Friday, December 23, 2022

Inhofe only member of OK's DC delegation to vote for mega-spending bill

True to form, Congress continues spending America into oblivion with the latest in a very long line of omnibus mega-spending bills. Also true to form, the measure passed with some Republican support. Of Oklahoma's all-GOP delegation, only U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe in favor.

In the Senate, 18 Republicans voted for the omnibus bill, 29 were opposed, and 3 were absent. In the House, 9 Republicans were supportive, 200 were opposed, and 4 were absent.

Below are comments from both Oklahoma Senators and all five Representatives. Inhofe's comments, along with his touting of over half a billion dollars in earmarks that he procured in the omnibus bill (apparently the second most of all senators). Inhofe definitely loves him some earmarks and pork spending. Nothing like going out with a bang, right? Good riddance.

Hern Opposes Disastrous Spending Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 23rd) – Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) released the following statement after voting NO on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2617 – FY23 Omnibus Appropriations, a $1.8 trillion spending package.

“This bill represents everything that’s wrong with Congress” said Rep. Hern.  “Drafted behind closed doors and rushed through Congress less than 48 hours before Christmas. These spending levels are entirely unacceptable – especially during a lame duck session when the American people have decisively given the purse strings back to the Republicans. Ramming a bill this large through Congress mere days before Pelosi loses the majority is partisanship at its worst. It’s no wonder the American people have such a low opinion of Congress! Fiscal responsibility must return to Washington in the new year. However, as a direct result of Democrats’ actions today, inflation will continue to worsen for families across the nation.”


The Senate Amendment to HR 2617 is a $1.85 trillion “Omnibus” bill that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year. The bill increases Fiscal Year 2023 spending by 9%.

Some of the spending provisions in the legislation include:

  • $0 for securing our southern border.
  • $410 million for border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman.
  • $1.5 million to encourage people to eat outdoors in Pasadena.
  • $1.1 million for a solar array in Kirkland, Washington, a region famous for being cloudy.
  • $2 million for B360, a group that promotes dirt-bike culture in Baltimore.
  • $500,000 for a skate park in Rhode Island.
  • $4.8 million for an environmental impact report on the potential expansion of Chicago’s transit system.
  • $575 million for “family planning” in areas where population growth threatens biodiversity.
  • Over $17 million for LGBTQ centers around the country.
  • $65 million for salmon. The word "salmon" appears in the bill 48 times.
  • $3 million for bee-friendly highways.
  • $3.6 million for the "Michelle Obama Trail"
  • $477k for "antiracist" training from the Equity Institute.
  • $4.1 million in various career programs for Fairfax County, Virginia (one of the richest counties in the world).
  • $47 billion to Ukraine, plus the creation of a “Ukrainian Independence Park” in DC.
  • $300k a year for the Continuous Plankton Recorder.
  • $2.63 billion for US Attorneys, with an emphasis on January 6th prosecutions and domestic terrorism cases.
  • $8.6 million for “gender advisor programs” at the Pentagon.
  • $200 million for a Gender Equity Fund.
  • $286 million in Title X funding, which funds Planned Parenthood.
  • $2 million for "improving coordination" in the NYC Mayor's office.

Lucas Opposes Omnibus, Laments Washington’s Broken Legislative Process

Washington, DC (Dec. 23rd) – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2617- the Consolidated Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2023, otherwise known as the omnibus spending bill. Lucas opposed the legislation.

“The 117th Congress has proven to be the most irresponsible and spendthrift in recent history. Since winning control of the House, Senate, and White House, Speaker Pelosi and Washington Democrats have recklessly spent more than $3 trillion outside of the normal appropriations process. At a time when Americans’ biggest concern is inflation and the amount of spending coming out of Washington, Congress is failing to craft and abide by a responsible fiscal agenda. 

“The process through which this legislation came into being is as deeply disappointing as the end product. The omnibus government funding bill passed today is imperfect and a reflection of a broken legislative process. Congress’ inability to transparently draft and responsibly pass spending bills on time with measured debate has plagued both the U.S. Senate and House for far too long. Major changes in law and the spending of government funds deserves thoughtful debate- without it Congress cannot be responsible stewards of the American taxpayers’ money. The American people seem to agree, this is no way to govern in a democracy. I hope, and look forward to in the Republican Majority, to returning to regular order and prioritizing the crafting of a responsible, conservative fiscal agenda.” 

Bice Opposes Massive Spending Bill

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 23rd) — Representative Stephanie Bice (OK-05) issued the following statement after the passage of the FY 2023 omnibus spending package:

“Instead of working in regular order, Democrats in Congress have sat on their hands, waiting until the last week before Christmas to ram through a massive, 4,155-page government spending bill. With ongoing inflation, now is not the time to drastically increase domestic spending. To make matters worse, this legislation fails to address the numerous issues facing the American people, including the crisis at the southern border. I voted no and strongly oppose this legislation.”

Lankford Strongly Opposes Massive Federal Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 22nd) – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today offered the following statement after he voted to oppose a massive 4,155-page, almost $2 trillion “omnibus” federal funding bill that once again further demonstrates Congress’ inept spending behavior and complete lack of interest in properly funding the needs of the federal government in a timely, responsible manner:

“When do Americans get to see in advance how Congress will spend their money? Once again, Washington, DC treats Oklahomans’ tax dollars and the future of our economy like fake Monopoly money. My office had only hours to review a 4,155-page, almost $2 trillion bill to fund the government. This is no way to run the greatest nation in the world, especially since the bill includes record-high deficit spending. Americans deserve and expect a functioning government that lives within our means. I will keep pushing to solve this broken budget process and bring more people to the table to get this fixed.” 

Cole Opposes $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Package

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 23rd) – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), Vice Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2617, the fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations package. Cole opposed the $1.7 trillion legislation.

“This bill contains many provisions I am supportive of such as the needed and substantial increase in defense spending, as well as increases for pandemic preparedness, career training and early education programs and local projects that would benefit the Fourth District of Oklahoma,” said Cole. “However, I am disappointed by how a deal was reached on this massive legislation. Crafted mostly by House Democratic leadership and the Senate behind closed doors, this is simply out of regular order. In fact, the Senate did not even pass a single bill out of committee. Had they followed regular order, there certainly might have been more bipartisan support for this package. This is not how elected lawmakers should work for the American people.”

Cole made extensive remarks during the House Rules Committee’s consideration of the legislation. Video of his remarks available here and transcript here

Congressman Mullin:

Here's the press release from Sen. Earmark himself:

Inhofe Applauds Senate Passage of Year-End Appropriations Bill to
Fund Defense and Oklahoma Priorities

(December 22nd) U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) applauded the passage of the appropriations bill today to fully fund the Department of Defense as authorized in the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023. In addition to the robust defense funding, this bill provides the necessary funding for critical Oklahoma priorities.

“Unsurprisingly, President Biden failed to account for the needs of our military and sent us a 2023 budget request that effectively cut military spending,” Inhofe said. “Last week, we took a big step toward righting that wrong and authorized historic resources for our troops in passing the FY23 NDAA. With today’s passage of this appropriations bill, we are one step closer to ensuring our troops have what they need to complete their mission. I am grateful to Leader McConnell and Sen. Shelby for their efforts to get this legislation to the finish line.

“While this is not the package Republicans would have written on our own, the $45 billion increase for our troops will make our country more secure. It gives our military the resources needed to take on China, Russia and other looming threats and takes care of our troops and their families. It includes a record number of Oklahoma priorities which gives me some peace as I leave office. From providing over $400 million in funding to accelerate the development of the E-7 Wedgetail, which will replace the E-3 Sentry AWACS at Tinker Air Force Base to nearly $100 million in funding to construct a new Advanced Individual Training Complex at Fort Sill and $39 million for the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant to develop an Ammunition Demolition Shop, this legislation will ensure Oklahoma’s military bases and their communities will continue to thrive for years to come.” 

Inhofe worked to include key provisions to benefit Oklahomans. His priorities included:

Department of Defense:

