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Weekly Round-Up: Inhofe Expresses Sympathy for Losses in Oklahoma Tornado

Press Release

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Senator Inhofe on Thursday, in a YouTube video release, expressed sympathy to the victims of Tuesday's tornados in Oklahoma and promised to work for federal assistance for the devastated areas across the state. The Senator and his staff will continue working with officials on the ground in Lone Grove and at the State and Federal level in the aftermath of the devastating storm.

Senator Inhofe's remarks:
Kay and I offer our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of the victims of yesterday's tornado, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have suffered loss. Oklahoma has already lost eight lives in Lone Grove from this storm, and we pray that the toll does not rise any further.

Oklahomans have suffered greatly at the hands of storms and other natural disasters. I remember just a few weeks ago being in the Picher/Cardin area and feeling the pain of their losses from their devastating tornado. But the response from our citizens to help out their neighbors is always overwhelming and humbling. I have no doubt the same will be true today. We will come together to do everything we can to help our neighbors who are suffering.

I will work closely with Governor Henry and state and federal emergency response officials to ensure that aid is expedited to these devastated areas. I have spoken with locals in Lone Grove, such as Gary Hicks and City Manager Marianne Elfert, to offer my assistance.

I also look forward to working with President Obama and encourage him to stand by his campaign promises of making FEMA a more efficient and effective agency, so that Oklahoma and our nation no longer have to suffer at the hands of an agency that's meant to help in times of crisis like these. I believe the best way of doing this is by removing FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security and return it to its pre-9/11 status as an independent agency. When then-Senator Clinton was still in the Senate, we introduced legislation to do just that, and I am re-introducing that legislation today.

And again to you families that have suffered so much, we will be praying for you.

Inhofe Votes Against Massive Spending Bill

Senator Inhofe issued the following statement tonight after voting against final passage of the largest spending bill to ever be considered before the United States Congress.

"From the outset I opposed this massive "stimulus' bill because I believed it lacked any real stimulus," Senator Inhofe said. "Through my leadership position on the Environment and Public Works Committee and Armed Services Committee, I know firsthand the link between infrastructure and defense spending, job creation and a robust economy. Despite my efforts to reach across the aisle to propose amendments to strip wasteful spending and replace it with legitimate job creating provisions, the Democratic majority clung to their chosen liberal priorities.

"This bill went into conference with 35% tax cuts and 65% spending. Amazingly, it's coming out of conference with fewer (27%) tax cuts and even more (73%) spending. For me, voting against the conference report on the so-called stimulus package was a simple matter of arithmetic. We have $1.1 trillion in new national debt that amounts to $10,000 per household. We have $800 billion in new government spending that amounts to $7,000 per household. And we have tax relief for individuals and families. The tax relief portion amounts to $8 dollars in additional take-home pay per week for the average American worker, or a little more than an extra $1 dollar per day. The so-called stimulus package is Democrat trickle-down economics. A lot of people have been scratching their heads, wondering why there wasn't more bipartisanship in crafting this bill. The answer is simple: The two parties have fundamentally different beliefs. One party believes your hard work is worth a little more than an extra $1 per day."

"No doubt, the massive spending spree underway in Washington will continue. We have witnessed unprecedented spending - even by Washington standards - over the past year as we have passed multi-billion dollar bailout and stimulus bills with little to show for it. There are still promises of more massive bailouts on the way. Sadly, the cost of all of this spending will be dumped into the laps of our children and grandchildren.

"As one of the most outspoken conservatives in Washington leading the fight against this runaway government spending, and one that has voted against every single massive government bailout bill, I am proud to see the almost unanimous opposition demonstrated by my Republican colleagues to this massive giveaway. This goes to show that the Republican Party is on its way back to the party of fiscal discipline."

Stimulus Round-Up: What Sen. Inhofe is doing to get the truth out about the stimulus

Democrats Must Be Held Accountable for Lack of Infrastructure in So-Called Stimulus Bill

Following Seante passage of the Stimulus Bill, Senator Inhofe issued the following statement:

"Democrats must be held accountable for the lack of infrastructure spending in this massive government spending bill," Senator Inhofe said. "Despite originally being sold as an infrastructure bill, the fact is this bill contains less than 7% for infrastructure in the entire bill. Furthermore, despite all the references to money going to shovel-ready highway and bridge projects, investment in highways comprises only 3% of the package. Through my leadership position on the Environment and Public Works Committee and Armed Services Committee, I know firsthand the link between infrastructure and defense spending, job creation, and a robust economy. Despite reaching across the aisle to propose amendments to strip wasteful spending and replace it with legitimate, job-creating provisions, the Democratic majority clung to their chosen priorities.

"If we are going to call this package a stimulus bill, then we need to direct resources to programs that have a demonstrated ability to create jobs immediately, and all other programs must be seriously considered," Senator Inhofe said. "While there needs to be dramatically more infrastructure investment in the bill, it must not add to the size of the bill. Any additional funding for infrastructure in the stimulus needs to be offset. There is more than enough waste in this bill that should be eliminated."

The Inhofe-Boxer amendment, which was blocked by the Democratic majority, would take funds not obligated within a year, up to $50 billion, from programs in the stimulus that are not spending and redirect them to infrastructure projects that are ready to have a contract awarded within 120 days of receiving this money.

Inhofe Looks to Work With Obama on FEMA Legislation

Senator Inhofe on Thursday reintroduced the Federal Emergency Management Advancement Act of 2009, (S. 412) legislation to establish the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an independent agency of the United States government. Senator Inhofe said today he looks forward to discussing this bill with President Obama who has previously made remarks supporting the goal of the bill. Senator Inhofe's legislation would make the cabinet level position the principal advisor to the President, Homeland Security Council, and Secretary for Homeland Security for all matters relating to emergency management, and gives them the authority to report directly to the President.

"Today I am reintroducing legislation to give the Director of FEMA cabinet-level status in the event of natural disasters and acts of terrorism," Senator Inhofe said. "This has long been a priority of mine, and from what we heard on the campaign trail, this is also priority of President Obama. I look forward to working with the President as we look for ways to help FEMA provide the best response possible."

The introduction of the legislation coincides with the latest natural disaster to hit Oklahoma. Last night, three confirmed tornadoes touched down throughout Oklahoma, impacting the communities of Oklahoma City, Edmond, Pawnee, and Lone Grove. Senator Inhofe has been in contact with President Obama, Governor Henry, as well as local leaders Gary Hicks and City Manager Marianne Elfert this morning.

"Oklahoma has had more than our share of natural disasters. Only last night, three confirmed tornadoes touched down throughout Oklahoma, impacting the communities of Oklahoma City, Edmond, Pawnee, and Lone Grove. Currently, there are 8 confirmed fatalities and 14 serious injuries in the Lone Grove area where more than 60 homes were destroyed. I spoke with local leaders Gary Hicks and City Manager Marianne Elfert only this morning to learn that at least 38 other residents of Lone Grove are presently missing. There are currently about 6,000 people without power, including 3,461 in Lone Grove, a small community."

Link to Full Floor Remarks

Inhofe Introduces Jobs Bill That Has Proven Success

Also this week, Senator Inhofe, the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA works with partners in economically distressed communities to create wealth and minimize poverty by promoting favorable business environments to attract private investment and encourage long-term economic growth. Authorization of EDA's programs expired on September 30, 2008. Senator Inhofe originally introduced this bill in July 2008, but the bill was never considered by the Senate.

"When it comes to the federal government helping Americans get back to work, one highly successful program that I have long supported is the Economic Development Administration," Senator Inhofe said. "EDA has proven results in Oklahoma. Consider that in the past six years in my home state of Oklahoma, EDA grants awarded have resulted in more than 9,000 jobs being created or saved. With an investment of about $26 million, we have leveraged another 30 million in State and local dollars and more than 558 million in private sector dollars. I would call that a wonderful success story.

