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Agricultural News

Senator Jim Inhofe Details Several Measures Buried in COVID-19 Relief/Omnibus Spending Package

Tue, 22 Dec 2020 03:50:43 CST

Senator Jim Inhofe Details Several Measures Buried in COVID-19 Relief/Omnibus Spending Package U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement after voting for legislation that would provide needed coronavirus relief to families in Oklahoma and fund the government until September 30, 2021.

"After Senate Republicans have been working to pass additional COVID relief for months, I am pleased to announce we finally have responsible, bipartisan legislation that will provide direct and targeted coronavirus relief for families, hospitals and small businesses. In addition to continuing successful CARES Act programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program that already saved 625,102 jobs in Oklahoma, it will provide needed funds for vaccine distribution for all Americans, continue unemployment benefits and provide a new round of stimulus payments for households to help with immediate expenses. The legislation will also continue to make sure our hospitals, especially rural hospitals, and doctors, nurses and public health workers have what they need to keep fighting the coronavirus while also distributing the vaccine. I am glad Congress could come together to focus on the urgent needs of Oklahoma families as we look to a new year.

"Additionally, I'm pleased this legislation fully funds the Department of Defense through the fiscal year. Time and time again, we hear from our military leaders that the most critical thing they need is consistent, regular funding. This legislation will fully fund my NDAA, as well as all Oklahoma defense priorities."

Additionally, the legislation contained provisions that will enact key priorities Senator Inhofe has been working on for years:

Fully Funds Veterans Care Improvements in Eastern Oklahoma
One of Inhofe's top priorities is ensuring veterans get the care they deserve. This legislation ensures veterans care improvements in eastern Oklahoma Inhofe has fought for are fully funded. Read more about Inhofe's plan to ensure veterans are well taken care of in his Tulsa World op-ed here.

Funding for MKARNS Operations and Critical Maintenance
Another major priority of Inhofe's is ensuring the MKARNS, also known as the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, continues to get the care and upkeep it needs. The MKARNS is a vital economic maritime highway freight corridor that supports commerce in every county in Oklahoma. This bill includes increased funding for Oklahoma to allow for the operations upkeep and critical maintenance of this key navigation system. Read more about the MKARNS and the additional funding Inhofe secured for the navigation system this year here.

Includes Sen. Inhofe's SALE Act
Earlier this year, Inhofe introduced the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act. This bipartisan legislation, included in this omnibus package, would address the problem of dealer payment default. Quick turnaround between the purchase and resale of cattle by a dealer often leaves the rancher who originally owned the cattle with little recourse if a dealer defaults on a purchase the livestock has often already been resold. The SALE Act would establish dealer statutory trusts, mimicking existing packer statutory trusts, for the purpose of ensuring that cattle sellers receive payment should a livestock dealer become insolvent. Read more about Inhofe's SALE Act and industry support for the bill here.

Includes Inhofe's PARTT 147 Act
This legislation also includes Inhofe's bill to improve education and training curriculum at aviation maintenance technician schools. The Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act of 2019 would establish performance-based regulations to ensure aviation maintenance education institutions have the flexibility to teach core curriculum reflective of the ongoing technical advances and innovation happening across the aviation and aerospace industry. Read more about PARTT 147 Act of 2019 and industry support here.

Includes Inhofe's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and the USE IT Act:
This bill includes Sens. Inhofe and Carper's DERA reauthorization which is a federal grant and rebate program administered by the EPA to finance the voluntary replacement or installation of retrofits on existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines. By replacing or upgrading diesel engines with newer American-made technology, the DERA program will continue to dramatically reduce diesel emissions, which protect public health and create jobs.

The USE IT Act supports carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill also supports federal, state and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (C02) pipelines.



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