Inhofe’s Statement on President’s Budget Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016:

“Once again the president failed to make progress towards a balanced budget that would give our economy much-needed, long-term certainty.  Instead, the president focused on $2.1 trillion in new taxes and ignored the wasteful, runaway spending among our domestic budgets. His budget is a repeat of six-years worth of policies that have led to a shrinking middle class and a growing, invasive federal government.”

Infrastructure

“The president’s budget proposal entangles infrastructure funding with other pet projects that distract from Washington’s constitutional responsibility to provide for our nation’s roads and bridges. Efficient investments and common-sense reforms of our nation’s surface infrastructure system will be the key to rebuilding a stronger, more robust middle class and to moving our economy forward for the next generation.  As chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I am working with my colleagues on a long-term reauthorization bill that builds on the reforms in MAP-21 and provides states the certainty needed to deliver the projects most critical to our nation.”

Energy and Environment

“The president has already spent more than $120 billion on climate change initiatives since taking office, and I will not support any special funds, including the $500 million for the Green Climate Fund, to further his climate agenda that is eroding states’ rights and making it unnecessarily difficult to do business in America. I will also do everything in my power to prevent $3 billion in taxpayer dollars from going to the Green Climate Fund, where the money will be spent by unelected U.N. bureaucrats to dictate U.S. policy and hinder developing countries' ability to aggressively address the economics of poverty. 

"The president’s budget also proposes that our nation spend billions of taxpayer dollars to implement regulatory proposals that will increase electricity prices, harm the economy and cost thousands of American jobs while resulting in minimal CO2 reductions. Budgets are about choices and when faced with the choice between helping cities and towns rebuild their wastewater infrastructure and pursuing an extreme climate agenda, the president is choosing to cut $332 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund while spending $239 million to develop new regulation of greenhouse gases.  As chairman, I will be working with my colleagues to provide rigorous oversight of these regulations and pursue legislative solutions to reduce red tape and protect America’s economic opportunities.  

“Of the $2.1 trillion in new taxes proposed by the president, $95 billion is targeted at Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry.  The proposed budget would repeal the expensing of intangible drilling costs, percentage depletion, and the Section 199 manufacturers deduction.  Each of these provisions lowers the cost of drilling and enables companies to continue growing their businesses. Further, the president proposes repealing the Master Limited Partnership organizational structure, which would dramatically increase the cost of raising capital for Oklahoma’s energy industry and, in turn, would stifle job creation. Between the president's unwillingness to complete the Keystone pipeline, the federal land grab in Alaska, and now his targeting of these provisions, it is clear the president does not support energy independence as an affordable, near-term goal.”

Defense

“Within the Department of Defense budget, the president’s proposal to increase defense spending is a small band aid on the larger issue of long-term capability and readiness of our entire military. Over the past six years, we have canceled or differed modernization and maintenance on vehicles, ships and aircraft, leaving a dangerous hole in readiness that will not go away with a short-term patch. I support the proposed budget’s full funding of the AWACS, the KC-46A, Long Range Strike bomber, 57 F-35s, and an additional $600 million for ground-based missile defense. It serves as a reminder that these military resources are essential to our nation’s security and the support of our allies. Despite exceeding budget caps, the president’s proposal continues to downsize our military by 11,300 personnel and seeks to authorize another BRAC round in 2017. Our military is already too small to meet global national security requirements. It takes not only adequate military resources, but also a robust personnel base to communicate strength and resolve to our enemies.”

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