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Senator Akaka is well-situated to have a direct impact on issues critical to Hawaii and the Nation. He serves on the following Senate committees:

COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS At the start of the 110th Congress, Senator Daniel K. Akaka was tapped to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

A strong and vocal advocate for veterans, Senator Akaka has served on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs each year of his tenure since his arrival to the Senate in 1990. Known for working in the spirit of aloha, Senator Akaka enjoys a productive working relationship with Ranking Member Larry Craig (R-ID), the veteran service organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and his Congressional colleagues.

Senator Akaka is currently fighting to increase funding for the VA health care system. Veterans are seeking care at VA hospitals and clinics as never before, and Senator Akaka is working to ensure funding keeps pace with demand. In addition, as Chairman, Senator Akaka will continue his efforts to ensure that VA provides adequate care for Hawaii's veterans.

In addition to health care issues, Senator Akaka is committed to battling the large backlog of claims at VA, so that America's newest generation of veterans receive the benefits that they have earned in a timely manner.

Senator Akaka served as Ranking Democrat of the Committee during the 109th Congress. In this role, he led the Democrats in the Senate with regard to policy and services for our nation's 25 million veterans.

During the 109th Congress, much of the legislation put forward by Senator Akaka was enacted into law, including provisions to:

  • Make permanent a pilot program to make direct housing loans to Native American veterans for homes on tribal lands;
  • Expand eligibility to include Indian tribal organizations for grants for establishment of veterans cemeteries on trust lands;
  • Improve and expand VA's ability to provide mental health services at both hospitals and Community-Based Outpatient Clinics;
  • Require VA to pay full costs for certain service-connected veterans residing in State homes, provide medications for certain service-connected conditions to veterans residing in State homes, and create a limited authority for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to designate certain beds in non-State facilities as State homes for purposes of per diem payments;
  • Establish a program to improve assistance provided to caregivers of disabled veterans;
  • Ensure the continued existence of Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers, as well as Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence within the VA health care system; and
  • Expand the mission of Vet Centers to include outreach to veterans and bereavement counseling to family members, and increased the amount of money that VA is authorized to spend on Vet Center programs.

During the week of January 9-13, 2006, Senator Akaka held Committee hearings on four different Hawaiian islands to examine "The State of VA Care in Hawaii." These hearings brought high-ranking VA and military officials from Washington to examine care for Hawaii's veterans and returning servicemembers. Senator Akaka articulated that VA must provide a unique strategy to care for Hawaii's veterans due to the state's geography. As it is not practical or financially feasible for veterans to travel between the islands for care, proper care and services are needed on each island. As a result of Senator Akaka's efforts, VA provided $1 million for improvements in mental health initiatives in Hawaii, established a home health care program on Kauai, lifted the home care restrictions on Maui, created telehealth capabilities on Molokai, and increased mental health services in Kona.

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES Hawaii is home to military installations from every branch of our Armed Services and enjoys an excellent relationship with the military. As a member of the Committee, Senator Akaka continues to work with the DOD to meet our nation's security interests in the Pacific and around the world.

  • Chairman, Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
  • Member, Subcommittee on Airland
  • Member, Subcommittee on Seapower

COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS The Committee's broad legislative and oversight responsibilities have led to greater accountability, responsiveness, and efficiency in Federal government. Hawaii's 58,000 Federal employees, emergency management and homeland security employees, and retirees, plus the State's 2,665 postal workers are served by the Committee. Senate oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, rest with the Committee. The Federal preparedness for and response to major disasters are under the Committee's purview, including state and local grants.

  • Chairman, Government Management, the Federal workforce and the District of Columbia The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the management of all departments, agencies, and programs of the Federal government; relations between the Federal government and state and local governments; the Federal work force, including national security staffing, and the District of Columbia.
  • Member, Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security (FFM)
  • Member, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES This post serves the Senator's longstanding commitments to safeguard our precious natural resources, ensure greater energy independence and security for Hawaii, assist the U.S. Pacific insular areas, and oversee Hawaiian home lands programs.

  • Chairman, Subcommittee on National Parks
  • Member, Subcommittee on Energy
  • Member, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests

COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS Senator Akaka's seat on Indian Affairs is critical to his efforts to bolster health care, education, housing and other vital programs for indigenous peoples, including Native Hawaiians, Alaska Natives, and Native Americans.


  • Afterschool Caucus
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education) Caucus
  • Congressional Coalition on Adoption
  • Senate Cultural Caucus
  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Executive Board
  • Senate Army Caucus, Co-Chair
  • National Guard Caucus
  • Senate Anti-Meth Caucus
  • Congressional Public Service Caucus, Co-Chair
  • Congressional Biotechnology Caucus
  • Senate Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus
  • Congressional Fire Services Caucus
  • Congressional Port Security Caucus
  • Senate Caucus on Natural Hazards
  • Congressional Friends of Human Rights Monitors
  • Senate Sweetener Caucus
  • Senate Rural Health Caucus
  • Senate Tourism Caucus
  • Congressional Postal Caucus, Co-Chair

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