June 15, 2016

Senate Passes Defense Bill That Supports Hawaii, Indo-Asia-Pacific Rebalance

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services and Ranking Member of the Seapower Subcommittee, voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill 85-13, which includes more than $600 billion in funding for our service members and national security, and several measures championed by Senator Hirono.

“I voted to approve the National Defense Authorization Act because, on balance, this legislation invests in our service members and strengthens our national security. I was particularly proud to secure nearly $200 million of investments in Hawaii’s military infrastructure,” said Senator Hirono. “I remain concerned about changes the bill makes to the Department of Defense that would impact our force structure and locally based service commands. These and other changes should follow adequate study and evaluation of their impact. But we are not at the finish line yet. I will continue to work with Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, and our House counterparts to ensure that our forces in Hawaii receive the necessary resources to continue their pivotal role in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Rebalance in the final bill.”

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Hirono secured provisions to provide nearly $200 million to improve military installations in Hawaii, prevents devastating cuts to Hawaii’s Impact Aid program, and directs the DoD to examine how to bolster Hawaii’s missile defense systems. Senator Hirono also successfully included Talia’s Law- a measure named after five-year-old Talia Williams, who died after months of abuse by her father and stepmother, that would require Department of Defense employees who interact with children to report suspected abuse to civilian authorities like the Hawaii Child Welfare Services.

Senator Hirono’s advocacy for Hawaii continued on the Senate floor, where she included language reinforcing the national security importance of the United States’ Compact Agreement with Palau and our obligations to Palau under the agreement. Click here for a full list of measures Senator Hirono successfully included in the bill.