BENGHAZI HEARING OPENING STATEMENT
In his opening statement Thursday at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe blasted the Obama administration about its preparation and response to the Sept. 11 attack on U.S. diplomats last September in Libya. Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is the top Republican on the committee. Here is a text of his opening statement, as prepared for delivery.
“Thank you Mr. Chairman. I join you in welcoming our witnesses. Secretary Panetta, this may be one of your final times testifying before this committee—a joyous occasion, I’m sure.…
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Robert E. Bacharach’s nomination to be a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is back before the full U.S. Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday cleared Bacharach for the second time in eight months. There was no dissent.
Bacharach, a U.S. magistrate judge in Oklahoma City, has strong bipartisan support. But his nomination got caught up in presidential politics last year as Republicans blocked votes on circuit court nominees. Because a new Congress began in January, Bacharach’s nomination had to be resubmitted.…
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Michael Schwartz, longtime chief of staff for Sen. Tom Coburn, died Sunday. He was 63. Schwartz had Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Schwartz was Coburn’s chief of staff since Coburn was elected to the Senate in 2004. He also served as chief of staff for much of Coburn’s six years in the U.S. House.
Schwartz’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Germantown, Maryland.
Coburn, R-Muskogee, made the following statement on Monday:
“I’m sad to announce the passing of Michael Schwartz, who served as my chief of staff and was a member of my staff for almost 15 years.…
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Rep. Markwayne Mullin announced a series of town hall meetings for next week in his eastern Oklahoma district. Mullin, R-Westville, reported last week that he had received a death threat in his first month in Congress. The public schedule released Thursday shows that he’s not laying low because of the threat.
In a statement announcing the town hall meetings, Mullin said, “I’ve said from the very beginning that no one would outwork us and I meant it.
“We want to be very proactive to stay in contact with the District.…
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Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, was named Thursday to the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents by House Speaker John Boehner.
Cole said, “The Smithsonian Institution is an invaluable national resource for education and historic preservation. Millions of visitors to Washington, D.C., have enjoyed free access to Smithsonian museums and benefitted from the opportunity to learn more about our national and natural history by viewing the institution’s remarkable collection of artifacts.
“It’s an honor to serve this distinguished organization, and I look forward to working with the Board of Regents to continue the Smithsonian Institution’s prestigious legacy.”
Vested by Congress with the responsibility for administration of the Smithsonian Institution, the Board of Regents is made up of the chief justice of the United States, the vice president of the United States, three members of the United States Senate, three members of the United States House of Representatives, and nine private citizens, Cole’s office said.…
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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, released a statement Thursday after a briefing with Defense Department officials regarding changes to the policy on women in combat.
“I was on the House Committee in 1994 when Les Aspin first made these changes,” said Inhofe. “Because that policy has worked so well for so long, I am concerned about the potential impacts of completely ending this policy.
“While the Pentagon has rescinded the 1994 Direct Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, not all of the 237,000 positions previously closed to women will now be automatically open.…
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Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation are planning to have their Capitol Hill offices open at times this weekend so Oklahomans can pick up their tickets to President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on Monday. Not all of the offices will be open on Monday.
The lawmakers are encouraging those who have already reserved tickets to pick them up on the weekend. All of the tickets allotted to the lawmakers have been reserved. Some offices have started waiting lists.
Sen. Tom Coburn’s office will be open from 10 a.m.…
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Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced Tuesday evening that he would not support former Sen. Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.
In a news release, Inhofe said he told Hagel Tuesday during a “cordial” meeting that they were too philosophically opposed.
“Chuck Hagel is a good person, and it was a pleasure to serve with him in the United States Senate. I am so very appreciative of the sacrifices he and his brother made to serve this country during the Vietnam War.…
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Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, said Thursday that it would be “absurd” for President Barack Obama to use executive orders to limit gun ownership. Mullin was responding to a statement made Wednesday by Vice President Joe Biden that the “president is going to act” on gun control, possibly using executive orders.
Mullin said, “What the President and the Executive branch are trying to do on gun control is absurd. The President’s use of executive orders to limit Second Amendment rights is only a tactic to bypass Congress and force untested laws onto the American people.…
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Sen. Jim Inhofe, the new ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, declined on Monday to express approval or disapproval of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. The committee will hold confirmation hearings on Hagel.
Regarding Hagel’s nomination Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said:
“I have worked with Secretary (Leon) Panetta for many years, and during his tenure as Secretary of Defense, he has done an excellent job outlining the devastating impact defense budget cuts will have on our nation’s military. In the months and years ahead, the Defense Department will be confronted with significant challenges from budget issues to Afghanistan policy.…
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