money that flowed into the state last year, making Hawaii the fifth-highest recipient of federal spending per capita in the U.S.
Hawaii has two U.S. senators and two U.S. representatives. The junior senator is Brian Schatz, who was elected in 2014 to fill the term of Daniel K. Inouye, who died in office in 2014 after serving in the Senate for 51 years. The senior senator, Mazie Hirono, has served since 2012. Both are Democrats.
Hirono was elected to succeed Daniel K. Akaka who retired after 22 years in the Senate.
Hawaii has two congressional districts. The 1st Congressional District is essentially Honolulu and other parts of urban Oahu. The district includes Pearl City, Waimalu, Aiea, and the downtown area where Hawaii’s government offices and many of its top businesses are concentrated. The 2nd Congressional District comprises all the other areas of Oahu and the counties of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii island.
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa has served in the 1st Congressional District since January 2011. The 2nd Congressional District is represented by Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who replaced Hirono when she was elected to the Senate.
- Senator Mazie Hirono, (D)
- Office: Washington (202) 224-3934, Honolulu (808) 541-2542
- E-mail: http://hirono.senate.gov/contact/email-form.cfm
- Senator Brian Schatz, (D)
- Office: Washington (202 224-6361, Honolulu (808) 522-8970
- E-mail: http://schatz.senate.gov/email-senator-schatz.cfm
- 2nd Congressional District: Representative Tulsi Gabbard, (D)
- Office: Washington (202) 225-4906, Honolulu (808) 541-1986
- E-mail: http://gabbard.house.gov/contactme
- 1st Congressional District: Representative Colleen Hanabusa, (D)
- Office: Washington (202) 225-2726, Honolulu (808) 541-2570
- E-mail: https://hanabusa.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Appeals Court-Ninth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, California, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The appellate court reviews the decisions of U.S. district courts.
The Clerk’s Office is in San Francisco, (415) 556-9800, where many hearings are held.
The United States Bankruptcy Court District of Hawaii is located in Honolulu. Bankruptcy courts consider filings from people and businesses that cannot pay their debts.
Clerk’s Office: (808) 522-8100.
The United States District Court District of Hawaii is located in Honolulu. District courts are trial courts for the federal court system and can hear both civil and criminal cases.
Clerk’s Office: (808) 541-1300.
United States Attorneys are the chief legal enforcement office for the U.S. in states and other jurisdictions. The office prosecutes criminal cases brought by the federal government, and prosecutes and defends civil cases in which the U.S. is a party. The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Hawaii is located in Honolulu.
Contact: (808) 541-2850
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration, under the U.S. Department of Transportation, regulates and oversees civil aviation. The FAA’s [Western-Pacific Region], with offices in Hawthorne, Calif., includes Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada and California. Regional Public Affairs Office: (310) 725-3580; Honolulu information and locater office (808) 541-1238; Honolulu airports district office: (808) 541-1232
Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, housed within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for securing trade and travel and enforcing U.S. regulations regarding illegal drugs, weapons, and immigration. Hawaii office: (808) 356-4100.
Department of Defense
The U.S. Department of Defense has a large presence in Hawaii, dating to before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that led the U.S. into World War II. The U.S. armed forces has service members stationed at several large bases on Oahu, including Air Force and Navy personnel at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Army personnel at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter, and Marines as Marine Corp Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, which is located in windward Oahu.
A 2008 figure showed the number of U.S. armed forces personnel and their dependents in Hawaii to be 37,522 personnel and 61,308 dependents. But the numbers fluctuate depending on foreign deployment requirements; in 2001, for example, prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., there were 43,805 personnel and 52,906 dependents stationed or home-ported in the islands.
The military’s importance to Hawaii is underscored by the earmarks Hawaii’s Congressional delegation directs toward the military. For example, when Sen. Daniel K. Inouye chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, he brought in $2.7 billion in earmarks in fiscal years 2008-2010. Inouye’s military earmarks in Hawaii over the years have included $1.7 billion for Oahu base housing and other facilities, and improvements to training facilities; and more than $944 million to the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai to support missile defense testing and systems.
Oahu’s Camp H.M. Smith near Pearl Harbor is headquarters for the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), a command whose responsibility covers half the globe — from the U.S. West Coast to India, from Antarctica to the North Pole. According to PACOM, as it is known (pronounced “PAY-com”):
“There are few regions as culturally, socially, economically, and geo-politically diverse as the Asia-Pacific. The 36 nations that comprise the Asia-Pacific region are home to more than 50% of the world’s population, three thousand different languages, several of the world’s largest militaries, and five nations allied with the U.S. through mutual defense treaties. Two of the three largest economies are located in the Asia-Pacific along with ten of the fourteen smallest [and] includes the most populous nation in the world, the largest democracy, and the largest Muslim-majority nation.”
PACOM Public Affairs Office: (808) 477-1341.