"Through my leadership position on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I have built a record of successfully working across the aisle to pass common-sense legislation that will spur economic growth - whether it's EDA reauthorization, infrastructure spending or energy policy.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues here in the Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, to reauthorize a program that has proven results in getting Americans back to work. The sooner we pass this bill, the better."

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Related Links:

Inhofe Announces Grant to Benefit Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan - WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced today a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the Indian Nation Council of Governments (INCOG). These funds will be used for the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan and specifically for engineering design and permitting for retrofits to the Zink Dam and two low water dams near Sand Springs and Jenks. As the Chairman of EPW in 2004, Senator Inhofe authored legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration. Earlier this week, the EPW Committee conducted a hearing highlighting EDA investments in Oklahoma.

EPW Hearing Highlights EDA Investments in Oklahoma - INHOFE WELCOMES ELGIN MAYOR BEFORE EPW COMMITTEE - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was pleased to welcome Elgin, Oklahoma Mayor Larry Thoma before the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure yesterday morning. Senator Inhofe invited Mayor Thoma before the Committee to discuss the importance of the Economic Development Administration in Elgin. As the Chairman of EPW in 2004, Senator Inhofe authored legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration. Earlier this year, Senator Inhofe introduced a bill to reauthorize EDA for another five years.

The Woodward News: City receives $1 million Grant for Conference Center - "It's another dream come true for Woodward." Over the past 20 years, city leaders have dreamed of building a new conference center in Woodward, Mayor Bill Fanning said, noting that the Woodward Industrial Foundation's "hard work and dedication has helped make Woodward's dreams a reality." The new conference center came one step closer to becoming a reality Friday morning when Fanning was presented an investment check worth $1 million from the U. S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) during a special ceremony held at the site of the future conference center. The center is planned as part of a Community Campus Project in conjunction with the Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Woodward campus along 34th Street in Woodward.

INHOFE ANNOUNCES $900,000 EDA GRANT FOR ADAIR COUNTY - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced today that the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $900,000 grant to benefit the City of Watts and Adair County.

Inhofe in Woodward to Present $1 Million EDA Grant - WOODWARD, OK - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today presented a check to the city of Woodward, Oklahoma, for a $1 million grant, which he worked to secure from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). According to EDA, the grant announced today will lead to 192 jobs in Woodward and generate $1.6 million in private investment.

Inhofe-Franks Introduce 4% Defense Resolution

Senator Inhofe, a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, together with Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Member of the House Armed Services Committee, offered a Joint Resolution (S.JR10) this week that will keep this country safe, restore our military to the level of capability and readiness the people of this country demand of them, and provide jobs in almost every state in our country.

Senator Inhofe: "Today, Congressman Trent Franks and I are introducing a Joint Resolution that will keep this country safe, restore our military to the level of capability and readiness the people of this country demand of them, and provide jobs in almost every state in our country. For the past few weeks, this Congress has debated economic stimulus legislation. Defense spending, along with infrastructure investment and tax cuts, have a greater stimulative impact on the economy than anything else the government can do. Our level of defense spending must consider the resources needed to meet current and future threats. In order to provide this stability, Congress needs to guarantee a minimum baseline budget for defense funding, enabling the Pentagon to execute sustained multiyear program investments. Guaranteeing a baseline budget, not including supplemental, that sets a floor based on our GDP is the best way to accomplish this.

"Passage of this Joint Resolution would a send clear signal to our military, our allies, and enemies alike that we are committed to the security of our nation and the preservation of freedom and democracy around the world. Congress must provide the Department of Defense with the certainty and stability that comes with a long-term defense-spending plan. Our national security is the price we pay if we do not get this right.

"Importantly, this will allow our military to develop and build the next generation of weapons and equipment. These weapons and equipment will maintain national security for the next forty years or more, increase our military's capability to fight across the spectrum or warfare, and operate at higher readiness rates at lower costs.

