June 18, 2018

Hawaii Priorities Move Forward in Senate-Passed Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted for the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the Senate 85-10 today. The NDAA will now be considered by a bicameral conference committee to resolve differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill. 

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Hirono included provisions in the bill that fund military construction projects in Hawaii, prevents per diem reductions for Department of Defense employees, closes a dangerous loophole that allows convicted abusers to purchase firearms, and promotes sustainable energy assurance and resiliency across our Armed Forces. 

“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act includes a number of critical priorities for Hawaii,” Senator Hirono said. “From improving readiness for our men and women in uniform, to strengthening our commitment to engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and stopping service members who are convicted of domestic violence from buying a gun, this comprehensive legislation will benefit our service members, their families, and the communities they serve.”

Highlights of Senator Hirono-authored provisions include:

Senator Hirono ensured that every Hawaii military construction project in the President’s Budget request was included in the NDAA. Senator Hirono and her colleagues were able to add two additional Hawaii projects worth about $53 million, bringing the total military construction authorized for Hawaii to over $360 million. 

Hawaii military construction projects include:

  • $105 million for Fort Shafter’s Command and Control Facility
  • $50 million for the Wheeler Army Airfield Rotary Wing Parking Apron
  • $66.1 million for the Navy’s Kaneohe Bay Corrosion Control Hangar
  • $78.32 million for Navy’s Pearl City Water Transmission Line
  • $45 million for Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam’s Drydock Waterfront Facility
  • $17 million for Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Construction Addition to F-22 Facility 

The Senate bill includes Senator Hirono’s amendment to prohibit per diem allowance reductions for our military service members and civilian workforce, including Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard employees, which limits their ability to be reimbursed for long-duration, mission-related travel.

The NDAA also includes Senator Hirono’s Military Domestic Violence Reporting Enhancement Act, which closes a dangerous loophole in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that enables convicted abusers to purchase firearms. The provision creates a charge of Domestic Violence under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and mandates that convictions must be reported to federal databases that would keep abusers from purchasing firearms within three days. 

Click here to read more about the provisions that Senator Hirono included in the FY2019 NDAA.