Senate Passes Appropriations Bill with Hawaii Priorities

Schatz Worked to Include Funding for East-West Center, Defense Programs, Native Hawaiian Health Care, Education, Housing, Rail, Disaster Preparedness

Washington, DC
– The U.S. Senate today passed the Fiscal Year 2014 omnibus appropriations bill, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed yesterday.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) worked to include more than $744 million directly for Hawai‘i’s priorities in the bill, which now goes to the President’s desk for his signature.

“Appropriations have always been important to Hawai‘i and we need to make sure Hawai‘i continues to secure our fair share.  We protected investments that matter to jobs and Hawai‘i’s future here, and did well for Hawai‘i in this appropriations process,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz.  “I am deeply appreciative that we were able to work with Senate appropriators to protect or increase funding for the East-West Center, transportation, Native Hawaiian health care and education, clean energy, and defense programs.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “All of us in the Senate have seen what a tireless advocate for the people of Hawai‘i Brian has been during the appropriations process.  He fought to deliver for his state and protect Hawai‘i's priorities - he's proven his effectiveness here through the relationships he's built with his colleagues and determination to get things done.”

The omnibus appropriations bill includes more than $1 billion for defense programs benefiting Hawai‘i, with $392 million for military construction in Hawai‘i and more than $450 million for road and transit grants and formula dollars benefitting Hawai‘i, with $250 million set aside for Honolulu’s rail project in FY 2014.  Senator Schatz worked with appropriators to increase funding for the East-West Center to $16.7 million, nearly $6 million above the request in the President’s budget, and protect funding for Native Hawaiian health, education, and housing programs, as well as other Hawai‘i priorities that the U.S. House of Representatives tried to cut.

The FY 2014 omnibus spending bill includes a dozen appropriations bills setting forth detailed spending decisions for the U.S. government from December’s compromise budget agreement.  The Appropriations Committee was able to resume work on these appropriations bills, avoid more sequestration cuts, and avert a government shutdown only due to the budget agreement that the President signed into law on December 26 on Oahu.