Senator Daniel Inouye
Senator Daniel Inouye

It’s a landmark for the powerful lawmaker who has held a seat in Congress for as long as Hawaii has been a state: 47 years. Daniel Inouye’s career has included being a member of the Watergate investigative committee in the 1970s, chairman of the Iran-Contra probe in the 1980s, and current chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Inouye is the first Japanese American to serve in both the Senate and House of Representatives. He took office the same day the islands became a state 50 years ago, on August 21, 1959. Three years later, he was elected to the Senate. With 17,095 days in the Senate, Inouye trails only West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd and the late South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond in career longevity. But a recent issue is getting the Senator negative attention. Sen. Inouye is reportedly considering altering a provision in an amendment that would prevent the government from working with contractors who denied victims of assault the right to bring their case to court. Defense contractors say the amendment would leave them overly exposed to lawsuits and at risk of having contracts dry up.

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