Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

Katie Brown (202) 224-2160            

Inhofe Announces Deal To Allow FAA and Highway Extension To Move

Praises Boxer, Coburn for Reaching Agreement that Will Protect Jobs

Washington, D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, welcomed an agreement made today with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that will allow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Highway extension to go forward.  Senator Coburn took issue with a requirement that a certain amount of funds be used for Transportation Enhancement (TE) or beautification projects.  Senator Inhofe agrees with Senator Coburn's concerns and worked with Senator Boxer to reach a compromise in the two-year highway bill.

"I am pleased to have struck a deal with Senator Coburn and Senator Boxer that will allow for the immediate passage of the FAA and highway extension," Senator Inhofe said.  "This extension will ensure that no FAA workers will be furloughed tomorrow in Oklahoma or anywhere in the nation. Righteousness prevailed and I am relieved that Senator Boxer, Senator Coburn and I were able to come together to get the job done.

"Now that we have overcome this hurdle it's time to get to work on passing a two-year highway bill. Senator Coburn is absolutely correct to say that states should not be required to fund highway beautification projects.  I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with Senator Boxer on this issue. I appreciate her working closely with us to come up with a compromise.   

"In order to get a two-year highway bill done, we will need the full coorporation of Congress and the President to pass a fiscally responsible bill that we can all support. I am hopeful that the cooperation we have witnessed over the past few weeks is an indication that momentum is on our side."