"This legislation also has the benefit of creating jobs across America and sustains our military and industrial base. Investing in our nation's defense provides thousands of sustainable American jobs and provides for our nation's security. Experts estimate that $1B in procurement spending correlates to 6,500 jobs. Major defense procurement programs are all manufactured in the U.S., and our aerospace industry alone employs more than 655,000 workers spread across over most of the nation. Establishing a minimum baseline defense budget will allow the Department of Defense and the Services to plan for and fund acquisition programs based on a minimum known budget through the Future Years Defense Program."

Congressman Franks: "A "Four Percent for Defense of Freedom' pledge to our armed forces will send a clear message on the part of the American people that we are steadfast in our commitment to the security of this nation.

"Senior Democratic leaders are talking about cutting our defense budget because of our depressed economy. Our economy cannot afford NOT to secure a strong and stable defense. Right now we are all concerned about the freedom and flexibility of businessman to invent and invest. The American businessmen will always take into account the stability of the country before he invests. The American buyer will purchase, only if he or she has faith in the economy. The economy took a hit upwards of $1 trillion on the tragic day of September 11, 2001 and every time we have appeared militarily weak, the enemy has struck and cost us in blood and bounty. It is critical that we ensure a stable environment so our economy can flourish and we can consistently balance our budget.

"Only two decades ago, around 1980, it became widely accepted that the U.S. military had a "hollow force", meaning it looked functional but it was devastatingly under funded.

"It was not a coincidence when Ronald Reagan secured increases in defense spending that the morale of troops skyrocketed, training for warfighters improved, the Department of Defense recapitalized its platforms, America defeated the Soviet Union, and enjoyed peace and economic prosperity afterwards.

"We must learn from history's lessons. As Ronald Reagan said, "Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.' The best way to propagate peace is through a coherent and principled foreign policy and a strong and robust military capability."

Former Senator Jim Talent, a top defense policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, reacted to the introduction of the joint resolution, saying, "Senator Inhofe and Representative Franks are doing America a tremendous service because the safety of America is literally at stake." To protect the country, he said, "Congress will have to maintain defense spending at the levels established in the Inhofe-Franks resolution." Link to Heritage Release

Link to Senator Inhofe's Full Floor Remarks

Senator Inhofe Urges Oklahomans to be Prepared for Digital Television Transition

Senator Inhofe is reminding all Oklahomans to be prepared for the digital television (DTV) transition. On February 4th, Congress passed the DTV Delay Act, extending the date on which broadcasters are mandated to make the switch from analog to digital from February 17th until June 12th. However, many broadcasters will opt to make the switch as early as February 17th, which is allowed under this new legislation. The legislation also extends the expiration deadline for converter box coupons requests to July 31, 2009.

"Digital television represents one of the most significant developments in television technology. Its nationwide deployment will be a complex and multifaceted endeavor," said Sen. Inhofe. "I urge anyone receiving their TV signal via antenna to take the appropriate steps to make the switch to digital."

On June 12, 2009, all TV stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting, but many will do so as early as February 17th. Analog televisions that are not connected to cable, satellite, or another pay TV service will not receive a signal after this date. To learn whether your television requires a digital converter box, and how to make the switch to DTV, visit: www.dtv2009.gov or call 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009). For further questions regarding converter box installation problems, reception issues or the early termination of analog stations, you may contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) or visit their website at www.dtv.gov.

Background and List of Oklahoma Broadcasters Planning to Switch February 17:

In December 2005, the House and Senate passed legislation calling for American broadcasters to transition from analog to digital transmission. The legislation created the "Digital Television Conversion Fund," which is being used by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce for a Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program. To date, $1.34 billion has been allocated for converter box vouchers.

All analog televisions that currently get programming through an antenna will need to be plugged into a special TV converter to receive digital broadcasts. Digital-to-analog converters, which easily plug into television sets, will allow viewers to continue to watch their programs after the transition, which will come for some viewers as early as February 17th. Converters not only offer better picture clarity, but also more channels for viewers. If consumers do not want to purchase a converter, they will need to either purchase a digital television or subscribe to cable, satellite or another pay television service.

