February 24, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) was pleased to meet with members of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce during their annual trip to Washington, D.C. During a presentation to the Chamber, Sen. Inhofe outlined priorities for the economy in several key areas including economic development investments, transportation, defense, and energy, all of which he says will help restore economic confidence without placing a burden on the taxpayers.
Sen. Inhofe denounced the outrageous amounts of government spending Congress had passed in the past year including the recent so-called “stimulus bill”: “As one of the most outspoken conservatives in Washington leading the fight against this runaway government spending, and one that has voted against every single massive government bailout bill, I am going to be pushing legislation that can provide a real stimulus to our local communities.
“We know that infrastructure investment, along with defense spending and tax cuts, have a greater stimulative impact on the economy than anything else the government can do,” Senator Inhofe said. “And yet, only 3% of the stimulus bill pertained to road and bridge construction. During the stimulus debate I argued for more investments in infrastructure and offered an amendment (S.Amdt 169) which had bipartisan support - unfortunately it did not pass. Oklahoma has $1.1 billion in shovel ready projects. For every $1 billion invested in highways and bridges, 27,800 jobs are created. That is where the focus of the stimulus should have been.
“Additionally disappointing, only 1% of the stimulus bill was dedicated to military and veterans. We know for every $1 billion invested in military procurement, 6,500 jobs are created. I now have a bill (S.JR10) in Congress that will set the baseline budget of the Department of Defense to 4% so that we can invest in manufacturing jobs that are right here in the U.S. and protect our national security. “President Obama said of his ‘stimulus’ plan that, ‘Most of the money we're investing as part of this plan will generate or save 3-4 million new jobs.’ At a $789 billion cost, that translates into spending $200,000 taxpayer dollars per job. That is a burden that will cost more than $8,287 for every Oklahoma taxpayer.”
Senator Inhofe also revealed the Tulsa provisions in the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations bill that the House is scheduled to vote on this week.
“While I have great reservations about this massive appropriations bill that is going to authorize billions more in new government spending, I am pleased that Tulsa will be the recipient of important funds for its schools and roadways. These are the types of investments that will help our local communities make economic progress,” Senator Inhofe said.
He underscored the importance of the 2009 Highway Reauthorization, WRDA, and the Economic Development Administration in creating jobs in Oklahoma and throughout the country.
“Through my role on the EPW committee I will be working to ensure the development of the Arkansas River Corridor in the Tulsa area, said Senator Inhofe. “In 2007, when I secured passage of the WRDA bill we succeeded in authorizing relocation assistance for Tar Creek which will be complete this year and $50 million to carry out the ecosystem restoration, recreation, and flood damage reduction components of the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan.
“We have great highway needs in Oklahoma, and this year, with the Highway Reauthorization bill, it will be a top priority of mine to make sure Oklahoma’s roads and highways are being built. “Investments through the Economic Development Administration have transformed communities in Oklahoma. Last Congress and in this Congress (S.430), I’ve introduced legislation to reauthorize EDA for another 4 years. In Oklahoma, EDA’s public works and economic adjustment grants awarded over the past six years have resulted in 9,000 jobs being created or saved. And with an investment of about $24.6 million, we have leveraged almost $29 million in State and local dollars and more than $433 million in private sector dollars.”
He also warned against the efforts to pass cap-and-trade legislation.
“This year, one of the biggest mandates the American people could encounter is climate change legislation seeking to regulate carbon dioxide emissions,” Senator Inhofe said. “To put this in perspective, we will pay for the stimulus bill just once, but the climate bailout would amount to $6 trillion hitting us every year at an estimated cost of $3,300 per Oklahoma household. It failed last year because of the massive cost and no environment gain. Still, this climate tax remains a top priority for Democrats and as the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee I will lead the fight in the Senate to oppose what will be a massive tax increase in the form of higher energy prices.”
Background: The House will vote this week on the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The Senate will vote next week.
The bill includes the following for the Tulsa area: