Jim Inhofe facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Official portrait, 2018
|United States Senator
November 16, 1994
Serving with James Lankford
|Preceded by||David Boren|
|Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee|
February 3, 2021
|Preceded by||Jack Reed|
|Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee|
September 6, 2018 – February 3, 2021
|Preceded by||John McCain|
|Succeeded by||Jack Reed|
|Chair of the Senate Environment Committee|
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Barbara Boxer|
|Succeeded by||John Barrasso|
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Jim Jeffords|
|Succeeded by||Barbara Boxer|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 1st district
January 3, 1987 – November 15, 1994
|Preceded by||James R. Jones|
|Succeeded by||Steve Largent|
|32nd Mayor of Tulsa|
May 9, 1978 – May 8, 1984
|Preceded by||Robert LaFortune|
|Succeeded by||Terry Young|
|Member of the Oklahoma Senate
from the 35th district
January 7, 1969 – January 4, 1977
|Preceded by||L. Beauchamp Selman|
|Succeeded by||Warren Green|
|Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
from the 70th district
January 7, 1967 – January 7, 1969
|Preceded by||Joseph McGraw|
|Succeeded by||Richard Hancock|
James Mountain Inhofe
November 17, 1934
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||University of Tulsa (BA)|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1956–1958|
James Mountain Inhofe (// INN-hoff; born November 17, 1934) is an American politician serving as the senior United States senator from Oklahoma, a seat he was first elected to in 1994. A member of the Republican Party, he chaired the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) from 2003 to 2007 and again from 2015 to 2017. Inhofe served as the U.S. representative for OK's 1st congressional district from 1987 to 1994 and as mayor of Tulsa from 1978 to 1984.
Inhofe is known for his rejection of climate science. He has supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and has proposed the Inhofe Amendment to make English the national language of the United States.
Inhofe served as acting chairman of the Armed Services Committee while John McCain fought cancer in 2018. After McCain's death, he became chairman. Since February 2021, he has served as Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
On July 15, 2021, Inhofe told Tulsa World he planned to retire at the end of his current term, in 2027. In February 2022, The New York Times reported that Inhofe was planning to resign at the end of the 117th United States Congress.
- Early life, education, and business career
- U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. Senate
- Ideology and opinions
- Environmental issues
- Personal life
- Electoral history
- See also
Early life, education, and business career
Inhofe was born in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Blanche (née Mountain) and Perry Dyson Inhofe. He moved with his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a child. He was a member of the Class of 1953 at Tulsa Central High School, and served in the United States Army from 1957 to 1958. Inhofe received a B.A. in economics from the University of Tulsa in 1973. Until his 1994 campaign for the U.S. Senate, Inhofe's official biographies and news articles about him indicated that he had graduated in 1959. Inhofe initially denied the stories that uncovered the discrepancy, but later acknowledged them. After admitting that the stories were true, Inhofe explained that he had been allowed to take part in graduation ceremonies in 1959 though he was a few credits short of completing his degree, and did not finish his coursework until 1973.
Inhofe worked as a businessman for 30 years. He worked in aviation, as a real estate developer, and in insurance, eventually becoming the president of Quaker Life Insurance Company. During his curatorship, the company went into receivership; it was liquidated in 1986.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1986, when Representative Jones decided to retire to run for the U.S. Senate, Inhofe ran for the 1st District and won the Republican primary with 54%. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Gary Allison 55%–43%. In 1988 he won reelection against Democrat Kurt Glassco, Governor George Nigh's legal counsel, 53%–47%. In 1990 he defeated Glassco again, 56%–44%. After redistricting, the 1st District contained only two counties, all of Tulsa and some parts of Wagoner. In 1992 Inhofe was reelected with 53% of the vote.
In 1987 Inhofe voted against President Ronald Reagan's budget, which included tax increases and no increase in defense spending.
He first came to national attention in 1993, when he led the effort to reform the House's discharge petition rule, which the House leadership had long used to bottle up bills in committee.
In 1994, incumbent Senator David Boren, who had been serving in the Senate since 1979, agreed to become president of the University of Oklahoma and announced he would resign as soon as a successor was elected. Inhofe was elected Boren's successor in an election cycle that saw the Republican Party take both houses of Congress and the Oklahoma governorship (the latter for only the third time in state history). Inhofe took office on November 16, giving him more seniority than the incoming class of senators. After serving the last two years of Boren's term, he won his first full term in 1996. He was reelected in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020.
Inhofe does not plan to seek reelection in 2026, and was reported to be planning retirement by the end of the 117th Congress. His retirement triggered a 2022 special election.
In the 2008 election cycle, Inhofe's largest campaign donors represented the oil and gas ($446,900 in donations), leadership PACs ($316,720) and electric utilities ($221,654) industries/categories. In 2010, his largest donors represented the oil and gas ($429,950) and electric ($206,654) utilities.
