WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), today released a statement in response to the Senate passage of H.R. 2028, the Continuing Resolution (CR), which prevents a government shutdown, provides additional funding for U.S. troops overseas and funds the government through April 28, 2017. The CR passed the Senate by a vote of 63-36.
The CR passed the House of Representatives Dec. 8 by a vote of 326-96.
“Unfortunately, and only because of Senate Democrats Obstruction, passing the Continuing Resolution today was a necessary measure,” Inhofe said. “Senate Democrats prevented this Republican-led congress from passing the 12 appropriations bills through regular order, which is what we should be doing every year. In fact, Senate Democrats blocked defense related appropriations bills six separate times; essentially using our military as their negotiating tool in their attempt to increase federal funding for social program slush funds.
“This CR, was a last resort but will keep the government open and will allow us to proceed into next year and the new administration smoothly. Passing the CR ensures essential funding for our troops overseas who have been chronically underfunded by the Obama Administration. Lastly, this CR includes language that will allow for a quick confirmation of Gen. Mattis as President-elect Trump’s Secretary of Defense. It is my hope that next year we return to funding our government through regular order.”
Sen. Inhofe authored the following op-eds on the importance of funding the government through regular order:
The CR includes a $1.6 billion increase in defense spending over current levels. Additionally, $5.8 billion in new funding is being provided to support troops serving in the fight against ISIL through the Overseas Contingency Operations account.
Our nation’s air refueling fleet is crucial to the future of our national security. The KC-46A will replace our aging KC-135 tanker aircraft. The KC-46 helps ensure the viability of our Air Force as a global force. Inhofe supported legislation that fully funds the KC-46 program for $121.7 million for fiscal year 2017 . Altus Air Force Base will be one of seven bases to receive the KC-46 starting Aug. 2017 and will receive $11.6 million to complete the KC-46 Simulator Facility Phase 2. Tinker Air Force Base, selected to provide all depot maintenance for the KC-46, will receive $17 million in military construction for a KC–46A Depot System Fuel Laboratory.
Gen. Mattis Confirmation
The legislation includes language that would allow for the expedited consideration of the waiver necessary to approve the nomination of Gen. Mike Mattis to be Secretary of Defense in the new Trump Administration. Mattis, who retired from the military three years ago, requires this waiver because current law requires military officials to be retired at least seven years prior to being appointed Secretary of Defense.