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Reed and Wicker Pay Tribute to Former SASC Chairman Jim Inhofe

Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued statements on the passing of former U.S. Senator and SASC Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-OK).

Senator Reed paid tribute to Senator Inhofe today, stating:

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and former colleague, Senator Jim Inhofe. I had the privilege to serve alongside Jim for more than 20 years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, in turn each of us serving as Chairman and Ranking Member. His principled leadership, compassion, and humility continue to leave a lasting impact.

“Together, we produced nearly two dozen bipartisan National Defense Authorization Acts, traveled to combat zones and military posts around the world, and worked to support our men and women in uniform. We both had the privilege to serve in the Army, and I know Jim carried out his deep sense of responsibility to our troops in the Senate each day.

“Jim always placed Oklahomans first and represented them with unwavering honesty and integrity. Oklahoma and the American military are stronger and the United States is safer because of Jim’s service.

“More than anything, Jim was a family man. My thoughts are with his wife, Kay, and their children and grandchildren. We are grateful for his life of service, selflessness, and leadership.”

Senator Wicker also paid tribute to Senator Inhofe in a speech on the Senate floor, which included the following:

“Let me just say a word or two about my friend and colleague of 30 years, Jim Inhofe.

“As a young man – as a young family man – Jim Inhofe quickly learned how to build a business and create jobs, and he did so successfully. Only a few years later as a municipal leader, he found out how to build consensus. And he took that knowledge with him to Capitol Hill as a member of the House of Representatives and then as our colleague here in the United States Senate. And Jim Inhofe demonstrated that he continued to know how to build consensus and get things done for his fellow Oklahomans, as well as for his fellow Americans.

“…Jim Inhofe was an accomplished pilot. He flew solo around the world at age 56. As a Member of Congress, he was known as a straight shooter who was not afraid to challenge the conventional wisdom, as he did so on numerous occasions.

“Jim and his wife Kay were married for 64 years. Together, they had four children, and 12 grandchildren, one of whom they found, and adopted, and rescued during a trip to Africa. I would mention that Kay Inhofe has been a special friend and advisor to my wife, Gayle, for these decades.

“…I send my love and we in the Senate send our love and condolences to the entire family – and to the state he loved, Oklahoma.”