Thank You: Senator Made Fly-In a Success

WASHINGTON — Many big thank yous to U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and his staff for their work to make the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce’s annual D.C. Fly-in a huge success.

Sen. Inhofe spent many hours with members of the delegation and arranged sessions that allowed the group to become more knowledgeable and aware of the challenges that face our country and the U.S. Army.

Inhofe, as many of the speakers told the group, is the No. 1 “go to” man for the Army and military in the Senate. “You are so fortunate to have Jim Inhofe,” several speakers said. Inhofe’s relationship undoubtedly keeps Fort Sill as one of the top posts in the Army and supports Oklahoma and our local economy.

The new Freedom School being built for on-post, military children at Fort Sill is a perfect example of the Tulsa Republican getting things done. His working with the Democrats in the Senate and former Under Secretary of the Army Joe Westphal enabled the project to be built despite his criticism of the Obama administration.

Sen. Inhofe also reached across the aisle and nominated former 2nd District Congressman Brad R. Carson, a Democrat and an opponent in a recent election, to be the 20th General Counsel of the Department of the Army. Why? He wanted an Oklahoman in that position, and the former Naval officer was eminently qualified. Carson has since been named to replace Westphal as Under Secretary of the Army.

“Jim Inhofe gets things done because he works hard,” retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., told the Lawton group. How true.

A passionate advocate for national defense, Inhofe has made many trips to Lawton and all the military facilities in Oklahoma. Inhofe also has made many trips to visit Iraq and Afghanistan and other hot spots, checking the execution of the military strategy and visiting with soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from Oklahoma and other states about their duty and the need for equipment to complete their missions.

His staff members assisted chamber officials to work out kinks in scheduling and meeting room arrangements and securing guests for functions at the Capitol that made the sessions. Make no mistake, it was Jim Inhofe’s relations with the Army and a long-time personal relationship that brought Secretary of the Army John McHugh and other top brass to the evening reception and/or the early morning breakfast.

Many thanks are in order to the senator’s staff for arranging meetings in the Pentagon with top Army leaders and to the media staff for assisting a dozen members of the group to get to the hearing about the future of the Army.

Now, Lawton leaders will be examining the data and looking for ways to assist the Army meet mission requirements while looking for new opportunities to assist them. Lawton stands ready to help.

Many thanks are also in order for Lawton taxpayers who went to the polls last week and approved two crucial bond issues. The proceeds will be spent for maintenance, equipment and buses. That vote tally sure set a positive atmosphere with Army and congressional officials in the nation’s capital. Thank you Lawton voters.


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ICYMI: Inhofe Announces Plans to CRA Major Regulations, Questions EPA Nominee on Failure to Obey Law

ICYMI: Inhofe Announces Plans to CRA Major Regulations, Questions EPA Nominee on Failure to Obey Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today questioned Janet McCabe, nominee to be the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on the agency's systematic distortion of the cost of its regulations. He also announced his plan to invoke the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on any major EPA regulation that comes out under the Obama Administration. [READ HERE: Powerline Blog: Can the Congressional Review Act Bring the Obama Administration to its Knees?]

In his opening statement, Inhofe stated: "The impacts we're beginning to see are extremely negative, but the Administration and the EPA do not seem to care. Electricity affordability and reliability clearly have no part in the EPA's thought process. And this is why I made this commitment yesterday that I am going to have a Congressional Review Act (CRA); I'm going to use that on every one of these regulations…The people who are elected need to be participating in the process [of regulating]." [WATCH HERE: Video of Inhofe's Opening Statement]

Inhofe then asked McCabe a series of questions, one specifically requesting the nominee to state if she would support Inhofe's S.2161 legislation introduced on March 26 with 29 cosponsors. The legislation would prohibit the EPA from finalizing any new major regulation until the agency analyzes the whole economic impact of its current air regulations as instructed under Section 321(a) of the Clean Air Act. The EPA currently reports the economic impact of the regulated entity; but fails to report the impact the regulation will have on the whole economy as required by law since 1977. [READ HERE: Daily Caller: Inhofe Seeks to force the EPA to report the costs of its rules]

When Inhofe continued to press McCabe for her position on S.2161, McCabe did not respond and Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) gaveled to close Inhofe's time of questioning. [WATCH HERE: Q&A between Inhofe and McCabe]

On Monday night, Inhofe spoke with nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin about the EPA’s unchecked regulations and Inhofe's plans to put the brakes on the Obama Administration through the CRA process. Inhofe explained that these regulations being passed are “killing America” and stated that he will “file a CRA on each of them."

Click here to listen to the interview.  

