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James I.
Republican OK

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  • Transportation Bill

    by Senator James M. Inhofe

    Posted on 2015-12-03

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    INHOFE. Mr. President, I wish to address very briefly the comments made by one of the Senators earlier about how bad this bill is.

    I think it is important for us to understand that it shows us how difficult a bill like this is because we are facing accusations, and it is the kind of thing that people would want to believe, but it is just not true. We don't have the things that sound good. The Export-Import Bank, that is something I had to swallow. I have opposed the Export- Import Bank every opportunity I have had for the last 20 years.

    Yet this is a huge bill. This is the largest bill in 17 years. The most important part of this to me is those who criticize it fail to realize that when we take an oath of office, we hold up our hand--every Senator does--to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It says in the Constitution, the only two things that we are mandated to do in article I section 8 is to defend America and roads and bridges.

    Ever since 1956, when Eisenhower came and did the national bill, the National Highway System, it has been successful, but where we have dropped the ball is we have been failing to have the Transportation reauthorization bill. We take into consideration all of the things that we are supposed to do, and these are things that we are supposed to do in accordance with the Constitution.

    It is easy for me to say this because I have been ranked the most conservative Member many times and probably more than anyone else, but I recognize that we do have this responsibility.

    Having said that, let me just say that I agree with the comments that were made by the majority leader and by Senator Boxer. She and I have disagreed more than we have agreed on things, but we have gone through a couple of these bills together and people look at us and think, If both of them want to do this, there must be something good about them.

    So I have enjoyed working with Senator Boxer. It has been my honor to do it. We have actually shocked a lot of people with how well we get along. That is not going to happen after this bill, but it did before.

    So let me just say this. I wish to thank some people. I appreciate the fact that the Senator from Wyoming recognizes his staff. I look around here and I see these two guys. They were up more nights all night long than they were sleeping all night long, and this is for a long period of time. We have been working on this for a long period of time. It is the result of months and months of really hard work.

    In particular I want to thank our EPW team of Alex Herrgott, who was trying to drive this thing, and Shant Boyajian, one who does maybe the hardest part, the actual road part; he is the expert that pulled that through. We also had Chaya Koffman, Susan Bodine, Jennie Wright, Andrew Neely, Donelle Harder, Daisy Letendre, and Kristina Baum.

    And Senator Boxer's team: David Napoliello, whom I really enjoyed working with. This is funny. I could talk to David just as I talk to one of our people here. We all have the same concerns, and so it makes it easier. I [[Page S8369]] also thank Andrew Dohrman and Jason Albritton. I would include so many others, but I see that Senator Boxer is still here, and I would like to just conclude right now. I know Senator Boxer wants to recognize some of the people that worked so hard in her shop, and we worked with a lot of people.

    I will yield to Senator Boxer.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.

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