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March 27, 2015

Inhofe Statement on Senate Budget Resolution Passage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading Senate fiscal conservative and longtime supporter of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, today praised the Senate for passing a budget resolution for fiscal year 2016 under regular order. The resolution would balance the federal budget over the next decade without raising taxes, repeal and replace ObamaCare, provide flexibility for funding national defense and enhance the United States’ energy security.

“This week’s work in the Senate to pass a budget resolution for fiscal year 2016 was a step in the right direction for restoring regular order in Congress. Through the amendment process, members went on the record for policy decisions that have not been considered in the Senate for far too long.  In the end, we were able to successfully agree to a common-sense budget resolution that puts forth a conservative and transparent solution for funding the federal government.

“As chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I was proud to see a majority of the Senate speak up time and again to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency. Once again, the Senate voted to block a carbon tax. The Senate also voted to prevent the federal government from withholding highway funds from states under the Administration’s Clean Power Plan and to prevent the EPA from broadening the regulatory definition of ‘Waters of the United States.’ It is clear Congress has entered a new era where the majority of members represent a true majority of Americans who have had enough of the Obama Administration’s excessive red tape. I am confident that the 114th Congress will make significant progress in conducting oversight and putting forth legislative solutions to reverse burdensome regulations that are threatening America’s economic opportunity.

“As senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I continue to hold the deep conviction that our national defense has carried the burden of the Obama Administration’s misprioritization of federal spending. Our men and women in uniform will always answer when called upon, but the president’s historically steep budget cuts mean that they will also face unnecessary increased risks as they enter the battlefield. The Senate’s budget resolution increased OCO spending in order to help better fund our defense needs under the current Budget Control Act. This was the best choice of the worst options we are currently limited to under the Obama Administration. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress in the years ahead to permanently end sequestration for the Defense Department and to reverse the president’s trend of disarming America.”

Inhofe received a vote on his Amendment 649, which would prevent taxpayer funding towards the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Secretariat, or any other international organization established to implement the treaty, before Senate ratification and implementing legislation from both the House and Senate. The amendment passed by a vote of 59 to 41. He released a statement praising passage saying“Senator Moran and I have shown time and again that the Senate will not ratify the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. Today, the Senate also spoke against taxpayer dollars being used to help fund the treaty’s implementation.”

Inhofe’s Amendment 374 unanimous consent vote early Friday morning. The legislation would allow virtual colonoscopy (VC) procedures to be covered under Medicare. VC has proven to be less invasive, leading to more people getting preventative screening. When signs of colon cancer are caught early, the proper steps can be taken to ensure that further costly procedures will not be necessary down the line, decreasing overall health care costs.

“In 2013, a virtual colonoscopy saved my life, and it has since been a priority of mine to ensure more people have access to this advanced, preventative procedure,” Inhofe said. “Passage of the amendment provides budget provision to allow virtual colonoscopy under Medicare, which paves the way for legislation to be brought forward this year.”

Inhofe’s Amendment 380 also passed by unanimous consent early Friday morning. The legislation would establish a federal grant program to assist eligible states with the cost of carrying out drought prevention plans. States would be required to match 100 percent of federal funds provided, and in using the funds, the states would be freed from onerous federal red tape and restrictions when crafting their drought prevention plans.

“I applaud the Senate for recognizing the need for federal partnership in helping states carry out drought prevention plans. Portions of Oklahoma have been in a drought for several years, and affected communities are working hard to preserve and manage dwindling water supplies,” Inhofe said. “My amendment will provide reinforcement to local efforts in managing water supply and mitigating complete depletion. There is still work left to be done, but passage of this amendment is the right step forward.”

As background, Inhofe issued the following release during the Senate vote-a-rama:

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