August 01, 2018
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) applauded the passage of four appropriations bills today. These bills provide the necessary funding for the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development and other related agencies.
“I am pleased the Senate continues to pass appropriations legislation through regular order,” Sen. Inhofe said. “The bills today include many provisions I authored that will benefit Oklahomans by supporting rural community development, agricultural research, airport and surface transportation infrastructure, rural electric utilities and even our inland waterways. By expanding opportunity in rural communities, we can drive greater economic growth for families and businesses. Additionally, I worked to ensure that the Agricultural Research Service facilities in Oklahoma will remain open and continue their important research. The legislation also provides needed investments to programs for fighting wildfires and ensures that the Indian Health Service is fully funded.”
The final bill also included an amendment from Sen. Inhofe that would support inland waterways, like MKARNS, by directing DOT and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work together to develop a path forward to allow alternative funding eligibility for inland waterways improvements.
“The MKARNS and other inland waterways are a positive option for shipping freight because water transport is cost effective and reduces the burden and congestion on our roads and railways. Yet, waterways are in need of maintenance and repairs with limited federal resources for improvements. My amendment would direct DOT and the Army Corps to discuss a path forward to provide non-traditional funding for inland waterways improvements. This amendment would further support efforts to advance construction and maintenance of the MKARNS and the economic benefit it provides Oklahoma.”
Sen. Inhofe also cosponsored a provision that would strengthen our ability to prevent Chinese-owned companies from dominating the transit market by blocking Federal Transit Administration funds from procuring transit rolling stock from entities owned, directed or operated by China.
“China’s state-owned companies should never be able to have influence over our domestic rolling stock operations – but that is just what they are trying to do. China’s using their state-owned companies, which are heavily and unfairly subsidized, to undercut our own production ability. China’s goal is for the United States to be entirely reliant on them for our rolling stock operation, leaving us vulnerable to economic coercion. The amendment I cosponsored with Sen. Cornyn would curb China’s efforts to dominate our domestic production of rolling stock and weaken our national security.”
Background on Inhofe provisions: