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Senate committee approves East-West Center funding restoration

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A Senate committee has restored funding to the East-West Center, which was cut by the Obama administration for the next fiscal year.

Sen. Brian Schatz today said the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $16.7 million in federal funding for the East-West Center. The President had requested only $10.8 million for the fiscal year beginning in October.

“The Senate took a major step, especially during tough economic times, in approving much-needed funding for the East-West Center that is critical to promote better relations and understanding between the United States and other Asia-Pacific nations,” said Schatz in a news release. “Given that the East-West Center has a direct role in supporting President Obama’s renewed focus on the Asia-Pacific, and the importance of U.S.-Asia relations to our national and economic security, one of my top priorities as a United States Senator has been to ensure that the Center receives this funding in order to retain critical staff and maintain its valuable programs. It is vital to Hawaii and our national defense that both chambers of Congress act now to move forward with final approval of funding for the East-West Center.”

Schatz said he wrote letters requesting that the East-West Center receive $16.8 million — the same amount it received this fiscal year — in lieu of the President’s budget request of $10.8 million.

The appropriation request still must be approved by the full Senate and House.

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