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December 11, 2020

Inhofe Speaks on the Senate Floor Showing Support for President Trump’s Accomplishments

This week, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) spoke on the Senate floor about successes we have seen under President Donald Trump’s leadership. 

I was listening to the previous speaker from Rhode Island and I figure it’s time to clarify a few things that are said about our President. I know that right now a lot of people are believing that we are going have a change—have a democrat president. A lot of decisions are being made. But, to show you that there is a big difference of opinion, I want to say a few things about our President just to remind people. You know, they’ve forgotten what has happened. Now I know that there are differing opinions on that—partisan opinions.
My very close friend from the Democrat aisle and I are going to hopefully have a vote tomorrow that will take place on the defense authorization bill. The biggest bill of the year. The most significant bill of the year. Senator Reed and I have an agreement on almost every element of it and we both have come to the conclusion it’s a tremendous bill. It’s one that you really can’t justify opposing. A lot of things have been said that are not true.
I want to just mention a couple things because this is a good time to do it. We have a president who has done things that have never been done before in terms of accomplishments—positive accomplishments. I remember two years ago I wrote this little card because I was taking track of all these good things that have happened. I remember showing it to the president at that time. He read that and he was very excited about the way that we have composed it, but keep in mind, this was two years ago. Look at these ten things that this president has done.
First of all, the big tax cut that he had. And by the way, when we look at the fact that he did such great things for the economy, prior to the pandemic, we had the best economy we’ve had in my lifetime. Then the pandemic changed all that. But he did this by looking back at history. It was not a republican, it was a democrat—it was President Kennedy who had the wisdom to say when he was working on the Great Society programs that were going cost so much money, he said, “we’ve got to raise our revenue and the best way to increase revenue is to decrease tax rates,” and so he decreased tax rates. We all remember that. And while it worked, unfortunately the president died before he could really take advantage and enjoy the benefits of the work that he had done by his tax cuts. That has been tried since that time and it has worked. But, what this president did in addition to that, he didn’t have just tax cuts, he had regulation cuts. Now you have, what I call it, the golden day of regulation relief. The best economy we’ve had in that period of time.
They say that full employment is four percent unemployment, when in fact we actually got down below three percent. That was something that has not been done in my memory—and good benefits came from that. There’s a difference of opinion between democrats and republicans and we understand that.
I’ve always felt that an indicator of success in the economy is to see how many people you get off of food stamps. A lot of liberal friends say they measure it by how many people get on food stamps. Nonetheless, we’ve gotten five million people off food stamps. That’s what happened and that’s why we had the economy that we had. I hate to think of where we would be today if we had started with an average economy. We started with the best economy we’ve had in my lifetime. That was because of our president and the support he had from our party.
The second thing—now keep in mind I am from Oklahoma we’re an oil state and we knew that during the Obama administration it was a war on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are coal, oil and gas. It’s an effort to try and get back into renewables. Someday we may have the development of renewables. They are not there now in spite of what the previous speaker said. They are not available now. So, what this president did was he stopped the war on fossil fuels. Now, as a result of that within the first two years, we had a 277 percent growth in crude exports, 132 percent increase in coal exports and 52 percent increase in natural gas exports. A lot of that translated in to the economy that we were enjoying.
In terms of illegal immigration, I know this became very controversial. The wall—people didn't like the idea of the wall. I can remember a conversation I had with Netanyahu when I was in Israel once and he said he didn't understand how a modern state can have borders that are not secure. He said you can't do that, it doesn't work. Well, he's now got that done against a lot of opposition. We all know that. And Israel, how many presidents—every president I can think of in my career here in Washington had said we need to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but they don't do it. And so, this president just went ahead and did it. He's a little abrupt and we understand that, but he got these things done.
The WRDA bill, the Water Resources Development Act right now and, actually, the FAA Reauthorization were both booming successes. They were his efforts. And then judges. I don't know that it's a record, but in the four years that this president has been in office, we've had about 220 judges that have been confirmed. These are all judges that have one thing in common: they really believe in the constitution, they are constitutionalists. In addition to that, he has three of the United States Supreme Court Judges.
