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Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe predicts GOP will take over Senate

Inhofe tells the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber that voters will sweep Republican senators into office after undergoing the "shock treatment" given the nation's economy through policies enacted by the president and fellow Democrats.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: August 27, 2010 at 5:42 am •  Published: August 27, 2010

"There's no one out there who can read or write who doesn't know you cannot sustain a deficit of one year of $1.4 trillion," Inhofe said.

Looking to 2012

If Senate Republicans gain control, it's likely Democrats up for re-election in 2012 will move away from supporting the president's policies, Inhofe said.

"When the ship sinks, the rats jump off — they're not going to go down with the ship," he said. "We're going to see a behavioral change in Democrats who have been following and doing everything they could to help with the administration."

Inhofe criticized a one-year moratorium on requesting earmarks, or money for special projects, which was announced earlier this year by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Inhofe said earmarks should be called appropriations, saying that appropriating funds is the job of Congress. He said no money is saved when a congressional earmark is removed — the money remains in the budget and is spent by bureaucrats and administration officials.

"It goes right back to the bureaucracy," he said.

Inhofe this year requested more than $615 million in special projects, with about two-thirds of that for defense contractors and military bases.

Inhofe said he gets along with U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who does not request earmarks.

"When you really need something for Oklahoma, he's there," Inhofe said. "All I want him to agree with is just to define earmarks as appropriations, then we wouldn't disagree on anything. If there's a ridiculous appropriation out there, we'll go out and fight it together."

Inhofe said he is proud to bring federal money to pay for improvements at the state's military installations and highway system.

Inhofe, last re-elected in 2008, said he hasn't thought about whether he would seek another term in 2014.

"I'm 75 years old, but I still fly airplanes upside down and I don't know why it is — I don't hurt anywhere and I don't feel any different than I felt five years ago," Inhofe said. "If circumstances are the same as they are today, yeah I would be running."


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