Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), joined by seven other Senators, introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act (S.2100), legislation that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Army today announced plans to reduce its end-strength by 40,000 soldiers over the next two years in a reduction in force (RIF). According to the plans released by the Army, Schofield Barracks will shrink by 1,214 soldiers—from 15,687 soldiers to 14,473 soldiers—and Fort Shafter will shrink by 229 soldiers—from 2,233 soldiers to 2,004 soldiers—by the end of fiscal year 2017. The Army had assessed potentially eliminating two Brigade Combat Teams and the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters at Schofield Barracks, which would have meant the departure of nearly 16,000 soldiers. Through the efforts of the community and Hawai‘i’s congressional delegation to underscore the state’s strategic role in the Asia-Pacific rebalance, the Army has put plans for larger downsizing in Hawai‘i on hold pending future action to address sequestration.
“Through our collective efforts we have been able to protect the vast majority of the soldiers here in Hawai‘i,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “It is disappointing that the Army made these reductions, but given the magnitude of the cuts that were contemplated, we are relieved that the worst case scenario did not occur. We are entering a challenging time, but also one that presents opportunities for Hawai‘i. There is bipartisan consensus that the Asia-Pacific rebalance is right for America, and we will continue to push for investments in Hawai‘i to implement the rebalance.”
“While unfortunate, the announcement from the Department of the Army was expected and, for our state, limited in scope,” said U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The importance of a strong military presence in Hawaii, to lead the strategic Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, cannot be stressed enough and is vital to protecting our nation’s interests. That is why the Budget Control Act, which mandated sequester levels, is dangerous. The Army’s proposal is a clear and concrete example of the impact the sequester could have on Hawaii. But it’s only one example. We also have to keep in mind that the foundation of a strong military is a strong economy. Sequestration will not just undermine the military’s readiness and the Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. It will make serious cuts in investments to education, transportation, community development, and other areas that are essential to a strong economy. I will continue to stand strong against the sequester, and will work with the Department of Defense, leaders throughout our state, and others to find a sustainable path forward that both invests in a military that can continue to perform on an ever-changing global stage, and a growing, middle class economy in Hawaii and across the country.”
“At a time when our nation faces growing security challenges around the world, cutting 40,000 troops from the US Army needlessly puts our country at risk. This reduction is occurring due to arbitrary budget ceilings in the Budget Control Act, without any consideration of what is in our strategic best interest,” said U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “Hawai’i is losing more than 1,400 soldiers now, and could face deeper reductions if these across-the-board federal budget cuts continue. I will continue to work to end sequestration, as continued inaction will only serve to undercut our military’s ability to respond to emerging threats around the world.”
“The Army reiterated the importance of the Pacific today when announcing the impacts of their force structure realignment and the impacts on Hawaii,” said U.S. Representative Mark Takai (HI-01), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “The fact that Hawaii gains mission expansion in the shift of major medical personnel and an Air Defense Headquarters show that the Army is committed to our state long-term. The shift from a Stryker Brigade to a Combat Infantry Brigade will result in a loss of 1,214 military personnel from Schofield Barracks, with another 229 coming from Fort Shafter, but the net total with the additional mission sets coming to Hawaii has yet to be determined. I would like to thank everyone in the community that helped with efforts to engage Army leadership, and note that without long-term budget fixes and further investment in our state, we must remain engaged and vigilant as the Army considers further future force structure decisions.”
Washington, D.C. – The Hawaii Congressional Delegation today announced that the U.S. Department of Education will allocate more than $47 million in Title I, Part A Grants to local educational agencies (LEA) in Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui counties for school year 2015-2016.
Maui County’s share is $4,925,038.
Washington, D.C.—Senator Mazie Hirono, Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the President’s Authorization of Military Force proposal, which was transmitted to Congress today:
“Congress has a key role to play in the U.S. response to the horrific and fast-moving threat ISIL (ISIS) poses, and I would be troubled if the President did not seek authorization for the use of military force. As seen with the death of Kayla Mueller and barbaric murders of countless others, ISIL (ISIS) continues to inflict terror and escalate instability in the Middle East. The U.S. and our partners in the Middle East and around the world must be clear and decisive in our actions against this ruthless, well-funded, and organized group that is attracting recruits from all corners of the world.
“I expect a thoughtful and thorough debate on a limited and narrowly tailored military authorization. I will continue to hold the President to his promise of no boots on the ground. This will not be another Iraq War.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz voted today to confirm Hawai’i native Debra Wada’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at the Department of Defense (DoD). Wada was confirmed unanimously by voice vote.
“I look forward to working with someone who is from and understands Hawaii in this role at the Department of Defense,” said Hirono. “Debra’s extensive national defense background and D.C experience has made her an integral part of the community and her confirmation reflects those relationships. I believe that she will serve with excellence.”
“I join many in Hawai‘i in congratulating Debra Wada on her Senate confirmation to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs,” said Schatz. “With a distinguished career in the House and Senate, Debra understands the unique needs of the Army and our service members. I’m confident she will do a great job at the DoD and I wish her much success in her new role.”
Born in Honolulu, Debra Wada served as a professional staff member on the Subcommittee on Military Personnel for the House Armed Services Committee prior to her nomination. She has held this position since 1999. Ms. Wada served as the lead staff member for the Subcommittee and also served as Deputy Staff Director for the full committee. She served on both House and Senate staff for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, acting as the Senator’s principal aide on national defense, veterans’ affairs, maritime issues, education, Social Security and welfare. Ms. Wada also served as a Legislative Affairs Specialist for the National Park Service. Ms. Wada graduated from St. Andrew’s Priory in Honolulu and received a B.A. from Drake University.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced the award of $12,339,016 in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant funding to support Native Hawaiian health care centers across Hawaii. These grants are essential to the continued operation of Native Hawaiian health care centers, enabling them to pay for rent, salaries, various overhead, as well as assist in providing medications for qualified patients.
“Native Hawaiian health care centers are a crucial thread in the fabric of our island communities. This funding will go to Papa Ola Lokahi and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems on each island, which provide vital services for Hawaii’s indigenous population,” said Hirono. “I will continue to advocate for this and other programs aimed at improving the health and well-being of Native Hawaiians.”
The funding is being distributed through the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The various Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems are:
Together, these health care providers have served as many as 126,000 Native Hawaiians.
Copyright © 2015 - Island News Technologies, LLC - All rights reserved