Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Highlights $200 Million for Hawai‘i Military Construction
Washington, DC -- Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today supported passage of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) funding bill for Fiscal Year 2015. The $71.5 billion legislation supports military construction projects in Hawai‘i, and provides funding to reduce the VA claims backlog and to confront the epidemic of veteran suicides.
“We have a responsibility – even in the toughest of budget years – to provide for a robust national defense and honor the veterans who have sacrificed so greatly for our nation,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who serves on the Armed Services Committee. “The 2015 MilCon-VA funding bill provides nearly $200 million for Hawai‘i projects that will serve our larger security interests in the Asia-Pacific region. It also continues funding to prevent veteran suicides, which have become a tragic epidemic among our young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and supports ongoing efforts to eliminate the VA claims backlog as quickly as possible.”
To reduce the veterans’ benefits claims backlog, the bill also fully funds the President’s budget request of $173.3 million for the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) and provides an additional $20 million to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) for digitizing records and staffing needs.
In March, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard formally requested funding for Hawai‘i’s military construction priorities at Fort Shafter, Kaneohe Bay, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, as well as an additional $20 million appropriation beyond the President’s budget request for veterans suicide prevention programs.
The MilCon-VA funding bill includes provisions to support projects at several major Hawai‘i installations:
- Fort Shafter – $83 million (Army);
- Kaneohe Bay – $53.382 million (Navy);
- Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) – $62.598 million (Navy & Defense Logistics Agency);