Under the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program, U.S. households may request, from the NTIA, up to two coupons worth $40 each to be applied toward the purchase of digital-to-analog converter boxes. In January, funding was exhausted for the convertor box coupon program, and the NTIA began putting coupon requests on a waiting list. In H.R. 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, widely known as the stimulus bill, $650 million is made available for the Converter Box Program, which will fund the convertor box coupon account. Under the DTV Delay Act, the expiration date for converter box coupons has been extended to July 31, 2009, and the NTIA has been authorized to issue replacement coupons for those that have already expired.

Here is a list of Oklahoma television broadcasters that intend to make the transition on February 17th:

CHEYENNE OK PBS KWET

OKLAHOMA CITY OK My Network KAUT-TV

OKLAHOMA CITY OK PBS KOCB

OKLAHOMA CITY OK FOX KOKH-TV

OKLAHOMA CITY OK CBS KWTV

BARTLESVILLE OK TBN KDOR-TV

CLAREMORE OK PBS KRSC-TV

EUFAULA OK PBS KOET

MUSKOGEE OK CW KQCW

TULSA OK ORU KGEB

TULSA OK My Network KMYT-TV

TULSA OK PBS KOED-TV

TULSA OK CBS KOTV

LAWTON OK ABC KSWO-TV

Inhofe Op-Ed: TAXPAYERS ARE REALIZING IT'S A DEM DISASTER (New York Post)

Link to Article

New York Post

Published February 8, 2009

By SEN. JAMES INHOFE

IT'S too late to fix any thing. It's over.

There is little hope to repair the multibillion-dollar stimulus plan now - but that could actually mean good news for Republicans. This could be the bill that puts the GOP back in power.

Once Americans realize that this is the largest spending authorization in the history of the country and that the bill is stuffed with waste and less than 7 percent real economic stimulation, they will surely wake up.

Americans will see that there are two parties - the tax-and-spend party and a party of fiscal responsibility.

The bad news is that my kids are going to have to pay for it.

The $780 billion deal that emerged from backroom talks among Democrats and Republicans is bloated with millions of dollars for stupid projects like habitat restoration, trail improvements, and coupons for digital TV transition.

It is clear that infrastructure investment, along with defense spending and tax cuts, has a greater stimulative impact on the economy than anything else the government can do. But the bill contains very little in the way of this.

I pushed for measures to increase highway investment by $5.5 billion, and to increase defense procurement spending by $5.3 billion to manufacture or acquire vehicles, equipment, ammunition, and materials required to reconstitute military units. And I sought to slash proposed wasteful, frivolous projects. Democrats fought these efforts.

All the speeches and amendments on Capitol Hill were for show and cover, because everyone knew we would have a couple of Republicans - Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) - who would cave in the bipartisan negotiations this week.

I just was hoping we as a party would have the discipline and the courage to stop this from happening, and we failed.

The stimulus bill won't change by the time the full Senate votes on it tomorrow afternoon. And when it later goes to a bipartisan conference committee sure to be stacked with Democrats, the plan will likely become a victim of more greed.

Only then will the GOP have a chance to convince Specter and Collins to come to their senses - to come back to a moderate-to-conservative position.

In the meantime, the American public seems to already be waking up. A recent poll showed public approval for the stimulus bill fell to 37 percent last week, down from 45 percent two weeks earlier. The public finally realized how this bloated behemoth is going to affect our children.

Sen. Inhofe (R-Okla.) is the ranking GOP member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Inhofe Op-Ed: Stimulus bill lacks real stimulus

Tulsa World

Stimulus bill lacks real stimulus

by: SEN. JIM INHOFE
Thursday, February 12, 2009
2/12/2009 3:40:49 AM

Link to Op-Ed

This week I voted against a massive government-spending bill that provided plenty in the way of more wasteful government spending and little in the way of real stimulative opportunities like transportation and defense spending.

In fact, the total infrastructure funding, including highways, transit, rail, airports, clean and safe drinking water programs, and the Army Corps of Engineers, all adds up to less than 7 percent of the total bill. Much-needed spending on our nation's highways comes in at a mere 3 percent of the bill.

