Inhofe Introduces Bill to Reauthorize the Economic Development Administration
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today introduced a bill to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA works with partners in local communities to create wealth and minimize poverty by promoting favorable business environments to attract private investment and encourage long-term economic growth. Senator Inhofe’s bill includes many of the program administration improvements proposed by the President while reaffirming a commitment to acceptable funding levels. Specifically, the bill reauthorizes the agency for five years, allows for increases in the minimum level of funding for planning districts, provides needed resources and reforms to improve administration of the revolving loan fund program, and adds flexibility in addressing grant recipients’ changed economic development needs. As Chairman of the EPW Committee in 2004, Senator Inhofe sponsored the last reauthorization of EDA.
“The Economic Development Administration has a proven track record of providing much-needed funds to economically distressed regions,” Senator Inhofe said. “In Oklahoma alone, over the past five and a half years, EDA grants have resulted in almost 12,000 jobs being created or saved. Investments of about $22.7 million have leveraged another 24 million in state and local dollars and more than 437 million in private sector dollars. Durant, Clinton, Oklahoma City, Hobart, Seminole, Miami, and Elgin are just some of the Oklahoma communities that have made good use of EDA assistance.
“To ensure the continuation of this good work and to provide the tools necessary to improve performance even further, I am introducing legislation today to reauthorize EDA. Studies show that EDA uses federal dollars efficiently and effectively, creating and retaining long-term jobs at an average cost that is among the lowest in government. Especially in these times of economic uncertainty, it is imperative not to create uncertainty for this very successful agency and the struggling communities that depend on its assistance by allowing the authorization to lapse.”