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

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. INHOFE. First of all, as a cosponsor of the amendment, I am glad the Senator is getting around to the merits. Yes, it is a great injustice the Senator is going through right now, not getting his amendment heard. I have to say, though, as probably the only active commercial pilot in here, I jumped on this bill because a lot of people don't realize that the contract towers are just as in need of control as the noncontract towers.

The Senator is aware that the University of Oklahoma in northern Oklahoma is contracted out. I have gone in there before where they are using all three runways at the same time. It is a huge issue.

But what I want to ask the Senator is, why is it that when the bureaucracy is opposed to something they, No. 1, won't tell you about it; No. 2, they go whispering to the President; No. 3, they go whispering to other people around here?

I went through this same thing, I suggest to my friend from Kansas, when I passed the Pilot's Bill of Rights. I had 67 cosponsors in the Senate, and they wouldn't bring it up. For an entire year they never would bring it up, and we had to rule XIV it on the floor. That is what is wrong. When we have something everybody is for, it is a good thing, but somehow--in this case, I know what it is: the same thing that happened to me. I got mine passed. It took me a year to do it.

Best of luck to the Senator from Kansas. I would only say to him that this is a time to stay in there and fight for this because this is a great example to use. Everything that is being cut in government right now--all of these people who had to wait in line to get in here, there is no reason to do that. Everything people really want and the things that are popular, this is what they cut. So the Senator from Kansas is a victim of that. Just hang in there and try to make it happen.

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Mr. INHOFE. I know something about this being the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. We went through this.

Is the Senator aware that in one purchase the administration--now, I am talking about the White House--forced the Navy to buy 450,000 gallons of fuel at $29 a gallon? You can buy it on the open market for $3 a gallon.

Secondly, I think the Senator does know this because I heard him mention the Department of Energy, when we formed the Department of Energy, they were supposed to do all this stuff.

But I would have to make one observation. We have a President, an administration, that has been cutting dramatically, and we are all concerned about what has happened to our military, our ability to defend ourselves. They do it in three ways. No. 1, they cut; No. 2, they delay; but, No. 3--and this is what we are getting to now--they take the agenda, and in this case this green agenda, and put it not where it should be but under the defense budget. So for every dollar that goes to the green energy programs, the Senator and I would like--since I am cosponsoring the Senator's amendment--every dollar is something we cannot spend for our fighters in the field.

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Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I am perfectly willing and I know some of the Democratic sponsors of the bill, Senator Hagan and others, would be in agreement to go ahead and accept this by voice vote.

What this does is reverse the decision from the Department of Defense that took away some of the abilities our troops, when they are brought into service, have in terms of subsidizing their tuition. So this would return it to the way it was before.

I have to say quickly and briefly, this is something I have talked about to our troops in the field. Many of them were so alarmed that it was even suggested they would take away the very thing that caused them to enlist in the first place.

I think this is one that is going to enjoy wide bipartisan support for a voice vote, and I ask for its adoption.

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