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ICYMI: Inhofe talks with MSNBC’s Morning Joe

ICYMI: Inhofe talks with MSNBC’s Morning Joe about Fort Hood Tragedy and upcoming Moore tornado anniversary

“A lot more needs to be done.” – Sen. Jim Inhofe on the need to address PTSD and mental health in the military

 Morning Joe

Click here to watch the video

During the interview, Sen. Inhofe stressed the importance of addressing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and depression in the military. The following are initiatives driven or supported by Inhofe to help servicemembers who are suffering from a range of mental health issues:

  • National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2009: Inhofe worked on a provision that established a Traumatic Injury Center of Excellence. He and the entire committee strongly supported including in the NDAA the Wounded Warriors Act, which guarantees mental health evaluations for combat veterans within 30 days of their request.
  • July 22, 2010: Inhofe requested and held a hearing with the Vice Chiefs of Staff of all the Services on progress being made to prevent military suicides, detection and care of TBI and PTSD, and connection between excessive medicating and the increase in the number of suicides and other psychological problems.
  • NDAA of 2012: Inhofe introduced an amendment to the NDAA that would require a report on eliminating gaps and redundancies between the over 200 programs within the Department of Defense (DOD) that address psychological health and TBI. The amendment was not accepted.
  • NDAA of 2013: Inhofe worked with the committee to include a provision that requires the DOD to submit a plan to streamline over 200 TBI programs sponsored or funded by DOD. This provision enables DOD to identify programs that are working and focus funding to improve overall care.
  • NDAA of 2014: Inhofe worked to include a provision that directs the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide a joint report to ensure adequate resources to meet the needs of our military members and their families. He also pushed for inclusion of additional treatments for TBI and increasing access to mental health counselors.

Inhofe added that military members should be able to carry properly registered firearms on base. Inhofe said, “I am thinking about what happened yesterday and this individual was finally stopped by a security woman who was armed. Now these guys over there are at the mercy of someone who is out on a rampage that we saw yesterday because they know — the perpetrators of these crimes know that they’re not armed out there.”

When news broke of yesterday’s Fort Hood shooting, Inhofe and Army Sec. John McHugh were attending a Lawton Chamber event in the U.S. Senate where both gentlemen were briefed on the tragedy.

Inhofe later released a statement on his Facebook page that read, “My thoughts and prayers are with the Army community and the men and women at Ft. Hood. Our men and women in uniform who risk their lives overseas in defense of our nation should never have to face such senseless violence here at home.”


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ICYMI: Gen. Kelly tells Inhofe that military lacks resources to stop 75% of drug trafficking into U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today at a committee hearing questioned SOUTHCOM Commander Gen. John Kelly on his command's inability to carry out its mission of interdicting vessels that are illegally transporting narcotics and possibly other dangers into the United States as a result of budget constraints.

boss sasc

Click here to watch the video

INHOFE: "if you look at the seizures -- and there's a direct relationship with the assets that are out there. And this is what really bothers me, because I think you -- you have made a statement -- I think it was in our office to some of our staff that there is 75 percent of the cocaine trafficking heading toward the United States -- that you can see it, but you can't interdict it. Is that accurate?"

KELLY: “…I watch them go by"

INHOFE: “And if you had the assets you could interdict them?"

KELLY: "I could interdict them."

INHOFE: "So we have a lot of this stuff coming into the United States that would not otherwise being coming in?”

KELLY: "That’s correct.”

[Kelly then confirmed to Inhofe that he currently has one Navy vessel and two coast guard vessels under his command that allow him to interdict narcotics, and another year of sequestration would eliminate those assets.]

INHOFE: “Is it likely you wouldn't even have the one, in the event that we have to go through sequestration?"

KELLY: "I would definitely not have one if I didn't -- if we were going through sequestration."

During the hearing, Gen. Kelly, in a dialogue with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), also informed the committee that only about 5 percent of SOUTHCOM's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements are being met. Also in response to a question from Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Gen. Kelly said SOUTHCOM would need "16 vessels of some kind" in order to meet its requirements. 

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ICYMI: Inhofe on FOX & Friends

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today appeared on FOX News' FOX & Friends to discuss the President's misguided priorities. In a segment titled "Cut This, Not That," Inhofe outlined three of the Obama Administration's climate change spending initiatives and compared that cost to what the Administration could be doing to better support our national security:

cut this not that

[click here for the video]


The following are the three examples Inhofe provided:


$270 million failed climate satellite = training for our Special Ops

CUT THIS: In 2009, the Obama Administration spent roughly $270 million on a climate satellite that was intended to map Earth's CO2 levels and study how humans are contributing to greenhouse gases. This satellite was destroyed during a failed rocket launch. [READ HERE: NBC News: "NASA's global warming satellite falls to Earth"]

NOT THAT: Inhofe noted that for roughly the same amount, we could avoid the budget short fall this year to best train and equip our Special Operations Forces, which include our Navy SEALS. 

 

$535 million failed loan to Solyndra = maintaining 7 AWACS

CUT THIS: In 2009, Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee under the Obama Administration, but in 2011 Solyndra filed bankruptcy leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. 

NOT THAT: Inhofe noted that for roughly the same amount, the United States could avoid retiring 7 of its 31 AWACS that the Air Force announced were on the chopping block this year due to budget cuts. Inhofe pointed out that AWACS is a fleet essential in detecting enemy aircraft. For example, NATO is using AWACS to assist Ukraine with Russia's invasion of Crimea. [READ HERE: The Oklahoman: "Key Oklahoma lawmakers oppose AWACS cuts"]

 

$757 million for the Global Climate Change Initiative = 50 black hawks for our reserve units

CUT THIS: This year, the President has allotted $757 million to the Global Climate Change Initiative that helps to build green power plants abroad. 

NOT THAT: Inhofe noted that this money could be best used to provide 50 of the 111 black hawks that our National Guard and reserve units need under the Army Aviation Restructure initiative. 

 

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