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Inhofe, Lankford explain ‘no’ votes on relief bill

Oklahoma Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, both Republicans, voted against the coronavirus relief bill Saturday. Last week, all five U.S. House members from Oklahoma, all Republicans, opposed the House version of the bill.

“Congress came together five times over the past year in a bipartisan way to address the needs of Americans who have been affected by this health pandemic,” Lankford said. “There was no reason we couldn’t do that again except that Democrats wanted to load up this bill with non-COVID items. This $1.9 trillion bill funds several progressive projects that are not related to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides funding in many areas that won’t even be used this year.

“The best economic recovery is to get Oklahomans safely back to work using the funding still left unspent from December, not borrowing money from China and elsewhere.”

Inhofe said, “Under the Trump administration, Congress enacted $4 trillion in coronavirus relief. Unfortunately, with Democrats now in control, a partisan bill was written that claims to be for pandemic relief, but very little of it would actually go to address the pandemic and much of the money designated wouldn’t be spent for years.

“We need to come together to prioritize relief for small businesses, reopening schools and addressing public health needs. I am sad to see that is not the case with this legislation.”