On Thursday, the House passed the Conference Report on H.R. 4310, the FY 2013 Defense Authorization Act, which includes more than $366 million for Hawaii-based military construction projects. The Conference Report resolves differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2013 NDAA.
U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted for the measure.
"I am pleased that we have approved a conference report that continues to support Hawaii's vital role in the Pacific, and provides funding for projects that will help our economic recovery," said Hanabusa, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "These are investments in our nation's defense, economic, and diplomatic future that also benefit our state and our residents. "
The conference agreement includes funding for projects at the following Hawaii installations:
· Pohakuloa Training Area-- $29,000,000
· Schofield Barracks --$96,000,000
· Wheeler Army Airfield -- $85,000,000
· Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam -- $30,789,000
· Marine Corps Base Hawaii -- $97,310,000
· Army National Guard Kapolei - $28,000,000
The report includes provisions based on the findings of the Panel on Business Challenges within the Defense Industry, which Hanabusa was a member of. The bipartisan provisions in the report help U.S. small businesses successfully compete for and perform Department of Defense contracts by enhancing opportunities and capabilities.
"I am proud of my service on the House Armed Services Committee's Panel on Business Challenges within the Defense Industry, and that the NDAA reflects our work," Hanabusa said. "That is the result of a concentrated, bipartisan effort to open the defense industry to small businesses, providing new business opportunities, strengthening our national economy, and bringing greater flexibility to our nation's investments in defense."
Two Hanabusa provisions that were included from the panel would establish a small business advocate in the defense audit agencies, require an independent assessment of DoD's small business participation and identify the barriers for capturing small business data. Other provisions created by the panel will strengthen incentives for federal agencies to contract with small businesses and improve reporting requirements on small business participation. This includes raising the maximum surety bond amount guaranteed by the Small Business Administration from $2 million to $6.5 million, which will allow small business to bid competitively on larger military construction projects.
The conference report also corrected language that would have that would have prohibited the military from investing in advanced biofuels. The measure endorses the President's plan in Afghanistan to transition lead responsibility for security to the Afghans by mid-2013, and requires the DoD to promote the security of Afghan women and girls during the transition.
The conference agreement, authorizes $633.3 billion in discretionary budget authority for FY 2013 for national defense programs, including $527.5 billion for the DOD base budget, $88.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), and $17.4 billion for the defense activities of the Energy Department.
The measure passed by a vote of 315 - 107 and now heads to the Senate for approval.