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Senate Proceeding on Jun 15th, 2011 :: 7:07:45 to 7:15:55
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James Inhofe

7:07:28 to 7:07:48( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call in progress be the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i'm going to wait until the senator from illinois arrives before making a motion, but i would like to explain what i am going to make a motion on when he does arrive.

James Inhofe

7:07:45 to 7:15:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: James Inhofe

James Inhofe

7:07:49 to 7:08:10( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: i have an amendment, first of all, being the ranking member of the environment and public works committee, i have more than just a passive interest in this e.d.a. bill. but one of the things i have been trying to do is to get people to understand. we have a lot of amendments and a lot has nothing to do with the economic development administration. they have to do with everything

James Inhofe

7:08:11 to 7:08:32( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: else that's out there. i'm guilt yif the same thing. i have five, i think, unrelated amendments. they're all good stuff. things i'd like it get through, and that's what this bill seems to be all about. but underlying all these amendments there is a bill and there's a reason for introducing it and it is a foregone conclusion, i think we all understand, that if we were to

James Inhofe

7:08:33 to 7:08:53( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: pass the e.d.a. bill out of here in any form similar to the way it was introduced, it would never pass the house. that would be a done deal. what i'm going to attempt to do is i'm going to attempt today and tomorrow and however long it takes to get an amendment in there that is going to provide oversight authority by the

James Inhofe

7:08:54 to 7:09:14( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: g.a.o. through the audits, assessments, the g.a.o. can ensure that the e.d.a. grants are distributed and put some spending discipline in there through a competive award process. it is all drafted in the amendment. the amendment is number 459. and in cordance with the e.d.a. criteria.

James Inhofe

7:09:15 to 7:09:36( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: the g.a.o. would submit a report every year to the senate environment public works committee, and the house t.n.i. to have efficiency assured. what we're doing here is instead of just having a jump ball and saying we're going to do any kind of an e.d.a. program that we can sell through the administration, truly have

James Inhofe

7:09:37 to 7:09:58( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: discipline in their -- in there so it will have to be, first of all, gone over with the general indicating office and then after that it's not over because it has to come back to both committees in the house and senate and of course i'm the ranking member. and by the time that gets started i may be the chairman if it's after the next election,

James Inhofe

7:09:59 to 7:10:19( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: but you never know about those things, so we'd be able to look at it again. now, the purpose of the amendment is to make certain that grant recipients are determined based on competent procedures and to create a -- more accountability for the e.d.a. overall i think the washington bureaucrats should not be picking winners and losers but

James Inhofe

7:10:20 to 7:10:40( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: instead rely on a formula and strict rules to determine where agency dollars flow. now, i know we're not on the bill now we're still in morning business. i understand we're going to go back on the bill at 6:00 this afternoon, but i have to get a request in that my amendment be entered at that time.

James Inhofe

7:10:41 to 7:11:02( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: i ask that the pending amendment be set aside for consideration of amendment 499, which i have just described. and for right now -- and i think the chief complaint about something that the e.d.a. process -- by the way, i have to

James Inhofe

7:11:03 to 7:11:23( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: say about the e.d.a. process, it has done so well in my state of oklahoma. he we had one project in elgin, oklahoma, a very small community, adjacent to fort sill for an e.d.a. grant. they ended up planning to construct a 250,000 square foot

James Inhofe

7:11:24 to 7:11:45( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: building that would employ -- the numbers were almost the entire population of elgin, oklahoma. the south central part of oak oak has his -- oklahoma has historically been impoverished. through the e.d.a. grants we have done a good job. the good thing about the e.d.a.

James Inhofe

7:11:46 to 7:12:06( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: grants is they require a lot of local participation. generally it's through the city funds and state funds and county funds and then an equal amount or greater amount from the private sector. in my state of oklahoma, the grant -- the grants are usually about one to nine in terms of public participation so that the program is good. i'm the first one to admit,

James Inhofe

7:12:07 to 7:12:27( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: however, it may not work that way -- the same way in every state. i can only say what our experience has been in oklahoma in what i'm going -- when i'm going to suggest is something that we have been going through in oklahoma. we have been going through a competitive award process. that's a process that is all

James Inhofe

7:12:28 to 7:12:49( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: outlined in our rules. we know what they have to go through for competion, and then it's in accordance with the criteria. the criteria's very important. one of these days we're going to get around to a transportation reauthorization bill that will come out of my same committee. it's -- the last one we had was 2005 and since then, we just --

James Inhofe

7:12:50 to 7:13:10( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: that has run out and we are going just month to month and we have a dire need for infrastructure in america in the roads, highways, bridges. it is something that we fell behind on and we are going to be getting to that. the reason our 2005 bill was so successful in infrastructure for transportation in the

James Inhofe

7:13:11 to 7:13:32( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: reauthorization bill is because we had a formula. and the formula took into consideration money to be spent on bridges and roads and highways that the -- state by state it -- such factors as the state -- the fatalities in that state, the number of road lanes, miles, and all this criteria.

James Inhofe

7:13:33 to 7:13:53( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: and when we got through and established a criteria in 2005, it must have been good because nobody liked it. it was something that upset everyone and then obviously it's one that was really pretty good and we passed it. that was a $286.6 billion

James Inhofe

7:13:54 to 7:14:16( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: reauthorization bill. you might want to say everybody's goosy about spending money these days. it's understandable. this administration is actually -- in -- in president obama's three budgets has -- has suggested and has put into effect $5 trillion of deficit -- not debt, but deficit -- and

James Inhofe

7:14:17 to 7:14:40( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: this last budget was a little over $2.5 trillion, and i can remember, mr. president, back in 1995, back when president clinton was in office, going down to the floor and complaing because he had a -- a -- a budget to run the entire country of $1.5 trillion. well, the deficit alone in the

James Inhofe

7:14:41 to 7:15:02( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: last budget we've had here has as described by the president has exceeded the amount it took to run the country during that period of time. i see that the senator from illinois is here and let me just tell you i say to my good friend from illinois, what i am doing here is i am going to attempt now, and it will be objected to and i understand that, because

James Inhofe

7:15:03 to 7:15:23( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: we're not to the bill yet, but i'm going to continue to have an accountability amendment that takes the e.d.a. and subject it to the competive award process along with oversight by g.a.o. an by our economy and the t.n.i. committee in the house of representatives. i think it's something that would make -- frankly, if we don't do it, in my opinion there

James Inhofe

7:15:24 to 7:15:44( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: would be no way in the world that the house of representatives would pass it. this offers discipline to it. i will go so far to say if we're not able to pass this amendment, have accountability, i will probably end up voting against the bill if it comes up for a vote. with that in mind, i would ask unanimous consent that it be in

James Inhofe

7:15:45 to 7:15:55( Edit History Discussion )

James Inhofe: order to resume consideration of s. 782 so that i can call up my amendment number 459, which is at the mr. durbin: mr. president, reserving the right to object,

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