So while many in Washington are trying to sell this stimulus as a bill that includes a significant amount for ready-to-go infrastructure projects, clearly the numbers tell a different story.

That is the primary reason I voted against the Senate bill.

If we are going to call this package a stimulus bill, then we need to direct resources to programs that have demonstrated the ability to create jobs immediately. Other than tax cuts, there are no programs in this bill with a more demonstrated job creation capability than infrastructure and defense.

To rectify my concerns, I introduced two amendments to increase the percentage of this enormous bill to go toward infrastructure and defense.

Unfortunately, neither succeeded.

I worked closely with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and a bipartisan group of colleagues to offer an amendment to add $50 billion to highway, transit, and clean and safe drinking water programs, all without adding to the price tag of the bill.

Our amendment would have moved money from programs that are not stimulating the economy to ones that are ready to put people to work immediately. It would take any money that expires at the end of this fiscal year along with funds within the stimulus that are not obligated within 13 months of enactment, up to $50 billion. Our amendment would then redirect those funds to highway, transit and water projects that are ready to have a contract awarded within 120 days of receiving this money.

States, cities and counties across the country have provided more than $100 billion worth of ready-to-go highway projects that could be obligated in fewer than 180 days. This doesn't include the $16 billion in transit and $30 billion in clean and safe drinking water projects that can put people to work immediately.

It is important to note that even with the additional funding provided by our amendment we would still be well below the capacity of state and local governments to create jobs through ready-to-go construction projects.

I also introduced an amendment to increase the percentage of defense spending in the bill. Investing in our nation's defense provides thousands of sustainable American jobs and provides for our nation's security. Major defense procurement programs are all manufactured in the U.S.; our aerospace industry alone employs more than 655,000 workers spread across most of the country.

My amendment would have increased defense procurement spending by $5.3 billion to manufacture or acquire vehicles, equipment, ammunition and materials required to reconstitute military units. It would appropriate $5.232 billion, with a full offset within the bill, for procurement for the Department of Defense to reconstitute military units to an acceptable level of readiness.

This funding would have procured aircraft, tracked and non-tracked combat vehicles, missiles, weapons, ammunition, communications equipment, maintenance equipment, naval boats and ships, salvage equipment, riverine equipment, expeditionary material handling equipment and other expeditionary items.

It would also not increase the overall cost of the bill as it identified frivolous spending proposals currently included in the bill as offsets.

We know what works. My two amendments would have added the 4 million jobs President Obama keeps talking about. It is clear that infrastructure investment, along with defense spending and tax cuts, has a greater stimulative impact on the economy than anything else the government can do.

This "stimulus" bill took the wrong course of action by not prioritizing those concepts and will not help responsibly stimulate the economy.

In the News...Sen. Jim Inhofe joins group fighting to keep prisoners in Cuba (Oklahoman)

The Oklahoman

Sen. Jim Inhofe joins group fighting to keep prisoners in Cuba

http://newsok.com/sen.-jim-inhofe-joins-group-fighting-to-keep-prisoners-in-cuba/article/3344987

BY CHRIS CASTEEL

Published: February 11, 2009

WASHINGTON - Sen. Jim Inhofe on Tuesday helped a nonpartisan group launch a media ad opposing President Barack Obama's order to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, praised the group, Move America Forward, and said he is pushing legislation that would prevent any of the prisoners from being moved to prisons in the United States.

Inhofe, who recently returned from a visit to the prison in Cuba, said the detainees are treated well and that the prison is serving a valuable purpose.

Asked whether the prisoners should remain at the prison indefinitely, Inhofe said, "I wish there were more choices. There really aren't. I guess we could execute them. Do you want to do that?"

Melanie Morgan, Move America Forward chairman, said Obama's "misguided" decision to close the prison would "impact the safety of every American."

Attending the news conference were relatives of people killed in the 9/11 attacks and in the war in Iraq. The group's television ad asks people to sign a petition opposing Obama's order.

