The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 19, 2013

Inhofe talks GITMO, environment, BRAC and Egypt

ENID, Okla. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was in Enid Friday following confirmation hearings and continuing debates in Washington the day before.

Inhofe spoke to Enid News & Eagle about issues ranging from the international to the hyper-local, speaking about the country’s support for the Egyptian military to Oklahoma’s past success in Base Closure an Realignment Commission hearings.

The Republican senator also spoke about the impact of President Barack Obama’s cap and trade regulations on the economy and cutbacks to national defense.

Inhofe serves as the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and is a former chairman and ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Following hearings Thursday in Washington, Inhofe said the Obama administration was “disarming America” with budget cuts to defense.

“As of our hearing yesterday, we are a hollow force,” the senator said. “That’s then most serious problem in our country.”

He said defense makes up only 18 percent of the federal budget but is expected to take a 50 percent cut to save funds.

Other problems created by the Obama administration are the removal of a missile defense system in Poland that would protect the eastern United States from a missile attack from Iran and the closure of Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Inhofe said intelligence reports show Iran could be able to fire a missile capable of hitting the eastern United States by 2015.

On the subject of Cuba, Inhofe called Guantanamo Bay Naval Base “the crown jewel” for operations in the area.

“We can’t close it just because some people in the Middle East don’t like it,” he said. “There is no other place to incarcerate combatants.”

When the topic of closure was front-burner, several locations in the United States, including close to home at Fort Sill in Lawton, were discussed as locations for detainees.

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