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Washington Highlights

Senate Appropriations Chair Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Passes Away at 88

December 21, 2012—Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), World War II veteran, Medal of Honor recipient, second-longest-serving senator in U.S. history, and president pro tempore of the Senate, Dec. 17 passed away of respiratory complications. He served the state of Hawaii as senator for nearly nine terms and as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee since 2009.

According to a statement from Sen. Inouye’s office, “Senator Inouye began his career in public service at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Sen. Inouye lost his arm charging a series of machine gun nests on a hill in San Terenzo, Italy on April 21, 1945. His actions during that battle earned him the Medal of Honor.”

It also has been reported that, until the loss of his arm, Sen. Inouye intended to go to medical school to become a surgeon.  Instead he pursued a degree in political science under the G.I. bill at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and went on to earn a law degree from George Washington University.

The statement also noted, “Dan Inouye spent his career building an enduring federal presence in Hawaii to ensure that the state would receive its fair share of federal resources…He fought for the rights and benefits for veterans. Senator Inouye has left an indelible mark at the University of Hawaii, including support for major facilities and research assets.”

When asked how he wanted to be remembered, he said, “I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did OK.” His last word was “Aloha.”

According to his office, Sen. Inouye made his desire known in a letter to Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie that he wanted Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) to succeed him as senator for Hawaii.

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806