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Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe poised to take top GOP spot on Senate Armed Services Committee

Inhofe, a defense hawk, may give up his ranking spot on environmental committee and become the top Republican on panel that oversees the nation's military policy.
by Chris Casteel Modified: November 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm •  Published: November 14, 2012

The Armed Services Committee helps establish policy and spending priorities for the Department of Defense. It is also holds hearings for those nominated by the president to top civilian and uniformed positions at the department.

The chairman of the committee is Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat. Inhofe praised Levin on Wednesday.

“He has always been exceptionally fair,” Inhofe said. “He genuinely wants to advance our systems and put us in a superior position.”

Inhofe, who will turn 78 on Saturday, is a regular visitor to Oklahoma's military bases and has traveled to numerous bases across the country and around the world. He visited Iraq 10 times after the 2003 invasion and has gone to Afghanistan 11 times since the U.S. has been at war there.

His interest in Africa has led him to push for more military involvement on that continent.

Inhofe has frequently charged President Barack Obama with seeking to gut defense spending and said Wednesday that one of his main goals would be to protect the Pentagon budget.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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