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
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 »
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
3 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
5 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
6 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×