WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Thursday received the 2015 Award of Merit from The Military Coalition, which is comprised of 31 organizations representing more than 5.5 million member of the uniformed services and their families. The award was given in recognition of Inhofe’s work to prevent the privatization of commissaries on military bases in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016.
“It is an honor to receive the Award of Merit from the Military Coalition, but the greater honor is being able to represent our service members and their families in Congress,” said Inhofe. “When commissaries were put in danger of privatization, I was unsettled by the impact this would have on our military members' ability to provide for their families. This is an earned and promised benefit that 95 percent of our military access and nearly all find satisfaction with it. Before we take drastic measures to change this benefit, Congress must do its due diligence to understand and assess how it will impact our servicemembers and the promise our country made to take care of them and their families. With the bipartisan support of my colleagues in the Senate and proactive groups like the Military Coalition, we were able to prevent the untimely privatization of military commissaries from moving forward.”
Additionally, Inhofe’s Senior Advisor for Military, Foreign Relations and Veteran Affairs, Anthony Lazarski, received the 2015 Freedom Award for his supporting role in the successful passage of the Inhofe-Mikulski amendment to the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2016.
On June 4, Inhofe was joined by Sen. Barbara Milkuski (D-Md.) in introducing amendment #1728 to the Senate's NDAA for fiscal year 2016. The amendment garnered the support of 23 bipartisan cosponsors and more than 40 outside organizations. The amendment passed on June 17, and the NDAA passed the Senate the following day. The legislation is currently in conference with the U.S. House of Representatives.