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Inhofe Introduces Jobs Bill That Has Proven Success
February 12, 2009

Contact: Marc Morano (202) 224-5762
Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov  

Inhofe Introduces Jobs Bill That Has Proven Success

Inhofe Reintroduces Bill to Reauthorize the Economic Development Administration 

Link to Legislation 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today introduced legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  EDA works with partners in economically distressed communities to create wealth and minimize poverty by promoting favorable business environments to attract private investment and encourage long-term economic growth.  Authorization of EDA’s programs expired on September 30, 2008.  Senator Inhofe originally introduced this bill in July 2008, but the bill was never considered by the Senate.  

“When it comes to the federal government helping Americans get back to work, one highly successful program that I have long supported is the Economic Development Administration,” Senator Inhofe said. “EDA has proven results in Oklahoma. Consider that in the past six years in my home state of Oklahoma, EDA grants awarded have resulted in more than 9,000 jobs being created or saved.  With an investment of about $26 million, we have leveraged another 30 million in State and local dollars and more than 558 million in private sector dollars.  I would call that a wonderful success story. 

“Through my leadership position on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I have built a record of successfully working across the aisle to pass common-sense legislation that will spur economic growth - whether it’s EDA reauthorization, infrastructure spending or energy policy. 

“I look forward to working with my colleagues here in the Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, to reauthorize a program that has proven results in getting Americans back to work. The sooner we pass this bill, the better.” 

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery 

Mr. President, today I am introducing a bill to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  EDA works with partners in economically distressed communities to create wealth and minimize poverty by promoting favorable business environments to attract private investment and encourage long-term economic growth.  Authorization of EDA’s programs expired on September 30, 2008.  I originally introduced this bill in July 2008 so that we could avert this lapse in authorization.  Unfortunately, my bill was never enacted, so I am re-introducing it today. 

Unlike the majority of the spending in the so-called “stimulus” bill passed by the Senate earlier this week, EDA investments actually provide economic benefits.  In fact, 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.  Knowing that, I was pleased to see some funding for EDA included in that massive spending bill; I only wish more of that bill had been legitimate economic stimulus. 

Last year, I was disappointed to see an Obama campaign document refer to EDA as wasteful and ineffective government spending and propose cutbacks in funding for the agency.  While I, too, am committed to eliminating wasteful spending, I couldn’t disagree more with that characterization of EDA. 

In my home state of Oklahoma, for example, EDA has worked long and hard with many communities in need to bring in private capital investment and jobs.  Durant, Clinton, Oklahoma City, Seminole, Miami and Elgin are just some of the Oklahoma communities that have made good use of EDA assistance.  In fact, over the past six years, EDA grants awarded in my home state have resulted in more than 9,000 jobs being created or saved.  With an investment of about $26 million, we have leveraged another 30 million in State and local dollars and more than 558 million in private sector dollars.  I would call that a wonderful success story. 

Particularly in these difficult economic times, we should be doing all we can to ensure the continuation of such successful programs, and reauthorization is an important step.  I hope now-President Obama reconsiders the rhetoric of then-candidate Obama and recognizes the effectiveness and importance of this agency.  I look forward to working with my colleagues here in the Senate, as well as in the House of Representatives, to reauthorize the programs of the Economic Development Administration as quickly as possible. 

Related Links:

Inhofe Announces Grant to Benefit Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan - WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced today a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the Indian Nation Council of Governments (INCOG).  These funds will be used for the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan and specifically for engineering design and permitting for retrofits to the Zink Dam and two low water dams near Sand Springs and Jenks. As the Chairman of EPW in 2004, Senator Inhofe authored legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration. Earlier this week, the EPW Committee conducted a hearing highlighting EDA investments in Oklahoma.

EPW Hearing Highlights EDA Investments in Oklahoma - INHOFE WELCOMES ELGIN MAYOR BEFORE EPW COMMITTEE - WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was pleased to welcome Elgin, Oklahoma Mayor Larry Thoma before the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure yesterday morning. Senator Inhofe invited Mayor Thoma before the Committee to discuss the importance of the Economic Development Administration in Elgin. As the Chairman of EPW in 2004, Senator Inhofe authored legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration. Earlier this year, Senator Inhofe introduced a bill to reauthorize EDA for another five years. 

The Woodward News: City receives $1 million Grant for Conference Center - "It's another dream come true for Woodward." Over the past 20 years, city leaders have dreamed of building a new conference center in Woodward, Mayor Bill Fanning said, noting that the Woodward Industrial Foundation's "hard work and dedication has helped make Woodward's dreams a reality." The new conference center came one step closer to becoming a reality Friday morning when Fanning was presented an investment check worth $1 million from the U. S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) during a special ceremony held at the site of the future conference center. The center is planned as part of a Community Campus Project in conjunction with the Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Woodward campus along 34th Street in Woodward.

INHOFE ANNOUNCES $900,000 EDA GRANT FOR ADAIR COUNTY - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced today that the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $900,000 grant to benefit the City of Watts and Adair County.

Inhofe in Woodward to Present $1 Million EDA Grant - WOODWARD, OK - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today presented a check to the city of Woodward, Oklahoma, for a $1 million grant, which he worked to secure from the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  According to EDA, the grant announced today will lead to 192 jobs in Woodward and generate $1.6 million in private investment.

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February 2009 Press Releases

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