Inhofe says GOP in-fighting is stalling defense authorization bill

By Tony Bertuca  
June 12, 2018 at 12:47 PM

Senate deliberations on the $716 billion fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill have stalled because of arguments among Republicans, according to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

"Many times on legislation that comes to the floor, it's Democrat versus Republican and Republican versus Democrat," he said on the Senate floor. "This is one of the rare occasions where I guess all the problems we're having objecting to amendments are all on the Republican side."

Inhofe explained that Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) are using their powers under the Senate's procedural process to block further consideration of the defense authorization bill until their individual amendments are heard.

"Each one is blocking unless he receives a vote," Inhofe said.

However, Inhofe said, other GOP senators who oppose the amendments are saying they will use their powers to halt consideration of the bill in the event amendments from Corker, Paul and Lee receive votes.

Corker's amendment would require congressional approval for tariffs, while Paul and Lee have proposed similar amendments prohibiting indefinite detention of enemy combatants. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have said they will halt the bill if the indefinite detention amendments receive votes.

Inhofe pointed out that he and his Democratic counterpart Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) have no disagreements on the process and are ready to continue with a package of 45 amendments that have been approved for votes.

"There's nothing that we can do except get them together to decide," Inhofe said. "That's where we are."