The 114th U.S. Congress has only been in business for a week or so, but already it’s quite clear that Hawaii’s Democratic delegation is very much in the minority when it comes to power in the new Republican-controlled House and Senate.

On Monday, U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono were on the losing side of a 63-32 procedural vote to advance legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, “even though President Barack Obama has already said he would veto it,” according to The Hill.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the same measure last week 266 t0 153, where U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Mark Takai voted “no.”

Mark Takai

Congressional candidate Mark Takai during a Civil Beat editorial board meeting, Aug. 4.

Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Hawaii’s two reps also voted “no” Wednesday in a 218-209 vote to freeze Obama’s delayed deportation program “allowing illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to apply for work permits.”

And, Gabbard and Takai also voted in vain to stop a House bill — it was a 236-191 vote — to defund Obama’s immigration orders, “firing the first shot in a high-stakes battle over deferred deportations for the millions of people who are in the country illegally,” according to The Hill.

Finally, also on Wednesday the House passed legislation “to delay the implementation of a controversial provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law a week after Democrats initially blocked it,” says The Hill. That vote was 271 to 154.

I wonder how Cam Cavasso, Kawika Crowley and Charles Djou would have voted had they defeated Schatz, Gabbard and Takai, respectively, last November.


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