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 GabbardNBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race Montana governor visiting Iowa amid talk of possible 2020 bid MORE (D) and Colleen HanabusaColleen Wakako HanabusaHawaii New Members 2019 Ige wins second term as Hawaii governor The Hill's Morning Report — Trump heads to New York to shore-up GOP districts 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


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.