WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today voted against so-called infrastructure bill, that includes several sections that are unrelated to infrastructure and did not go through committee consideration saying:
“Instead of working to build a real, substantive infrastructure bill, these sideshow negotiations produced a grab-bag of bad policy decisions that weren’t vetted: adding a quarter of a trillion dollars to the deficit, stacking the deck in favor of electric vehicles and focusing on transit over roads and highways, just to name a few. It didn’t have to be this way.
“Earlier this year, the EPW Committee overwhelmingly approved a highway bill and a drinking water bill that were chock full of provisions I authored and supported. The legislative process was working. But instead of continuing that process that we have used—myself included– for decades to build successful, bipartisan infrastructure bills, the White House cast it aside for a rushed process that sidestepped regular order and opened up the ‘infrastructure’ bill to a host of unrelated and not fully debated positions. Furthermore, top Democrats from President Biden to Nancy Pelosi have been clear that they are holding this legislation hostage as they demand a $3.5 trillion tax and spend spree that will make the inflation too many families in Oklahoma are experiencing worse. I cannot support it.”
In addition, as Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Sen. Inhofe joined Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to highlighted their concerns with the lack of resources for military infrastructure in H.R.3684, the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” which includes hundreds of billions of dollars to address critical infrastructure needs throughout the nation. The senators last week filed Amendment 2535 to include defense infrastructure funding in the comprehensive bill, but members were not given the opportunity to vote on the proposal.
“A rushed bill outside of the legislative process is always going to be flawed, and this was no exception. It added too much that wasn’t real infrastructure – and left out genuine, needed military infrastructure across every state in this nation. Our amendment sought to right that imbalance, but Majority Leader Schumer was too worried it might pass, so he wouldn’t allow it to come for a vote. Between President Biden’s woefully inadequate budget request that we had to fix on a bipartisan basis in the NDAA and Senate Democrats’ new $3.5 trillion budget boondoggle that completely ignores national defense, it’s clear Democrats have no interest in addressing the very real threats coming from China and other adversaries, and protecting American families. We are going to continue to try to fix Democrats’ dangerous mistake,” said Sen. Inhofe.
“It is shameful that this massive infrastructure legislation contains not one dime for our military’s vast infrastructure needs. Not only that, Senate Democrats blocked every attempt to fix this glaring omission. This comes on the heels of legislation they claim will combat Chinese aggression but also includes nothing for our military. And now the Democrats are turning to a $3.5 trillion budget that will finance their liberal wish list but drastically shortchange our military once again. There is a clear and dangerous pattern here. The recklessness of the Democrats’ domestic spending spree is matched only by their neglect for America’s military. It must stop. For America to remain strong and prosperous, we must balance funding for the domestic and defense priorities of this nation,” stated Vice Chairman Shelby.
“I am disappointed that we could not come to an agreement to provide resources for our national security infrastructure in this bipartisan infrastructure package,” Ranking Member Wicker said. “This bill will help improve our country’s road, bridges, ports, and broadband, but will do nothing for our national defense. me Our defense infrastructure has been crumbling for years, and once again Congress has failed to act. I will continue to fight alongside my colleagues to ensure the needs of our military are not ignored.”
The senators’ amendment would have created a Defense Infrastructure Fund containing $50.2 billion, including the following: $25.35 billion for shipyards; $4 billion for test and training ranges; $2 billion for high priority military construction projects; $1.5 billion for PFAS remediation; $4 billion for Facilities Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization; $3.85 billion for Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration infrastructure; $4.5 billion for military depots; $2.5 billion for ammunition plants; and $2.5 billion for 5G rollout to military bases.