  • $426 million for E-7 acceleration to replace E-3 mission at Tinker Air Force Base.
  • $25 million to fund Oklahoma-based Kratos Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft.
  • $9.8 million for University of Oklahoma and Epirus to continue radar research and development.
  • $5 million in support of university research efforts through a Counter-UAS Center of Excellence at Oklahoma State University.
  • $5 million for a supply chain study covering cyber security vulnerabilities in natural gas pipelines that the Army is dependent on. This will be done at the University of Tulsa in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).
  • $5 million for University of Oklahoma and Berry aviation partnership to develop relative positioning autonomous platforms.
  • $2 million for SkyDweller’s autonomous maritime patrol aircraft.
  • $2 million for Lawton’s Machine Learning for Army Integrated Fires at the FISTA.
  • $5 million for Oklahoma State University’s Counter UAS Technology Research.
  • $5 million for Oklahoma-based Firehawk Aerospace advanced hybrid rocket engine development.
  • $2 million to Berry Aviation for Hybrid Autonomous Maritime Expeditionary Logistics.
  • $2 million to FISTA and Camgian partnership to develop and integrate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms to improve advance kill chain automation of Army Counter – Unmanned Aerial Systems.
  • Fully funds Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) of the B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber at $2.8 billion and supports Air Force nuclear modernization by including $599 million for Long Range Standoff Weapon programs.
  • Funds Paladin Integrated Management procurement at $227 million for an additional 23 vehicles.
  • $129 million for 14 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries.

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs:

  • Includes language encouraging the Department of Veterans Affairs to adequately resource the completion of existing construction projects, including CHIP-IN projects, like the Tulsa VA hospital, impacted by surging inflation, supply chain shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $114 million for construction of KC-46A 1-Bay Depot Corrosion Control Hangar.
  • $90 million for construction of a KC-46A 2-Bay Program Depot Maintenance Hangar.
  • $49 million to construct a high 3-bay depot maintenance hangar for the KC-46A Pegasus Aerial Refueling Aircraft.
  • $15 million for the planning and design of the for E-7 Operations Center.
  • $13.6 million to construct petroleum oils and lubricants lines and add/alter the fuel yard on and around the KC-46A campus at Tinker Air Force Base.
  • $12.5 million for the 10th Flight Test Squadron’s Operations Facility.
  • $85.5 million to construct Fort Sill’s AIT Complex Phase 2.
  • $39 million to ensure adequate and proper facilities for employees to disassemble munitions at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant’s Ammunition Demolition Shop.

Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development

  • $40 million for construction of a new air traffic control tower at Tulsa International Airport (TUL) to provide a safe, functional and reliable facility for air traffic control services.
  • $5 million for construction of a new air traffic control (ATC) contract tower at Max Westheimer Airport (OUN) to provide a safe, functional and reliable facility for air traffic control services.
  • $4 million to add additional capacity to I-35, a nationwide freight corridor, in Love and McClain Counties by widening the road from four lanes to six lanes.
  • $4 million for the completion of planning activities and acquisition of the necessary right of way for improvements to upgrade US-412 as part of the effort to designation it as a future interstate to empower economic growth in the Tulsa area.
  • $2 million to reconstruct, widen and add shoulders and sidewalks to 20 miles of roadway on US-283 and US-62, also known as the Altus Economic Loop.

Energy and Water Development:

  • $10 million to continue deepening the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) to 12 feet
  • Urges the Corps to accelerate construction of 12-foot deepening and expeditiously complete construction of the Tulsa and West-Tulsa Levee system.
  • $87 million to continue and accelerate critical maintenance work on locks and dams along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). This includes $18.3 million in additional maintenance work above the president’s budget.
  • $5 million to convert open water irrigation canals to an enclosed pipe system to better conserve water in the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District in Altus.
  • $1.25 million for the University of Tulsa to support research into hydrogen transport in pipelines to increase pipeline safety.
  •  $1.5 million for the University of Tulsa to investigate produced water cleaning, conditioning and desalination.
  •  $1.25 million for the University of Tulsa to conduct research and experimentation in surface transportation of CO2 through pipelines, injection of CO2 into wells and flow assurance of carbon capture and storage (CCS).
  • $1.5 million for the University of Tulsa to create a platform on which to build and test cyber security tools to improve resiliency in the power grid.
  • $7 million for continued operation of the Risk Based Data Management System, an information system operating in state oil and natural gas and environmental agencies, including Oklahoma.
  • Interior & Environment:
  • $1.59 million to replace the Town of Canadian’s 40-year-old mechanical wastewater plant with a lagoon system.
  • $1.32 million to the City of Porter for a new disinfection facility.
  • $640,000 for the Town of Corn to replace five sections of sewer lines that are severely deteriorated and polluting the groundwater source.
  • $4 million to extend drinking water service in Cleveland County to cover underserved areas that run on small public water systems with frequent water quality violations.
  • $4 million to the Town of Maysville for improvements to their water treatment plant.
  • $80,000 to the City of Oilton for improvements to their water treatment plant.
  • $1.6 million to the City of Barnsdall for the replacement of the Waxhoma Dam spillway.
  • $880,000 to the City of Barnsdall for improvements to their water treatment plan.
  • $68,000 to the City of Wewoka for dam rehabilitation.
  • $320,000 to the City of Perkins for sewer line replacement.
  • $289,000 to the City of Hinton for improvements to their wastewater lagoon system.
  • $2 million to the City of Watonga for improvements to their water treatment plant.
  • $4 million to McCurtain County for water line replacement.
  • $3.89 million to the City of Waurika for improvements to their water treatment plant.
  • $1.5 million to the City of Ponca City for rehabilitation of major interceptor.
  • $4 million to the City of Lawton for alternate groundwater supply.
  • $4 million for Enhanced Aquifer Use and Research efforts in Ada, Oklahoma.

