Inhofe Announces New Jobs Coming to Ft. Sill/Lawton Region
Yesterday, Senator Jim Inhofe, a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a meeting with members of the Lawton/Ft. Sill Chamber of Commerce, announced that BAE Systems will continue moving forward on Phase II of the Paladin Integrated Module (PIM) in Elgin, Oklahoma. This news will mean continued development at the Ft. Sill Industrial Park, and is a great development for Lawton and Fort Sill.
"I am pleased to announce today that BAE Systems is moving forward on the second phase of PIM in Elgin," Senator Inhofe said. "Importantly, this announcement means long term employment for a number of workers in the Ft. Sill/Lawton/Elgin community. BAE will now be constructing a new 150,000 square foot facility located in the Fort Sill Industrial Park. The new facility, expected to be complete in spring of 2010, will provide a flexible facility to assemble and test the PIMs. BAE Systems is also continuing to support the City of Elgin's efforts to improve the infrastructure at the Industrial Park to include: utilities, site preparation and road work.
"In addition to the great economic news for the region, the development of PIM is also good news for our nation's military, as it will increase the survivability and lethality of our Paladin force - keeping the Paladin a viable weapon system for years to come. Just last week during a Senate Committee hearing, I voiced my concern about the future of PIM and the Army's commitment to that program. General Chiarelli responded in that hearing that the Army remains committed to executing the PIM program.
"The Army needs a thorough and comprehensive modernization program, especially with a fleet of combat vehicles developed and procured between 30 to 60 years ago that are aging rapidly. If we do not modernize, we risk sending our sons and daughters into combat in vehicles that are second-rate and are less survivable and effective in combat. The BAE announcement today on PIM will certainly go a long way in helping to modernize our force.
"Along with the PIM, I remain committed to working for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) and its family of manned ground vehicles, including the Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C). This program is also a critical component of modernization and remain committed to do everything I can in my role as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to fight for the Army's FCS program and the NLOS-Cannon. I will ensure that my colleagues and the public understand the importance of these programs to our men and women in the armed services.
"Finally, I am proud to say that BAE Systems has stood by our community during some difficult challenges starting with when the Crusader program was cancelled. Because of their company's vision, BAE Systems found a way to develop a facility that is not dependant on one platform and will be able to assemble the next generation of cannon artillery and beyond. This partnership fulfills BAE Systems' commitment to expansion in the Comanche County region. My heartfelt thanks to BAE for their commitment to our national defense and our community."
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Toney Stricklin, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Oklahoma (West), thanked Senator Inhofe for his work: "On behalf of the Lawton/Ft. Sill community, I would like to thank Sen. Inhofe for all his hard work in pushing for the PIM program and the NLOS-C. Today's news will mean jobs for our community, and we appreciate Senator Inhofe and BAE Systems' commitment to continuing this important work."
Inhofe on President Obamas First 100 Days
"I believe the first 100 days of President Obama's Administration will be remembered for the unprecedented level of new federal spending and the return of big government. This, together with his advocacy of far left liberal causes, from abortion rights, to gun control, to universal health care, will put him on track for a repeat performance of 1993 - when a young Bill Clinton entered the Oval Office under the banner of "change." He had everything. He had the House and the Senate, and the far left had his hooks in him.
"Nothing is more indicative of the stark contrast between conservatives and liberals than the massive government-spending spree now underway in Washington. In his first year in office, Bill Clinton put forward what was then the largest budget to date with a $1.5 trillion budget. Now, on this the 100th day of President Obama's administration, the Senate is poised to vote on what would become the largest budget to date. This budget, which highlights his priorities, is the most radical and partisan budget we have ever seen and includes $4.4 trillion in additional deficits, $3.5 trillion total spending for 2010 alone, $1 trillion in taxes on individuals and business, a $634 billion "down-payment" for government-run health insurance, $650 billion in energy taxes for climate change, and $750 billion is set aside for more Wall Street bailouts.
"Further, I am particularly disturbed that President Obama's massive spending increases come at the expense of our nation's military. I was in Afghanistan when President Obama's military cuts were announced, terminating the F- 22 (the only 5th Generation Fighter we have), terminating the C-17 program, terminating the Future Combat Systems (which is the only ground defense transformation in 50 years), and worst of all, decimating our missile defense system. Sadly, this President is on track to grow this country's obligations to 22% of our GDP while he shrinks defense spending in relation to GDP from 4% to 3%.
"There is no more visible evidence that the American people are already rebelling than Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat. He did this for one reason, and that is his advisors told him he couldn't retain his Senate seat as a Republican. In other words, the same people who supported him 6 years ago have soundly rejected him today. That, my friends, sounds like 1994. The extreme liberal agenda is not sellable to the American people. Just wait and see."
By Senator Inhofe
Inhofe Votes Against Final Passage of "Reckless" Budget
On Wednesday, Senator Inhofe voted against the conference report on the fiscal year 2010 budget (S. Con. Res. 13), after the House of Representatives approved it by a vote of 233-193 with no Republican support. Calling the budget "reckless," Senator Inhofe cited the trillions of dollars in new spending and taxes as his primary reasons for opposing the legislation. The Senate passed the legislation by a vote of 53-43.
