Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

David Lungren (202) 224-5642

Statement of Senator James M. Inhofe, Ranking Member

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

EDA Reauthorization Business Meeting

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 9:30 a.m.

Thank you, Madam Chairman, for calling today's business meeting to consider S. 2778, a bill that will reauthorize and improve the programs of the Economic Development Administration. 

I have long been a strong supporter of EDA.  The agency does a wonderful job assisting economically distressed communities across the country in providing the right conditions for private sector investment to flourish.  I believe that is one of the key ways that government can help create jobs and long-term economic growth.

In Oklahoma alone, over the past seven years, EDA investments have totaled approximately $33 million.  Those awards have leveraged another 32.7 million in State and local dollars and more than 625 million in private sector dollars, creating more than 9,000 jobs.  Communities such as Woodward, Elgin, Durant, Claremore, Muskogee, Oklahoma City and Tulsa have all benefited from this EDA assistance.

As you know, I introduced my own reauthorization bill in February of this year, but I was pleased to work with you, Madam Chair, as well as Senator Baucus and Senator Voinovich on the bill before us today.  This bill is very similar to the bill the Committee approved in September 2008.  I hope the Committee again approves this bipartisan jobs bill and that we can move it through the full Senate in the very near future.