NOW: GOP Senator Dead

( – In a notable loss for Republicans, former US Senator James Inhofe, a prominent conservative voice and the longest-serving congressman in Oklahoma’s history, has passed away at the age of 89.

Inhofe represented Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate for 28 years after his election in 1994, where he served as chairman of both the Senate Armed Services and Senate Environment Committees.

Prior to his tenure in the Senate, Inhofe held the position of mayor of Tulsa, served in both chambers of the Oklahoma state legislature, and was a U.S. House representative for eight years.

Inhofe was recognized as a staunch conservative within the Senate and a proponent of increased defense spending, National Review notes in a report.

As an Army veteran, he expressed concern over the growing military threat posed by China and advocated for the advancement of U.S. military technologies in recent years.

He also demonstrated a willingness to collaborate with colleagues from different political affiliations.

Notably, Inhofe forged relationships with Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island— the current chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — and former California Senator Barbara Boxer.

Inhofe also prioritized the enhancement of American infrastructure, focusing on transportation and water resources.

He collaborated with Boxer on numerous infrastructure initiatives, although he opposed the 2021 infrastructure package passed by Congress, describing it as a “grab bag of bad policy decisions.”

Inhofe, one of the few congressmen with a pilot’s license, often piloted his own aircraft to attend events and meet constituents across Oklahoma.

“He tried to ensure that his constituents knew he was working on their behalf, often traversing Oklahoma in a small plane on weekends and during congressional recesses to meet with them,” said Ed Kelley, who covered Inhofe for The Oklahoman.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lauded Inhofe’s contributions.

“The people he served, a group much larger than the proud residents of the Sooner State, were better for it,” McConnell stated.

“Jim’s diligent stewardship of massive infrastructure projects transformed life across the Heartland. His relentless advocacy for American energy dominance unlocked new prosperity across the country. And his laser focus on growing and modernizing the US military strengthened the security of the entire free world,” he added.

Inhofe’s stance on climate change was highlighted in a notable incident in February 2015 when he presented a snowball on the Senate floor to argue against the human impact on climate change.

“I ask the chair, do you know what this is? It’s a snowball from outside here, so it’s very, very cold out,” Inhofe inquired as he held the snowball.

He then tossed the snowball, saying, “Mr. President, catch this.”

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