Homeland Security

  • $77 million to recapitalize the fleet of Waterways Commerce Cutters. These vessels are responsible for marking navigation channels on inland waterways like MKARNS and are over 50 years old—they must be replaced. Inhofe authored the provision in the 2018 U.S. Coast Guard Reauthorization directing the Coast Guard to cost-effectively recapitalize these vessels.

Commerce, Justice and Science:

  • $9.5 million to the University of Oklahoma for the construction of a new building to support the National Weather Center.
  • $500,000 to the OSU School of Forensics DNA Laboratory.
  • $1.8 million to the Oklahoma Center for Hydrological Integrated Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation (OCHIM3).
  • $20.9 million to NOAA for the engineering, digital architecture, operations studies, and scientific studies of Phased Array Radar technology.
  • $10 million for the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs for officer training on responding to individuals with mental illness or disabilities, consistent with legislation authored by Sen. Inhofe that authorizes a program for this same purpose. The funding is carved out of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program to go toward grants for state and local law enforcement and correctional facilities to educate, train and prepare officers to respond to mentally ill or disabled individuals.


  • $4.177 million to address deferred maintenance needs at the Stillwater Wheat, Peanut, and Other Field Crops Research Unit Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Facility.
  • $1.544 million modernize facilities at the Woodward Southern Plains Range ARS Facility greenhouse.
  • $1.26 million for El Reno Grazinglands ARS Facility for maintenance to the gravel and unpaved roads.
  • $3.254 million for Stillwater Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit ARS for deferred maintenance and modernizing the siphon system.
  • $4.333 million for Rural Electrification and Telecommunications (RET) Loans Program Account, which helps rural Yukon property owners get electrical, telephone and internet service to their home.

Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education

  • $1.5 million for OSU Institute of Technology for the OSUIT XR Integrated Curricula initiative.
  • $96,000 for Rose State College’s Youth Aerospace Education and STEM Teach the Teacher Program.
  • $253,000 for Rose State College’s Private Pilot’s License Program.
  • $1 million for Oklahoma Children’s Hospital (OU Health) for Behavioral Health Technological Advances.
  • $714,000 for Mid-American Christian University ‘s Multipurpose Science Center.
  • $1 million for Northeastern University’s College of Optometry.
  • $350,000 for Connors State College’s Nightingale Project.
  • $1 million for Tulsa Community College’s School of Health Sciences.
  • $487,000 for Oklahoma City Community College’s Nursing Program Expansion.
  • $1.05 million for Seminole State College for simulation equipment and nursing equipment.
  • $810,000 for Western Oklahoma State College for nursing equipment.
  • $1.74 million for City of Altus for a Regional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Center.
  • $1.25 million for Oklahoma Blood Institute for facilities and equipment.
  • $3 million for Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City for equipment and information technology needs.
  • $60 million for colleges of medicine at public universities in the top quartile of states with projected primary care provider shortages, including University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
  • Includes the longstanding Hyde amendment, prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortion.

Financial Services:

  • Includes S.419, the CONTRACT Act, legislation authored by Sen. Inhofe, which would remove the current financial penalty for retired FAA air traffic controllers to work at federal contract towers.
  • $3 million for repairs and alterations to the William J. Holloway Jr. U.S. Courthouse and U.S. Post Office in Oklahoma City.
[Goodness... Inhofe was definitely a porker]


Post a Comment

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME when commenting. Anonymous comments may be rejected if NOT accompanied by a name.

Comments are welcome, but remember - commenting on my blog is a privilege. Do not abuse that privilege, or your comment will be deleted.

Thank you for joining in the discussion at! Your opinion is appreciated!