U.S. Rep. Mark Takai (D-Hawaii), was named on Friday to the House Armed Services Committee.
“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,” he said in a press release.
Takai said his priorities include ensuring Hawaii remains at the center of the defense rebalance, with adequate resources and funding; continued growth as a Pacific hub at Pearl Harbor; support for communities affected by Department of Defense initiatives; and environmental protection during training and operations.
During his first week in Congress, Takai voted for a bill that encourages small businesses to hire veterans.
“My first week in Congress has been unbelievable,” he said. ” 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.”