Hanabusa Supports Repeal of Per-Diem Pay Cuts, Keeping Navy Command in Hawaii
Provisions supported by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa on the repeal of cuts to per-diem pay for military and civilian workers with the U.S. Department of Defense, $4.34 billion for two Virginia Class Submarines, and over $350 million for Hawaii military construction projects were included in the final conference report for the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
In addition, Congresswoman Hanabusa was successful in maintaining the current Navy command and control structure, despite an effort to hastily consolidate the Pacific Fleet Command (PACFLT), located in Hawaii, and Fleet Forces Command into a singular Navy command. Such a change could have brought unintended consequences to PACFLT’s ability to defend our country in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Congresswoman Hanabusa spoke against the consolidation language throughout the NDAA process.
With the House’s adoption of the conference report, the Fiscal Year 2019 NDAA now moves to the Senate for consideration.
“This bill is the result of a bipartisan effort to support the brave men and women who serve in our military,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. “My priority has always been to ensure that the 36,620 active duty military personnel and the 18,739 civilian workers with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are provided the resources and support necessary to protect U.S interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The military in Hawaii is a critical economic partner and a good neighbor. We appreciate their service and tireless efforts to protect our state and nation.”
Congresswoman Hanabusa pushed for the full repeal of the DOD’s reduced per diem policy. Since 2014, military and DOD civilian workers on 30 day deployments receive 25% less per diem pay for meals and lodging and 45% less per diem pay for trips longer than 180 days. Originally meant as a means to comply with the demands of sequestration, the policy had been discouraging workers from accepting long term deployments and forcing them to pay out of pocket for expenses previously covered by the government.
“The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is one of the most critical operations in the U.S. Navy and it is successful because of the efforts of the women and men who work there,” she said. “Without the per diem pay policies that support workers serving long term deployments, too many are forced to reach into their own pockets to pay for food and housing, especially in Hawaii, one of the most expensive places to live in the country. That is not right. I would like to thank my colleagues for supporting our federal workers and restoring the per diem policy to pre-Budget Control Act form.”
Hawaii Military Construction Projects included in the FY19 NDAA:
- Command and Control Facility, Increment 4 (Fort Shafter) - $105 million
- Rotary Wing Parking Apron (Wheeler Army Airfield) - $50 million – New project that was included in Conference bill.
- Drydock Waterfront Facility (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam) - $45 million
- Water Transmission Line (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam) - $78.32 million
- Corrosion Control Hangar (Marine Corps Base Hawaii) - $66.1 million
- Construct Addition to F-22 Low Observable Composite Repair Facility B3408 (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam) - $17 million