Hawaii reps call for hearing on missile alerts after false alarm
© Keren Carrion

Two U.S. Representatives from Hawaii have requested a panel hearing to discuss whether the state should remain in charge of sending emergency incoming missile alerts, following a false alarm sent out to people in the state on Saturday. 

Reps. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHoping to catch fire, House Dems eye White House Hawaii governor signs first-ever bill banning sunscreens that harm coral reefs Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (D) and Colleen HanabusaColleen Wakako HanabusaDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Overnight Energy: Zinke defends ‘Konichiwa’ greeting | Lowe's drops cancer-linked chemical from stores | Fight between EPA, Dem over summit heats up Zinke cites ‘friends that were Japanese’ in defending 'konichiwa' greeting MORE (D) requested that the House Armed Services Committee hold a hearing in a letter sent Tuesday, suggesting that Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency should retain control of disasters other than incoming missiles, which is a national security issue. 

“However, when it comes to matters of national security, including whether a ballistic missile has been launched against the United States, one must question whether any state emergency management agency is best suited for that role,” the congresswomen wrote, according to The Associated Press

ADVERTISEMENT
It took state officials 38 minutes to alert residents that the message was a false alarm on Saturday, during which the agency reportedly called the Federal Emergency Management Agency for unneeded permission to retract the alert. 

Gov. David Ige (D) said the pre-programmed alert, the only one of its kind in the U.S., was sent after an employee "pushed the wrong button" during a shift change. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced this week that it will also hold a hearing "in the coming weeks" with the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the incident and determine the state of the nation's public alert systems.