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 »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
3 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

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