U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced several amendments to the appropriations bill this week that will benefit Oklahomans. The amendments address a wide and diverse range of policy areas.
First, Inhofe introduced an amendment 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.
“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.”
Inhofe also introduced an amendment to give community banks greater regulatory flexibility after a federal disaster declaration. This amendment is similar to language from Sen. Inhofe’s Wildfire Regulatory Relief Act:
“Local banks are important partners when farmers and ranchers have to recover from drought, wildfires or other natural disasters. Too often, regulations keep them from lending money to their customers to help them get back on their feet, especially when federal aid is held up due to bureaucratic red tape. By giving banks greater regulatory flexibility, they can help with community recovery efforts when it is needed most.”
The appropriations bill will continue to be considered on the Senate floor throughout this week.