WASHINGTON — Rep. Mark Takai (D-Hawaii) was named Jan. 9 to the House Armed Services Committee by House Democratic leadership.
“Knowing the importance of national defense to Hawaii, I asked to be assigned to Armed Services shortly after I was elected to Congress,” said Takai, who is a Hawaii National Guard lieutenant colonel and an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. “I am honored that my colleagues have placed me in a position to advocate for Hawaii priorities and policy as our nation rebalances to the Asia-Pacific region.”
Takai’s top priorities on the House Armed Services Committee will include ensuring that Hawaii remains at the center of the defense rebalance, with adequate resources and funding; that Pearl Harbor continues growth as a Pacific hub; that communities affected by Department of Defense initiatives receive adequate support; and that the environment is protected during training and operations.
With his military experience, Takai brings to his committee post a personal and thorough understanding of the needs and importance of America’s armed services. He noted that his first week in Congress brought the opportunity to advocate right away for Hawaii’s military and veterans community: “On my first day in Congress, I was happy to vote for a bill that encouraged small businesses to hire veterans.”
Added Takai, “My first week in Congress has been unbelievable. From having my family in town to watch me be sworn in, to wearing Sen. Daniel Inouye’s cufflinks on the floor, to proudly serving my mother’s beef stew to our special guests — including Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, who came all the way over from Senate just for a taste — and my being named to such an important committee where I can make a difference for Hawaii, we are hitting the ground running and ready to serve.”