The primary PACs donating to his campaigns were Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association ($55,869), United Parcel Service ($51,850), National Association of Realtors ($51,700), National Rifle Association ($51,050) and American Medical Association ($51,000). Additionally, if company-sponsored PACs were combined with employee contributions, Koch Industries would be Inhofe's largest contributor, with $90,950 according to OpenSecrets.[undue weight? ]
- Armed Services Committee
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Inhofe was among the panelists questioning witnesses about the 2004 Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, saying he was "outraged by the outrage" over the revelations of abuse. Although he believed that the individuals responsible for mistreating prisoners should be punished, he said that the prisoners "are not there for traffic violations ... they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents". In 2006, Inhofe was one of only nine senators to vote against the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which prohibits "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of individuals in U.S. Government custody.
When chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain was absent seeking medical treatment for brain cancer from December 2017, Inhofe became acting chairman of the committee. During this time, Inhofe helped secure the passage of the record $716 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. McCain died in August 2018, and Inhofe lauded him as his "hero". Inhofe also said that McCain was "partially to blame for" the White House's controversial decision to raise flags back to full mast after less than two days, as McCain previously "disagreed with the President in certain areas and wasn't too courteous about it".
On March 6, 2019, Inhofe said he intends to put language in the next defense authorization act to reinforce Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement and reintroduce severe sanctions on Tehran.
Inhofe, as of the 115th Congress, is a member of the following committees:
- Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Airland
- Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
- Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- International Conservation Caucus
- Senate Army Caucus
- Senate Diabetes Caucus
- Senate General Aviation Caucus
- Senate Rural Health Caucus
- Senate Tourism Caucus
- Sportsmen's Caucus
Ideology and opinions
Inhofe was ranked the most conservative member of Congress on the 2017 GovTrack report card. He received the same ranking for 2018. For 2019, he was ranked as the fifth-most conservative member of the U.S. Senate with a score of 0.91 out of 1, behind Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Early years; 2003 Chair of Environment and Public Works committee
In December 1997, Inhofe argued that the Kyoto Protocol was a "political, economic, and national security fiasco."
Before the Republicans regained control of the Senate in the November 2002 elections, Inhofe had compared the United States Environmental Protection Agency to a Gestapo bureaucracy, and EPA Administrator Carol Browner to a Tokyo Rose, i.e. an English-speaking spreader of Japanese propaganda during World War II. In January 2003, he became Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and continued challenging mainstream science in favor of what he called "sound science", in accordance with the Luntz memo.
Climate change denial
Since 2003, when he was first elected Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Inhofe has been the foremost Republican promoting climate change denial. He famously claimed in the Senate that global warming is a hoax, invited contrarians to testify in Committee hearings, and spread his views via the Committee website run by Marc Morano as well as through his access to conservative media. In 2012, Inhofe's The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future was published by WorldNetDaily Books, presenting his global warming conspiracy theory. He has said that, because "God's still up there", the "arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous", but also that he appreciates that this argument is unpersuasive, and that he has "never pointed to Scriptures in a debate, because I know this would discredit me."
As Environment and Public Works chairman, Inhofe gave a two-hour Senate floor speech on July 28, 2003, in the context of discussions on the McCain-Lieberman Bill. He said he was "going to expose the most powerful, most highly financed lobby in Washington, the far left environmental extremists", and laid out in detail his opposition to attribution of recent climate change to humans, using the word "hoax" four times, including the statement that he had "offered compelling evidence that catastrophic global warming is a hoax" and his conclusion that "manmade global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people". He supported what he called "sound science", citing contrarian scientists such as Patrick Michaels, Fred Singer, Richard Lindzen and Sallie Baliunas as well as some mainstream scientists. Two of these, Tom Wigley and Stephen Schneider, later issued statements that Inhofe had misrepresented their work.
On July 29, the day after his Senate speech, Inhofe chaired an Environment and Public Works hearing with contrarian views represented by Baliunas and David Legates, and praised their "1,000-year climate study", then involved in the Soon and Baliunas controversy, as "a powerful new work of science". Against them, Michael E. Mann defended mainstream science and specifically his work on reconstructions (the hockey stick graph) that they and the Bush administration disputed. During the hearing Senator Jim Jeffords read out an email from Hans von Storch saying he had resigned as editor-in-chief of the journal that published the Soon and Baliunas paper, as the peer review had "failed to detect significant methodological flaws in the paper" and the critique by Mann and colleagues was valid.