"The budget approved by the Democrats takes this country in the wrong the direction, and I was happy to vote against it," Senator Inhofe said. "It is irresponsible; it is reckless; and it is a troubling sign that a Majority party with no checks and balances is going on a spending spree that will be paid for by the next generation. Today, on President Obama's 100th day in office, it is suiting that Congress passed the largest budget to date, further highlighting this administration's priority of massively increasing spending and the size of government.
"The conference report on the Fiscal Year 2010 budget includes deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion a year; a total of $9.3 trillion in federal borrowing over the next decade; doubles the national debt in 5 years to $12.6 trillion and triples it in 10 years to $17.2 trillion; and contemplates $1.4 trillion in new tax increases. On top of the $4 trillion we are spending this year, the budget increases spending by $2.5 trillion over ten years and increases the debt by $6.5 trillion over the same period to pay for it.
"Beyond the staggering expenses, this bloated budget includes extremely harmful policy provisions. The legislation recognizes the Administration's effort to enact a costly cap-and-trade energy tax, which would cost trillions of dollars and increase the cost of energy for households across the country. It provides instructions to fast-track legislation to enact government-run universal health care. Furthermore, as President Obama intends to cut vital defense programs, this budget is on track to grow this country's obligations to 22% of our GDP, while shrinking defense spending in relation to GDP from 4% to 3.01% by 2019, putting us on a path that leads to a weaker military that is poorly equipped.
"The budget also includes instructions to implement President Obama's proposal to eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program making the government the originator of all federally backed student loans." The FFEL program is a 40-year-old public-private partnership that allows private lenders to provide federally guaranteed funds, and this measure would have a direct impact on millions across the country as well as in Oklahoma. Since 1965, this program has assisted over 60 million students in paying for college, and is widely used in post-secondary institutions nationwide. In Oklahoma, all but two colleges and universities participate in the FFEL program. Furthermore, 213 individuals would lose their jobs in Oklahoma alone.
"I am, however, pleased that the budget addresses issues I have long worked to accomplish, such as accelerating the phase-in of concurrent receipt and eliminating the offset between benefits provided for our veterans under the Survivor Benefits Plan and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation," Senator Inhofe said. The legislation includes Senator Inhofe's amendment to provide advanced appropriations for Veterans Administration (VA) programs, which allows multi-year planning for VA funding priorities. That amendment was strongly supported by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Inhofe Calls EPA Endangerment Finding a Ticking Time Bomb
Senator Inhofe went to the Senate Floor today to speak about the Obama Administration's recent announcement of an endangerment finding for carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases. Senator Inhofe calls the decision a "ticking time bomb" that presents "policymakers with a false choice: Use an outdated, ill equipped and economically disastrous option under the Clean Air Act, or pick another bad option-cap-and-trade-that commits us to requirements for which affordable and reliable technology does not exist."
To read Senator Inhofe's full speech, "EPA's Endangerment Finding: Ticking Time Bomb," click here.
Inhofe Joins Wentz and Kilmer to Speak at DC Rescue of Joseph Kony
Saturday, April 25, Senator Inhofe spoke at an event hosted by the non-profit group, Invisible Children, in which hundreds of participants voluntarily "abducted" themselves in an effort to bring attention to the LRA's abducted child soldiers. The global rally took place in 100 cities worldwide. The event took shape from a documentary produced by Invisible Children entitled "The Rescue of Joseph Kony's Child Soldiers." As stated by Invisible Children, the success of each of these individual rallies required both coverage of the event by an approved media outlet and the attendance of at least one cultural or political leader, but preferably both. Washington, DC's rally fulfilled all criteria, as Senator Inhofe spoke alongside cultural leaders, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and actor Val Kilmer, and the event was covered by several media outlets.
Thursday, April 23, in conjunction with Saturday's event, Senator Inhofe and Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) hosted a reception and screening of "The Rescue of Joseph Kony's Child Soldiers."
"Invisible Children has been continually and successfully raising the visibility of this issue," Senator Inhofe said as he spoke to those at the screening. "They have been doing so across college campuses and by putting pressure on Members of Congress. This crisis will be resolved in part by the people working for Invisible Children's cause. As someone who cares deeply for Africa, I must thank all of you for your hard work and dedication in finding a peaceful end to this crisis.
Actress Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars" and "Gossip Girl" also attended Thursday night's event. Bell expressed her appreciation and honor in being able to give a voice to the issue.
Senator Inhofe has been involved with Invisible Children and their cause since June of 2005 while on a trip to Uganda and Rwanda. He meets with the "Invisible Children" filmmakers annually to discuss the issue.
In February of 2006, Senator Inhofe sponsored a bi-partisan resolution (S.Res.366 - 109th Congress) affirming the importance of increased international attention and action to what's happening with the LRA and affirming a national week of prayer for the Ugandan victims. He also delivered a speech on the Senate Floor on February 2, 2006 on the resolution and referenced the "Invisible Children" documentary.
