WASHINGTON--U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) today voted against the final passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (S.2845), which was eventually approved by the Senate (89-2).
"Today I joined the majority of our Oklahoma delegation in voting against the final passage of this bill," Inhofe said. "While there where many provisions I agreed with, unfortunately there were also glaring omissions that where impossible to overlook and caused me to oppose final passage.
"Stripped from the final version of this bill were five provisions that I felt were absolutely imperative to include in this reform package. Once you pass a bill, you lose your leverage to get those things that were controversial back in the bill. I do not have any doubt that the Speaker would bring this up at the beginning of the next Congress, but I have serious doubts that once passed in the House that those five areas that I have outlined would be corrected in the Senate. "Many people would be outraged to know that there is a 3.5 mile gap in our fence line with Mexico that exists solely to preserve the environment of five birds that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. The provision in the bill to patch this hole was removed because apparently repairing our border will disturb these five animals."
Senator Inhofe also expressed dismay that the following provisions were removed from the original version of this legislation:
- Electronic Confirmation by State DMVs of the Validity of Other States' Driver's Licenses and Driver Information.
- Anti-Trafficking Provision that Adds to the Existing Criminal Code Regarding the Sale of ID Counterfeiting Technology and Information.
- A Requirement for Proof of Lawful Presence in the United States.
- Temporary Driver's License requirements that State Visas and similar Documents Should Expire on the Same Date as Temporary Licenses.
- Restriction on a State's Ability to Accept Foreign Documents like the Matricula for Driver's Licenses.