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Sen. Schatz Named Top Democrat on Military Subcommittee

January 12, 2017, 10:40 AM HST
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Sen. Brian Schatz. Courtesy photo.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) was appointed to serve as Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, it was announced today.

“Hawai‘i has a deep, storied relationship with active duty service members, military retirees and veterans, and as the lead Democrat on this subcommittee, I look forward to continuing the bipartisan tradition the Appropriations Committee has created to honor those that have served,” said Sen. Schatz. “I am committed to ensuring we make the appropriate investments in military construction, training ranges, resiliency and the sustainment of mission-essential buildings necessary to ensure the military’s readiness while deployed, and that we have the resources to take care of them when they return. More than 120,000 veterans call Hawai‘i home, and in my new role, I will work to ensure the VA has the funding it needs to fulfill our eternal obligation to continue to improve and expand access to quality and timely care to all veterans and their families, including those suffering from the physical and psychological wounds of war.”

The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee is responsible for appropriating funding for military construction, training ranges, family housing, and other facilities that support military readiness.

The subcommittee is also responsible for funding the VA to improve the delivery of care to veterans and their families; expeditiously process benefits and disability claims; speed up appeals processing; sustain national cemeteries; and help veterans in their separation from the military through the administration of transition assistance programs, VA home loans and educational benefits.

With more than 120,000 veterans and 78,000 active duty and reserve personnel, the military has a significant relationship with Hawai‘i.

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Last Congress, Schatz steered more than $640 million for military construction projects across Hawai‘i, including:

  • $74 million to upgrade the electric grid at Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility;
  • $123.8 million for a new Behavioral Health and Dental Clinic at Schofield Barracks;
  • $122.1 million to replace a Medical/Dental Clinic at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay;
  • $68.1 million for a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Kaneohe Bay;
  • $57 million to improve the readiness of the F-22 squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; and
  • $31 million for a new Army National Guard maintenance shop in Hilo.

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