U.S. House Passes Annual Defense Authorization Measure Including $1.0 Billion to Address the Red Hill Fuel Crisis
The Measure Also Strengthens Our National Defense in the Indo-Pacific by Supporting an Expanded U.S. Presence and Stronger International Relationships
Washington, DC, July 14, 2022
Tags: National Security
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) announced that the full U.S. House has approved its version of the $839.3 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that addresses his priorities related to the closure of Red Hill, strengthening America’s national defense in the Indo-Pacific and improving the Department of Defense’s (DoD) relationship with the local community.
The bill includes nine floor amendments introduced by Case and considered and approved by the full House.
“With the FY 2023 NDAA, the Hawai‘i Congressional delegation is continuing our efforts to ensure the military fulfils its promise to close Red Hill and address critical issues, such as expanding transparency, restoring our aquifer and tracking the long-term health of those affected by the crisis,” said Case. “I remain committed to ensuring we defuel and close Red Hill as safely and quickly as possible.”
The bill’s Red Hill provisions:
The bill also supports Case’s continued efforts to strengthen the military’s community engagement efforts as it works to rebuild trust with the people of Hawai‘i following the Red Hill fuel leak.
“The military and the local community in our Hawai‘i have a long relationship that has been severely strained by the recent Red Hill crisis,” said Case. “It is critical that the military win back the trust of our community through its actual actions.”
Case introduced and secured passage of provisions that require the DoD to develop and implement a Hawai‘i-specific community engagement strategy that strengthens the ties between the military and the local community and develop a centralized office with better coordination for various community engagement initiatives. Additionally, the NDAA requires the DoD to increase cultural support to military units in the state, which includes training on Hawaiian culture and improved consultation with the Native Hawaiian community. Finally, the bill requires the military to enhance defense cooperation with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
The bill also authorizes crucial investments in America’s global network of alliances and partnerships, including more than $7 billion in funding for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
“Hawai‘i is a critical component of the U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific, and the FY 2023 NDAA reaffirms our Hawaii’s place in and our country’s commitment to this region,” said Case. “These provisions, especially the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, will keep America competitive against China and reassure our friends and allies that the U.S. will be there for them as we defend our shared values.”
To strengthen America’s presences in the Indo-Pacific, the NDAA also requires the military to submit a report on the advisability of enhancing defense cooperation with partners in the region and includes expanding the role of the National Guard in support of these initiatives, especially in Oceania.
Additionally, it directs the DOD and the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide an independent assessment of the resources they need to fulfill the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Finally, the bill directs the military to increase its support for the Compact negotiations with the Freely Associated States - the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau – that are essential to our country’s national security.
In addition to the provisions described above, the bill includes the following additional amendments secured by Case:
The bill includes various other programs, provisions and funding affecting Hawai‘i and the Indo-Pacific. The NDAA:
This year’s bill also supports a 4.6% pay raise for service members and civilians, in addition to supporting inflation bonuses for service members and civilians earning less than $45,000 per year. It also codifies a $15 minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts.
Overall, the FY 2023 NDAA authorizes $839.3 billion in discretionary spending for national defense across the DoD, parts of the Department of Energy and other agencies.
It seeks restore U.S. alliances and partnerships and strengthen our country’s global competitiveness. This year’s NDAA will fulfill Congress’s constitutional obligation to “provide for the common defense.”
A summary of the bill is available here.