Reps Vote to Strengthen Hawai‘i Missile Defense

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Hawaii Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, left, and Colleen Hanabusa. Courtesy photos.

On Thursday, June 28, 2018, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa voted to pass the FY 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations bill that provides critical funding for missile defense for Hawai‘i, and for military operations and readiness, increased pay and healthcare programs for troops and military families, and more. The bill passed by a vote of 359-49. Both Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa are members of the House Armed Services Committee.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also spoke on the House floor yesterday, urging support for her amendment to allocate $1 million for burn pits research.

“This legislation provides critical funding to improve the defense of Hawaiʻi and strengthen the security of our nation by investing in readiness and training, providing our troops with a pay increase, and funding critical health programs for them and their families,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “This bipartisan legislation provides funding for the Homeland Defense Radar – Hawai‘i which will help defend against complex threats by improving the Department of Defense’s capability to intercept an incoming ballistic missile headed towards our state. This legislation funds continued clearance of unexploded ordnance and environmental cleanup in Hawaiʻi, and also reinforces the importance of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard – the largest industrial employer in Hawai‘i – and invests in improving and modernizing the shipyard’s facilities. In addition, I passed an amendment to address the toxic and dangerous burn pit exposure that endangers the health of potentially millions of post-9/11 veterans who deployed to combat zones across the Middle East. My amendment provides funding for burn pits research so we make sure that our veterans and their families are cared for.”


“Hawai‘i is the gateway to the Asia Pacific and home to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, which manages an Area of Responsibility that covers half the earth and the multitude of diplomatic and military challenges that exists throughout the region,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. “We are committed to supporting the mission of the U.S. Department of Defense and the more than 16,500 DOD employees and their families. We must continue to support funding for two Virginia Class submarines and bring them to Pearl Harbor. We are also committed to the Homeland Defense Radar (HDR-H) because it will help provide a persistent long-range acquisition and discrimination capability to help with Ballistic Missile Defense. The military is a successful partner and protector of our communities and we will continue to work with them to support their mission and work with Hawai‘i.”

Provisions in the FY 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations bill include:

  • Funds the Missile Defense Agency’s request of $62.2 million for designing and building the Homeland Defense Radar – Hawaiʻi
  • Includes $248.67 million to help with environmental restoration, reduction and recycling of hazardous waste, and the removal of Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) and debris
  • Includes $46.1 million for the Civil Air Patrol, with $33.6 million for Operation and Maintenance; $10.8 million for Aircraft Procurement; and $1.7 million for Vehicle Procurement
  • Emphasizes the vital role that Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard plays in conducting the depot maintenance and repairs that are critical for our fleet. It recognizes that the facilities need improvement and modernization, and included additional funding for the Navy’s Facilities Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization accounts
  • Provides a 2.6 percent pay raise for the nation’s troops
  • Provides $35 million for continued implementation and expansion of the Sexual Assault Special Victims Counsel Program
  • Dedicates $1 billion, for all active, guard, and reserve service components, to aid in activities, such as training and depot maintenance, to restore readiness to the Armed Forces
  • Provides $34.4 billion for Defense health care programs for U.S. troops, their families, and retirees
    • This includes $752 million for Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, including:
      • $364 million for cancer research;
      • $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research;
      • $130 million for breast cancer research (same as FY 2018 enacted level);
      • $100 million for prostate cancer (same as the FY 2018 enacted level); and
      • $45 million for the Joint Warfighter Medical Research program for battlefield medical needs.
  • Provides $4.34 billion for 2 Virginia Class Submarines


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