By Melanie Hunter, Link to Article
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday at a hearing on the Defense Department’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget that President Barack Obama has wasted $120 billion on global warming over the past five years – money that would be better spent on the military.
“I've been working on this for quite some time ... In the last five years, between 2009 and 2014, the president has spent $120 billion on the environmental agenda, mostly global warming, climate and that type of thing,” said Inhofe. “And in that respect, if you'll just take the amount that was not authorized by Congress -- and I'm talking about the environmental agenda, you could actually buy 1,400 F-35s.”
The F-35 Lightning II, made by Lockheed Martin, is considered the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter and “will enable pilots to be six to eight times more effective in air-to-air missions, air-to ground missions and surveillance missions.” It is “first to enter the battle space, has a 360-degree view of the battlefield and is first to see adversaries and take action – allowing our pilots to carry out their missions and return home safely.”
Breaking Defense reports that Lockheed Martin’s General Manager of the F-35 Lightning II program, Lorraine Martin, estimates the Air Force version of the F-35A will cost $75 million by 2019, which will be “less than any fourth generation fighter in the world.”
The Navy plans to order 33 fewer F-35s than originally planned over the five years beginning fiscal year 2015, because of budgetary pressures, and the Air Force is deferring orders for four F-35 models in FY2015, Reuters reported. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the total number of F-35s might be scaled back even further if automatic budget cuts set to resume in FY 2016 are not revoked.
The FY 2015 budget cuts would reduce the military to pre-World War II levels – “the first budget to fully reflect the transition [the Defense Department] is making after 13 years of war,” Hagel said, warning that the military “will assume additional risk in certain areas,” including training and maintenance. Should major conflicts break out in several places at once, the military would be stretched thin, he added.
“And I think people need to understand that there's a price we're paying for all these agendas that have been rejected by Congress,” Inhofe said. He told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on the weekend edition of “Washington Watch” that Obama has “denigrated our military to the point where we're not the force we were at one time.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Today, in a Senate Armed Serviced (SASC) hearing entitled, “Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2015 and the Future Years Defense Program” Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking member of SASC, reiterated to witnesses, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, that the President's announced defense budget for fiscal year 2015 is "totally unacceptable."
During the first round of questions, Inhofe highlighted that the money the President has spent on his climate change agenda would purchase roughly 1,400 F-35s.
During the hearing, Inhofe said, "I have a CRS report that shows -- and I've been working on this for quite some time -- that in the last five years, between 2009 and 2014, the president has spent $120 billion on the environmental agenda, mostly global warming, climate and that type of thing. And I did a little bit of math - when we're talking about the crisis that we're in, and I've quoted so many people here from the intelligence community, from the defense community, saying that this is a real serious crisis that we're in.
"And in that respect, if you'll just take the amount that was not authorized by Congress -- and I'm talking about the environmental agenda, you could actually buy 1,400 F-35s. And I think people need to understand that there's a price we're paying for all these agendas that have been rejected by Congress."
Video of Inhofe's statement during the first round of questions can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/9SemgHu_f_M
During the second round of questions, Inhofe also highlighted areas where the Administration is spending defense dollars to prioritize the President's climate change agenda ahead of an adequate national security strategy that addresses looming global threats. A few of the examples he provided are as follows:
- $120 million for a solar farm at Fort Bliss.
- $75 million in fiscal year '14 appropriations for alternative energy research.
- $160 million the Navy contributed towards biofuels initiatives, retrofitting and building refineries in both FY'12 and FY'13.
Inhofe continued, "Now, when you start adding all this up, you're talking about really serious money… It's not you guys. It's the administration that doesn't have the priorities that you have stated, Mr. Secretary, that they have in terms of defending America as the number one priority."
Video of Inhofe's statement during the second round of questions can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/KhVLUmrzR9s
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Yesterday, in a Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing titled “Current and Future Worldwide Threats,” Senator Jim Inhofe, ranking member of SASC, questioned Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen.Michael Flynn on the proliferationof Al-Qaeda. Both of President Obama's advisors stated on the record that Al-Qaeda is not on the path to defeat, directly contradicting what President Obama has been telling the American people.
INHOFE: "Yes or no answer from each one of you; is Al-Qaeda on the run and on the path to defeat?"
CLAPPER: "No, it is morphing and franchising itself, not only here but in other areas of the world.”
FLYNN: "They are not.”
You may view the clip by clicking here.
Why is this important? During the President Obama's reelection effort, he told the American people at numerous campaign events that al-Qaeda "is on the path to defeat." The attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, proved otherwise. As Inhofe told the Lars Larson Radio show last night,"It all goes back to Benghazi. It all happened right before the election… That is what he was saying about six weeks before the election. He had been saying that my Middle Eastern policies have worked and we are now shifting to the Pacific rim. And of course that was not true then, or today." Inhofe went on to say, "Susan Rice was sent to the American public to lie for political purposes. Four people died… Let us not forget this."
Quotes from President Obama saying otherwise:
- New Hampshire Campaign rally - Oct. 17, 2012: " I said we’d refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 — and we have. And today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline, and Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead."
- Wisconsin campaign rally - Nov. 1, 2012: “The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda has been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead. So we’ve made real progress these past four years.”
- Camp Pendleton in California - Aug. 7, 2013: Speaking to Marines at Camp Pendleton in California, President Obama said “The core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the way to defeat. We are going to make sure that Afghanistan is never again a source of attacks against our country.”