Senator Inhofe's involvement has been featured in a previous short film by Invisible Children called "The Global Night Commute." Similar to this Saturday's event, the film was produced in conjunction with an event in which millions spent the night in parks in the United States to highlight the plight of the children. An article on the Global Night Commute referenced Senator Inhofe's efforts:
Invisible Children Inc. has garnered political support from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who sponsored a nonbinding Senate resolution last month calling for the American government to help bring down the rebel army. "They see something that's an atrocity that has to be corrected, and they're willing to devote a good part of their lives to correct this," Inhofe said of Invisible Children. "And if they can do that, we can help them as best we can."
Inhofe Statement on Specter Decision to Switch Parties
Senator Inhofe issued the following statement in response to news this week that U.S. Senator Arlen Specter announced his intention to switch parties to become a Democrat.
"From what I understand, Senator Specter and his left-leaning positions would lose by 15 points in an upcoming Republican primary challenge," Senator Inhofe said. "Therefore, switching parties seems to have been done out of desperation and finding a way - any way - to stay in Washington longer. The big question now will be whether Democrats in Pennsylvania will embrace Specter or defeat him in the upcoming Democratic primary.
"I believe the fact that a little known conservative Republican could gain such a lead, and force a long time moderate Senator to switch parties, is the first evidence of America getting fed-up with out of control billion dollar spending here in Washington. The outrage growing throughout the country may very well end up leading to another Republican revolution as last seen in 1994."
Inhofe Votes Against Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services
This week, Senator Inhofe voted against the nomination of Governor Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services, who was confirmed by a vote of 65 to 31 on Tuesday.
"I believe there is no mission more important than standing up for the sanctity of human life," Senator Inhofe said. "Therefore, I felt compelled to vote against the nomination of Kathleen Seblius for Secretary of Health and Human Services. As Governor of Kansas since 2002, Sebelius has a clear record of supporting abortion and policies that I believe impact the health and safety of women and parental rights. Simply put, I could not vote to support the nomination of an individual who holds opinions vastly conflicting with my own and those held by my constituents."
Sebelius has held her position as governor since 2002, and in that time, she has taken a stand not only against life, but also against the health and safety of women and parental rights.
* In 2003 and 2005, she vetoed legislation that placed standards of safety on abortion centers performing procedures under unsafe medical conditions. These bills sought to establish the same safety standards that are required in every Planned Parenthood abortion clinic that performs more than five first trimester abortions a year.
* She vetoed legislation that required a clear medical reason for any late-term abortion.
* She also vetoed legislation that required anyone performing a post-viable abortion (an abortion performed on a baby able to breathe on its own outside the womb) to provide a diagnosis that supported the abortion.
* And, in 2008, she vetoed a bill that required parental notification of any abortion performed on a minor.
In the News: The Oklahoman Editorial: Climate change legislation carries a hefty price tag
April 29, 2009
CONGRESSIONAL Democrats rolled out climate change legislation last week. The rumble that followed was the sound of party moderates and conservatives heading for the hills.
That's what you get when your proposal to limit carbon output, a so-called "cap-and-trade" plan, comes with a $1.9 trillion tax increase over eight years, raising regular Americans' tax bills by $2,000 a year. Not even the presence of former Vice President Al Gore at the roll-out hearing slowed the stampede.
That's because the carbon-limiting proposal will hit every American's wallet or pocketbook - notwithstanding President Barack Obama's promise not to raise taxes on people earning less than $250,000 a year. The conservative Heritage Foundation says the cap-and-trade plan will be no respecter of income.
The proposal unveiled last week takes 648 pages to detail a system that would cap the amount of greenhouse gases companies can emit. It would require reductions in carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels and five other greenhouse gases by 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by the middle of the century. It would allow businesses to buy and sell carbon permits, depending on how much of it they produce.
Of course, consumers ultimately would pay any increase in any company's cost of doing business, such as a new government carbon permit - hence Heritage's $2,000-per-household estimate.
Gore told lawmakers that differences over the new legislation are "partisan" and he renewed his claim that global warming is a "dire and growing threat."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the bill would tax Americans "into living lives that the government wants them to live." He said that "instead of opening up America's vast resources of oil, natural gas and coal, this bill guarantees that we will remain reliant upon OPEC if we want to continue to drive cars, heat our homes and run our appliances."
Looks like a bruising fight brewing in Congress, which is fitting. There should be a national conversation before the economy is further saddled and before major changes are forced on the American way of life.
No matter how many times Gore and others say the science is settled on human-caused global warming, it's not. As unsettled is whether draconian, economy-encumbering measures will do any good with China and India running their economies at full throttle. Gore says those countries will follow the United States' lead on global warming, but we don't believe it.
So, bring on the debate. The timing is good, with the midterm congressional election campaigns on the horizon, which will ensure elected officials are listening to the folks back home.