jim inhofe

Senators in Paris for Climate Conference Will Tell France, 'We Have Your Back'

Sen. Ben Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, organized a CODEL to the U.N.'s climate change conference. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Barring a scheduling meltdown, a delegation of Democratic senators will break from debates over the health care law, government spending and highway funding to fly to Paris for the U.N. climate change conference. Some of those who plan to make the trip said they're going not only to show support for the Obama administration's climate agenda, but to stand with France following terror attacks that killed 130 people last month.  

"I think it's also important that our government officials say to the French people that we have their back, that we are with them, that we'll give them the help they need even as they have just suffered this grievous loss which we feel deeply is a crime against all humanity," said Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. "It's an important message to send."  

EPA Rule in Senate Crosshairs

The Senate will soon consider a bill sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., which would overturn President Barack Obama's controversial WOTUS rule . (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Updated 2:30 p.m. | The Senate will consider legislation Tuesday overturning a piece of President Barack Obama's environmental agenda, but the votes may not be there for it to advance.  

The bill , sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso, would force the Obama administration to rewrite a rule from the summer updating federal pollution regulation of streams and wetlands, which has been panned by detractors as executive overreach. "The recently finalized rule on Waters of the U.S. is the poster child of [Environmental Protection Agency] overreach," the Wyoming Republican said in a statement. "Many of my colleagues, particularly those from rural states in both parties, have talked about their concern with the rule. This will be their chance to show their constituents that they are ready to do something about it."  

Inhofe to Democratic Francis Supporters: What About Abortion?

Inhofe says he sees hypocrisy in Democrats' excitement over Pope Francis' expected message. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. James M. Inhofe smells something fishy.  

Pope Francis is expected to advocate for issues such as immigration  and climate change in his address to Congress Thursday, much to the delight of most Democrats. But for all the excitement over issues they agree with, Inhofe said he hasn't noticed a Democratic rush to adopt some of the Catholic Church's other, more long-held, policies. Senate Democrats blocked a bill Tuesday banning abortions beyond 20 weeks and are likely to oppose a continuing resolution that diverts money from Planned Parenthood over an abortion-related controversy . And that has the Oklahoma Republican calling out hypocrisy.  

Senate Passes Long-Term Highway Bill, Short-Term Extension

Inhofe and Boxer conferred before an interview with CQ Roll Call about the highway bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:14 p.m. | The Senate passed its long-term highway bill (HR 22) shortly after noon Thursday, and then agreed to a House-passed three-month extension (HR 3236) before completing work for the day.  

The margin for final passage of the long-term bill was fairly healthy, 65-34. The House's patch was passed in overwhelming fashion: 91-4.  

Boxer, Inhofe Want to Avoid Highway Bill Trick or Treat

Boxer and Inhofe discussed the highway bill in the Environment and Public Works hearing room. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ask Sens. James M. Inhofe and Barbara Boxer about most issues, and they will disagree.  

But when it comes to building roads and bridges, the conservative Oklahoma Republican and liberal California Democrat are in lockstep. That was on full display during a rare joint interview Tuesday afternoon, as they encouraged the House to move quickly after the Senate on a six-year highway bill, rather than allow the expected three-month extension to turn into a punt right up to another deadline ahead of Halloween.  

With Votes to Advance, Inhofe Makes Highway Bill Sales Pitch to House

Inhofe is arguing that the Senate highway bill is a more conservative policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

   

With a series of obstacles being cleared late Monday, the Senate's on the road to passing a long-term highway bill, and one of the chamber's most conservative members is trying to make the case that his product will be more conservative than the House's stopgap approach.  

New Highway Bill Has Next Best Thing to Earmarks

Inhofe and Boxer joined to unveil their highway bill Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It may be tougher to grease the wheels for highway spending without earmarks, but the leaders of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee have come up with the next best thing.  

Under the proposal outlined Tuesday, the administration will have to get the committee's approval of a list of major transportation projects to be named later — a way for lawmakers to have some input on which bridges and highways get funded and which don't.  

The Oklahoma Guide to Getting Along

Derick Brock, right, from Mercy Chefs helps a man fold a flag he found in the debris after the May 2013 tornado. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150) OKLAHOMA CITY — This is a state that knows what it's like to recover from a disaster.  

From the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, to the destruction wreaked by two of the largest tornadoes ever recorded tearing through its suburbs, there has been a thread running through the tragedies: Oklahomans pull together .