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Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, we have been discussing and debating ObamaCare for 3 years--several years anyway. I have not heard the argument before where they say you have the same government-run plan. That is not true. That is not true at all.

I have worked in the corporate world and been on the leadership part where we were making decisions and offered our employees the benefits of different companies. It could be Aetna, Blue Cross-Blue Shield or anybody else. We could make that determination as to what we wanted and then we paid for it.

I don't think that argument has ever been used, to my memory. I wasn't coming down to talk about that, but I will, since I am a cosponsor of the Cruz amendment. I think anything you are able to do to get rid of ObamaCare is in our interests.

Right now, the attorney general in the State of Oklahoma is Scott Pruitt. I spoke with him this morning. He has a lawsuit with an amended complaint challenging the implementation of ObamaCare. Scott Pruitt is arguing the IRS is attempting to redefine ObamaCare's mandate tax in order to hike taxes on Oklahoma employees. That is what is happening right now in my State of Oklahoma. I don't know how the polling goes.

I would only say this: I sense an air of anxiety with a lot of these people trying to support ObamaCare right now, because people have caught on. People in the State of Oklahoma have caught on. In Oklahoma, we would have to spend an additional $400 million over the next 10 years on Medicaid in order to cover those who already qualify and will be forced into the program--this government program we are talking about--due to ObamaCare and the mandate. This money will be diverted from schools and from roads and other needs, public safety, in the State of Oklahoma. Our research shows that premiums in Oklahoma could increase anywhere from 65 to 100 percent due to the coverage mandates required by ObamaCare. It is as if we are having this debate all over again, but they are bringing up things now I have never heard of.

I want to mention one thing, and that is there is a friend of mine in Oklahoma whose name is David Green. David Green several years ago started with one store, a thing called Hobby Lobby--1 store in the State of Oklahoma--and now he has 500 stores in 41 States and he has, I don't know, I think it is over 50,000 employees. He is now facing a new type of intimidation he has never faced in his life, and it is the intimidation of saying because of David Green's religious convictions against providing his employees with abortion-inducing drugs his company now faces fines amounting to $1.3 million a day.

All those pro-abortionists out there like this. This is wonderful. But he is someone who has hired thousands of people in 41 States in this country and is now providing all these benefits for Americans, and all he is saying is his religious convictions don't allow him to participate in abortion-inducing drugs. So he is under the threat right now, if you do the math, of a $1.3-million-a-day fine. And I guess I am more sensitive to this than I should be because I have known him from the very beginning.

I want to speak briefly, because I know I have a couple of colleagues who wish to speak. Does the Senator wish to make a UC to get in line?

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Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I do cosponsor this amendment, and I will be voting for it at 2 p.m. today. But there is another one that will come up, amendment No. 28, and it could be coming up in a very short time this afternoon, and I was afraid I wouldn't have a chance to make a couple of comments about it.

I am cosponsoring this amendment by Senator Paul, and it withholds funding to go to Egypt until Egypt's President Morsi declares he intends to abide by the Camp David peace accords, which have kept the peace between Egypt and Israel for over 30 years.

If you talk to any of your Israeli friends, they will tell you this is significant, and I appreciate the fact he recognizes that. In fact, the bill I had
introduced back in--well, I actually introduced it earlier, but reintroduced it on January 25 of this year--S. 207--calls for the suspension of the shipment of F-16s and other military equipment and services to Egypt until Morsi agrees to continue to uphold Egypt's commitment under the 1979 Camp David peace accords.

A lot of people don't realize they have been our friend, and if you ask any of your Israeli friends, they will tell you they are. It happens that this President is a Muslim Brotherhood president. He is not like the ones we have had in Egypt before. People who think of other countries having the same kind of system we have, they do not. Right now the military is a military we trained. There is a Major General Elkeshky, who happens to be here now and who is a friend of mine, and he was trained at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. The majority of the middle-grade officers in Egypt have been trained in the United States. They are our friends. And that is what we are getting at here.

So I made that qualification when I said we want to reduce the things we are doing, and I was talking about military equipment--the F-16s--way back in January, until they make that commitment. I think that is a very reasonable commitment.

The amendment that will be coming up, amendment No. 28, will be by Senator Paul and myself and it will talk about support for Egypt and go into other areas of support over and above military equipment, saying that until such time as they agree with what they have agreed to over the last 30 years or so--that they will continue to be our friends--then we want to withhold this. It is the only leverage we have. I said this back in January, that the only leverage we have, in order to encourage them to come with us, is to say we are going to withhold some things, and that is what we are doing.

So when that amendment comes up--of course, I still have my bill, S. 207, and it is essentially the same as the Paul-Inhofe amendment. It is not necessary to have them both in terms of a vote, but I think on one we will have to have a vote, but it should tie in to what their behavior has been in the past, what it should be in the future, so that we don't have a Muslim Brotherhood guy running a country and we don't know how our equipment is going to be used.

Our F-16s and other equipment, our tanks, have been used to participate in the defense of our friends in the Middle East, primarily Israel and of ourselves. I am hoping we will get to that when we have a chance to have a vote on it.

With that, I yield the floor.

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