And then on the repeal. If you talk to anyone in business in America—this was a couple of years ago— about the biggest problem they had, it was the Dodd-Frank effort and it was the overregulation of business and industry. So, he relaxed those rules and that gave a lot of the prosperity. The reason for the economy that we have today and the record employment that he has given us of 157 million jobs, but this is back two years ago.
Now, I would say that if you single out one thing—I don't say this critically of the Obama administration we all have different priorities, and I have considered President Obama to be a friend—however, his top priority was not the strong national defense. He had other priorities. We all know that and as a result of that, if you'll take the last five years, that would have been from year 2010 to 2015, he reduced the funding of the military to 25 percent. That's never been done before. That's something that this president came in and immediately—and I chair the committee so I was very much involved in this, but we ended up lifting that and putting it back in the position that it should be.
Now, this is interesting because somebody reminded me—it was John Bonsell reminded me this morning—he said what you ought to do is get a list of these things that happened since two years ago. And so, real quickly, identifying China as the number one adversary in the NDS, that's the National Defense Strategy which has worked very successfully. That's a program that is put together by six Republicans and six Democrats—all experts in the field—and talking about national defense. And he stuck with that and has identified China for the problems that they are giving us right now.
He has a new investments in the future. Hypersonics is a good example. After the last administration, China and Russia both surged ahead of us in their research on hypersonics. That's one of the most recent developments of modern equipment. And that has worked. We're not quite there yet but were catching up. In the cyber world—he is advancing in that area. As for as the terrorist leaders, Baghdadi and Soleimani, both of them were considered to be the worst terrorist on the planet and he’s taken both of out.
He established the Space Force. The Space Force is something that we really needed to do. Not so much that we were behind but the fact that our competition Russia and China were in their particular space forces, we wanted to make sure everyone knew, and our partners knew, that we were right there with them.
And, of course he eliminated the Widow’s Tax—we remember that. And the Abraham Accords—this is really interesting because we have Arab countries right now that are working closely with Israel. This hasn’t happened before. Now the UAE is working with them and the Israelis didn’t have to give up anything. That’s a major advancement that we’re enjoying.
Then of course, one of the issues we’re working on right now is on these arms sales. We feel that we need to be selling arms to our allies. And, we want to make sure that the whole world knows that if you’re a loyal friend of ours, we want to make sure that we do for them what we should be doing.
During that timeframe, he rescued 55 hostages in 24 countries—that is a big deal.
I know that people were upset with his attitude toward NATO. He believes in NATO but he believes that the partners in NATO need to start carrying their fair share and it worked. It increased their share by about 130 billion dollars. When you talk to real people— when you get out of Washington and talk to the people on the street, they say why are we in NATO when they are not carrying their end of it? Now, that’s all changing.
Anyway, that is what this President has done. But, there is one thing that is happening that I think is maybe the most significant thing that this President has accomplished. He came out with something called Warp Speed. General Perna is a real expert and has been monitoring what is going on and getting the medical equipment necessary to defeat this thing [COVID-19] that we have been under now for almost a year. In June he said by year end—by December maybe as early as November—we’re going to have the decision made and have a way to stop the pandemic that has been plaguing us for so long. We had a hearing and we looked at the things General Perna was coming up with that showed us, conclusively, that we were going to have a vaccine that was going to work by year end. It would then take about three months after that to get the distribution going. We were talking about having this over by April. The interesting thing is that that happened in June and yet, still today, we are right on schedule for that to happen.
My fellow Senator from Oklahoma, James Lankford, gave a speech yesterday. It was fascinating. He went into all the indicators that were out there and you come to the conclusion that this plague is going to be over and were going to be able to go back to normal—that would be certainly good.
I just wanted to mention that those things are happening. And those are things that are on behalf of our President. I’ve never seen the media turn against someone like they have our President. People don’t even know these things. I’m hoping we can get this out so that people will be aware of it.
Now, back to the bill that we’re going to have. I know that my partner, the Ranking Member on the Armed Services Committee, is going to want to be heard concerning some of the great things that we’re going to be doing in that bill. I will be doing the same thing tomorrow morning. This is a bill that we can all be proud of. I’ve never seen it misrepresented so much as this bill has been misrepresented. With that, I’m anxious to hear my partner and I will yield the floor. 

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