406 Dirksen EPW Hearing Room
James M. Inhofe
Thank you, Senator Cardin, for chairing this hearing on a very important topic. I wish we had turned to this topic earlier in the year, because I am concerned that this late start means we may not have time to actually enact EDA reauthorization – such as my bill, S. 3264 – before the current authorization expires this month. Regardless of timing, though, I am glad we are having this hearing, and I am especially pleased to welcome Mayor Larry Thoma of
I was in
I joined EDA in August in presenting a grant to the city of
Since the fall of 2004 when we last reauthorized the agency, EDA investments in
We saved and created new jobs in
EDA assisted the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma fund construction of an assembly facility for a next generation tactical vehicle trailer for the U.S. Marine Corps in
Additionally, many of the economic development districts in
Taken all together, EDA’s public works and economic adjustment grants awarded in my home state over the past five and a half years have resulted in almost 9,000 jobs being created or saved. With an investment of about $24.6 million, we have leveraged almost 29 million in State and local dollars and more than 433 million in private sector dollars. I would call that a wonderful success story.
These numbers are backed up by studies that 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. Today’s hearing gives us an opportunity to discuss possible tools to improve performance even further during the reauthorization process.
The EDA=s authorization is set to expire just three short weeks from today, on September 30, 2008. I am concerned that allowing this authorization to lapse will result in uncertainty for this very successful agency and the struggling communities that depend on its assistance. I recently spoke with Congressman Jim Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; we both agreed that we need to work together to get this done before Congress recesses or adjourns this month, and we both believe that we can get it done if we work quickly and together. I look forward to working with my colleagues here on the Committee and in the House, as well as with the Administration and interested stakeholders, to reauthorize EDA as soon as possible.