June 21, 2011
Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe Votes to Provide More Opportunity to Improve EDA Bill
Without Changes, Bill Stands Zero Chance of Passing in Congress
Washington D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today voted against cloture for the Economic Development Revitalization Act (S. 782) because crucial amendments that he offered were not considered before the vote. The Senate voted not to proceed with the bill by a vote of 51-49.
"I am disappointed that the Democratic majority in the Senate failed to reach across the aisle to provide the improvements needed to move forward with the Economic Development Revitalization Act," Senator Inhofe said. "As we worked to reauthorize this job-promoting program, my colleagues and even President Obama expressed legitimate concerns about the bill. I agreed and addressed these issues in two key amendments: one amendment significantly cuts EDA's authorization levels and the other promotes transparency and oversight in EDA's grant-making process. Not only are these amendments necessary in order to achieve bipartisan, bicameral support, they are essential in order to gain my vote. Unfortunately, my amendments were not even considered on the Senate floor and there is no guarantee that they will be accepted after cloture. Without having the assurance that these amendments will be a part of the final Economic Development Revitalization Act, I cannot vote to move this bill forward."
More on the Amendments:
Inhofe Amendment #430: This amendment reduces the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) authorization level from $500 million to $300 million.
Inhofe Amendment #459: This amendment would give the Government Accountability Office (GAO) the ability to audit the distribution of EDA grants. GAO would be responsible for ensuring that these grants are awarded through a competitive process and in accordance with EDA criteria and requirements. Additionally GAO would submit a report every year to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to have the efficiency of the program reviewed.