WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla) made the following statement in response to President Bush’s State of the Union Address tonight.
“The strongest initiative the President announced tonight was his plan to rebuild the United States military by replacing the end strength that was torn down in the Clinton years. We knew it was a bad idea then and thankfully the President is addressing it now.
“In regards to energy, I support the President’s call for increased domestic exploration however I take issue with aspects of his other energy initiatives.
“Increasing the supply of alternative and renewable fuels will negatively impact Oklahoma farmers. Our state’s farmers are directly competing for the grain and corn used in the formulation of some of these alternative fuels. Thus, increased demand for these fuels increases the cost of feedstock for our farmers. That being said, I do support the development of innovative fuels that do not increase operating costs for Oklahoma farmers, such as those being developed by Oklahoma State University and the Noble Foundation.
“Additionally, I have always opposed strict CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] Standards. As someone with 20 kids and grandkids, I understand that large cars and SUVs are necessary to carry on with normal life. America has always been different from many other countries in that Americans have a choice in how they live their lives. In our country, the government ought not to tell you what type or size car to drive.
“I applaud the President’s innovative approach to making private health insurance more affordable and available by proposing standard deductions for health insurance and supporting State incentives to insure their most vulnerable citizens. This proposal matches legislation that my colleagues and I are already introducing here in the Senate.
“Also tonight, I was pleased to hear the President opposed amnesty with regards to comprehensive immigration reform. Eliminating amnesty was a primary feature of my own immigration legislation. I have long contended that to award amnesty to those who have come to this country illegally would be to cheat the legal immigrants who have gone through the entire naturalization process.
“I applaud the President’s budget concerns and let’s keep in mind that in the last two budgetary cycles we have been able to defeat Democrat amendments that would have added over $1 trillion dollars to the President’s budget.”