- Washington, D.C. Veterans Day speech - Nov. 11, 2013: "Today we can say because of their heroic service, the core of Al-Qaeda is on the path of defeat.”
ICYMI: Intelligence Leaders: Al-Qaida Is Not on Path to Defeat
By Sara Sorcher, Published February 11, 2014
Click here to read article
Al-Qaida is not on the run, and after being hunted for two decades it is not on the path to defeat. That's the sobering message from two top intelligence leaders, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing Tuesday.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., hearkened back to past comments from the Obama administration about the impending defeat, or at least decline, of the terrorist network. "People keep talking about [how] al-Qaida is on the run, on the path to defeat.... To me it's just the opposite of that," the committee's ranking member said. "Is al-Qaida on the run, and on the path to defeat?"
"No," Clapper replied."It is morphing and franchising itself, not only here but in other areas of the world."
"They are not," Flynn confirmed.
President Obama has indeed said that core al-Qaida leadership is on the run—and touted how the U.S., under his leadership, conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Obama has also acknowledged the threat grows more complicated as al-Qaida franchises take hold in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and other hot spots. "While we have put al-Qaida's core leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved, as al-Qaida affiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world," Obama said in his State of the Union address.
In a recent hearing on global threats, Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee that America's ability to understand the terrorist threat has improved over the last decade, but that the network's dispersion makes extremists harder to detect. "I can't say that the threat is any less," Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee in late January.
KFAQ – The Pat Campbell Morning Show
Sen. Inhofe talked with Pat Campbell Tuesday morning from the hospital about his surgery, recovery, and quick return to Washington.
The Oklahoman – Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe says he feels ‘great’ after surgery
Sen. Inhofe spoke with Chris Casteel of the Oklahoman Monday after his successful procedure.
FOX23 Tulsa – Inhofe recovering from bypass surgery
Sen. Inhofe talked with FOX23 news anchor Michelle Linn on Tuesday for the 5 o’clock evening news about his surgery and the importance of routine checkups.
KOTV News on 6 – Sen. Jim Inhofe recovering following surgery
Sen. Inhofe talked with NewsOn6 on Tuesday after being released from the hospital about how he had no warning signs of his heart condition. He encouraged even the healthiest of individuals to receive routine checkups.
Reuters – Oklahoma Sen. Inhofe Recovering at home after heart surgery
Sen. Inhofe was released just four days after heart surgery to continue his recovery from home and is expected to return in a few weeks to Washington.
Defense News – SASC Ranking Member ‘Fully Engaged’ After Heart Surgery
“In the statement his office released Monday morning, Inhofe was feisty as ever, urging his fellow lawmakers to strike a deal to reopen the federal government.”
HotAir.com – Inhofe feels ‘great’ after emergency heart surgery
“Thankfully, we’ll have the Senator around for awhile, after doctors performed an emergency quadruple bypass Friday – and at 78, that’s no joke. Inhofe says he ‘feels great’…”
Friday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure to fund the government without funding ObamaCare. I have urged Senate Majority Leader to take up this legislation as soon as possible in the Senate. Now is our opportunity to deal with ObamaCare, and I stand with Oklahomans who are saying this law must go.
I have received thousands of phones calls, letters, and emails from you expressing great concerns with the President's burdensome health care law. I share your concerns. ObamaCare is already having grave impacts on individuals, small businesses, and the future of our country. Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt is leading Oklahoma in efforts to dismantle the law on the basis of taxes, and I continue to pursue every effort in the Senate to prevent this disastrous law from fully being implemented.
Despite the Administration's promises, ObamaCare is not improving our health care system nor is it bringing down costs. Rather, ObamaCare imposes roughly $500 billion in new taxes on individuals and businesses, cuts Medicare funding by $523 billion, and represents an unprecedented expansion of the federal government's control over health care. As ObamaCare is being implemented, it has given us a disturbing glimpse of our country's future. This law is already encroaching upon Americans' religious liberties, diminishing full-time job opportunities, and adding to our already skyrocketing federal debt. ObamaCare must be repealed.
The President's recent actions show recognition that this law is a bad deal for Americans. The President has signed 14 bills into law that have amended, repealed or changed portions of ObamaCare. Independent of Congress, he has also delayed implementation of five of its key provisions.
Since 2010, I have cosponsored bills, filed amicus briefs, and sent letters to help in efforts to put a stop to ObamaCare. This summer, I joined my colleagues Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in notifying Majority Leader Harry Reid that we will not support any spending bills in the Senate which further fund ObamaCare. The Senate is now considering a funding bill to keep the government operating after Oct. 1, and I remain firm in my promise that I will not support any proposal that funds this disastrous health care law.
In the event that my colleagues and I are unable to delay or repeal ObamaCare during this current budget battle, I have signed on to an effort to stop taxpayer subsidies for Members of Congress and their staffs in ObamaCare's insurance exchanges. I have also joined an effort to block labor unions from receiving a special carve out that they requested after admitting the law would hamper their members' access to quality care. Additionally, I have cosponsored the Trust But Verity Act that would ensure the personal, private information of Americans who are enrolled in the health care exchanges is secured with proper privacy and data security safeguards.
We have a difficult battle ahead of us, but I stand alongside the many in Congress, across America, and in Oklahoma that will not let this rest until proper action is taken.