Republican Senator’s Pleas to Get Home For His Anniversary Fail

“Sen. Inhofe well knows there are soldiers in Afghanistan right now on their anniversary,” says a fellow Republican.

US Senator James Inhofe is asking the Senate to move quickly on a defense spending measure.
National Journal
Stacy Kaper
Add to Briefcase
Stacy Kaper
Dec. 19, 2013, 9:53 a.m.

The Sen­ate is sched­uled to work late in­to the night Thursday to pass a de­fense bill, but one mem­ber is beg­ging the world’s most de­lib­er­at­ive body to fin­ish its work in time to get him home to his wife.

“It hap­pens that to­mor­row is my 54th wed­ding an­niversary,” Sen. James In­hofe, R-Okla., said Wed­nes­day. “I would really like to ask both the ma­jor­ity and the minor­ity if we couldn’t yield back a little bit of time.”

The Sen­ate is slated to work on the bill un­til a vote around 11 p.m., but if mem­bers of both parties were will­ing to vol­un­tar­ily trun­cate de­bate, the vote could oc­cure earli­er and get In­hofe home.

“So have mercy, give us a break and let’s try to get this thing voted on and go home and Merry Christ­mas to every­body.”

2013 has been a par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult year for In­hofe. He un­der­went emer­gency heart sur­gery in Oc­to­ber, and in Novem­ber his son died in a plane crash. In­hofe didn’t men­tion either event in his plea to the Sen­ate, in­stead fo­cus­ing on his an­niversary plans.

“I would sure like those 20 kids and grandkids that are wait­ing for me — for our big din­ner “¦ to­mor­row night,” he said.

In­hofe, the rank­ing Re­pub­lic­an on the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, is the stew­ard of the Na­tion­al De­fense Au­thor­iz­a­tion Act. Passing the bill be­fore year’s end is ne­ces­sary to pre­vent a lapse in crit­ic­al na­tion­al se­cur­ity ini­ti­at­ives, in­clud­ing com­bat pay, mil­it­ary-pay in­creases, re­sources for troops in Afgh­anistan, and coun­terter­ror­ism meas­ures.

In­hofe, to­geth­er with Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee Chair­man Carl Lev­in, has worked to move the bill via an ex­ped­ited pro­cess in or­der to wrap up the meas­ure be­fore Con­gress ad­journs for the year.

That stream­lined pro­cess, however, did not al­low for amend­ments to the de­fense meas­ure, which raised the ire of Re­pub­lic­ans who are still smart­ing over Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id’s de­cision to pare back minor­ity fili­buster rights on ex­ec­ut­ive nom­in­ees.

In re­tali­ation, Re­pub­lic­ans have at times fo­cused on stretch­ing out de­bate as long as pos­sible in re­cent weeks, but In­hofe asked that those dif­fer­ences be put aside.

“I would really like to ask both the ma­jor­ity and the minor­ity if we couldn’t yield back a little bit of time,” he said. “We know we are go­ing to have the votes for this [bill].”

Up­dated at 9:00 p.m.

In­hofe’s plea for an earli­er vote has been re­jec­ted, largely by his Re­pub­lic­an col­leagues, and the Ok­laho­man is none-too-pleased about it.

“Today is my 54th wed­ding an­niversary,” In­hofe said Thursday even­ing. “We had a big thing planned to­night, which I had every­body there, all 20 kids and grandkids. And they’re just wast­ing time of course, they are not do­ing any­thing, so I came up here to see if maybe there might be a strategy that we could do it.”

But fel­low Re­pub­lic­an Jeff Ses­sions was un­moved by In­hofe’s plea, as were oth­er party mem­bers frus­trated by their in­ab­il­ity to of­fer amend­ments.

“Sen. In­hofe well knows there are sol­diers in Afgh­anistan right now on their an­niversary,” he said, adding he didn’t ex­pect Re­pub­lic­ans to agree to vote soon­er than the late vote that was in­tii­ally sched­uled.

What We're Following See More »
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
1 days ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
1 days ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
“BLOWING A SURE THING”
Sabato Moves Alabama to “Lean Democrat”
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login