The president met last week with victims' relatives of the 9/11 and USS Cole attacks and said he thinks closing the prison would keep the nation safe and ensure "swift and certain justice" for the detainees, according to the White House.

Inhofe Press Office Joins Twitter

This week, Senator Jim Inhofe's (R-Okla.) press office started twittering in order to share Senator Inhofe's message directly with Oklahomans and all Americans. The site is located at http://twitter.com/InhofePress or can be found on www.twitter.com by searching for "Inhofe Press."

The latest addition to Senator Inhofe's communication efforts follows the recent launch of Senator Inhofe's YouTube page, which has allowed thousands to view the videos of Senator Inhofe speaking on the Senate Floor, at Press Conferences, and directly to Oklahomans and all Americans on the top issues of the day.

Senator Inhofe is proud to be one of the most accessible Members of Congress, and his added presence on Twitter will just be another way Americans interested in what's going on in the halls of Congress will be able to learn about his efforts to bring common-sense back to Washington, D.C.

Related:

Newson6 Features Inhofe YouTube, Website: "In this day in age Inhofe says the internet is the best way to reach constituents. He says it enables him to bypass the mainstream media and allow for more participation in the legislative process.… Inhofe is on facebook, has his own YouTube channel, produces podcasts, writes a blog, and has recently joined Twitter "

Inhofe reaches out to his constituents (Tulsa World): "…goal is to facilitate greater communication between the senator and his constituents."

Inhofe EPW Website Wins Coveted Gold Mouse Award: "Creating a top-notch Committee website provides the public more direct information - in many cases by bypassing and critiquing the mainstream media -- and greater access to their elected representatives. The goal of my website has always been to bring our government closer to the people and allows for more feedback from our constituents."

In the News...Democrats Consider Reviving Fairness Doctrine (Fox News)

Watch: YouTube: Sen. Inhofe Responds to Democrats' Calls for 'Fairness Doctrine'
FOX NEWS
Democrats Consider Reviving 'Fairness Doctrine'
Watch: YouTube: Fox News: Democrats Consider Reviving 'Fairness Doctrine'
Democratic lawmakers are considering pushing to revive the Fairness Doctrine to help increase the number of liberal shows on the airwaves.

FOXNews.com

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/02/12/dems-consider-reviving-fairness-doctrine/

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A political battle is brewing over control of the radio airwaves as Democrats consider pushing for the revival of the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC policy that requires broadcast stations to provide opposing views on controversial issues of public importance.

Democratic lawmakers who support the doctrine say it will help increase the number of liberal shows in a landscape dominated by conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh.

"I absolutely think it's time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told liberal radio host Bill Press last week. She said she expects hearings soon on reviving the policy, which was introduced in 1949 and abolished in 1987.

Stabenow's husband, Tom Athans, is and has been an executive at several liberal radio talk groups.

But Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said radio programming should be based on what brings in listeners and advertisers.

"I can't think of anything worse than to have government in a position to dictate the content of information going over public radio," said Inhofe, a Republican. "The whole idea is that it has to be market driven. We have a lot of progressive or liberal radio shows but nobody listens to them and every time one tries to get on, they are not successful."

Inhofe and other critics believe those pushing to bring back the Fairness Doctrine -- nicknamed the Hush Rush Doctrine -- want to diminish the influence of Limbaugh and other conservative talk show hosts. Supporters insist that's not the case.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told Press Wednesday that the Fairness Doctrine is needed not to remove any conservative voices, but to ensure that there are a few liberal shows on the air.

During the presidential campaign, a spokesman said Barack Obama did not favor reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. But his White House spokesman has since left the door open.

"I pledge to you to study up on the 'Fairness Doctrine' so that, one day, I might give you a more fulsome answer," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Inhofe says Democrats and liberal advocacy groups aren't going to let the matter drop.

"They are committed to make this happen," he said. "We got to be ready."

Inhofe introduced a bill this year to prevent reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, but he said he has not gotten a single Democrat to co-sponsor it.

FOX News' Molly Henneberg contributed to this report.


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