In a continuation of these themes, Inhofe had a 20-page brochure published under the Seal of the United States Senate reiterating his "hoax" statement and comparing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to a "Soviet style trial". In a section headed "The IPCC Plays Hockey" he attacked what he called "Mann's flawed, limited research." The brochure restated themes from Inhofe's Senate speech, and in December 2003 he distributed copies of it in Milan at a meeting about the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where he met "green activists" with posters quoting him as saying that global warming "is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people". He signed a poster for them, and thanked them for quoting him correctly. In an October 2004 Senate speech he said, "Global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. It was true when I said it before, and it remains true today. Perhaps what has made this hoax so effective is that we hear over and over that the science is settled and there is a consensus that, unless we fundamentally change our way of life by limiting greenhouse gas emissions, we will cause catastrophic global warming. This is simply a false statement." In January 2005 Inhofe told Bloomberg News that global warming was "the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state", and that carbon dioxide would not be restricted by the Clear Skies Act of 2003. In a Senate Floor "update", he extended his argument against Mann's work by extensively citing Michael Crichton's fictional thriller State of Fear, mistakenly describing Crichton as a "scientist". On August 28, 2005, at Inhofe's invitation, Crichton appeared as an expert witness at a hearing on climate change, disputing Mann's work.
In his 2006 book The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney wrote that Inhofe "politicizes and misuses the science of climate change".
During the 2006 North American heat wave, Inhofe said that the environmentalist movement reminded him of "the Third Reich, the Big Lie": "You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that's their strategy." In a September 2006 Senate speech Inhofe argued that the threat of global warming was exaggerated by "the media, Hollywood elites and our pop culture". He said that in the 1960s the media had switched from warning of global warming to warning of global cooling and a coming ice age, then in the 1970s had returned to warming to promote "climate change fears". In February 2007 he told Fox News that mainstream science increasingly attributed climate change to natural causes, and only "those individuals on the far left, such as Hollywood liberals and the United Nations", disagreed.
In 2006 Inhofe introduced Senate Amendment 4682 with Kit Bond (R-MO), which would have modified oversight responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers. The League of Conservation Voters, an environmentalist group, said analyses for corps projects "have been manipulated to favor large-scale projects that harm the environment." During the 109th Congress Inhofe voted to increase offshore oil drilling, to include provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the House Budget Amendment, and to deny funding for both low-income energy assistance and environmental stewardship, citing heavy costs and unproven programs.
In May 2009 Inhofe gave support to the idea that black carbon is a significant contributor to global warming.
Inhofe has received money from the fossil fuel industry. For example: "Exxon's beneficiaries in Congress include the Oklahoma senator Jim Inhofe, who called global warming a hoax, and who has received $20,500 since 2007, according to the Dirty Energy Money database maintained by Oil Change International."
Global warming temperatures
In July 2010 Inhofe said, "I don't think that anyone disagrees with the fact that we actually are in a cold period that started about nine years ago. Now, that's not me talking, those are the scientists that say that." The Union of Concerned Scientists said that Inhofe was wrong, pointing to a NOAA report indicating that the summer of 2010 had so far been the hottest on record since 1880. Inhofe added, "People on the other side of this argument back in January, they said, 'Inhofe, it has nothing to do with today's or this month or next month. We're looking at a long period of time. We go into twenty year periods.'"
During a House committee hearing in 2011, Inhofe testified, "I have to admit—and, you know, confession is good for the soul ... I, too, once thought that catastrophic global warming was caused by anthropogenic gases—because everyone said it was." Under questioning from committee member Jay Inslee, Inhofe dismissed the notion that he was less knowledgeable than climate scientists, saying that he'd already given "five speeches on the science."
2015: Chair of Environment and Public Works committee
On January 21, 2015, Inhofe returned to chairing the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works as part of a new Republican majority in the Senate. In response to NOAA and NASA reports that 2014 had been the warmest year globally in the temperature record, he said, "we had the coldest in the western hemisphere in the same time frame", and attributed changes to a 30-year cycle, not human activities. In a debate on the same day about a bill for the Keystone XL pipeline, Inhofe endorsed an amendment proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, "Climate change is real and not a hoax", which passed 98–1. Inhofe clarified his view that "Climate is changing and climate has always changed and always will. There is archaeological evidence of that, there is biblical evidence of that, there is historical evidence of that", but added, "there are some people who are so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change climate."
On February 26, 2015, Inhofe brought a snowball to the Senate floor and tossed it before delivering remarks in which he said that environmentalists keep talking about global warming even though it keeps getting cold.
On March 19, 2015, Inhofe introduced S.828, "The Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands (FRESH) Act." The bill would transfer regulatory power over hydraulic fracturing from the federal government to state governments. In his announcement of the bill, Inhofe said that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated ground water in Oklahoma. The U.S. senators from seven states (Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Dakota and Texas) cosponsored the bill.
Inhofe co-authored and was one of 22 senators to sign a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. According to OpenSecrets, Inhofe has received over $529,000 from the oil and gas industry since 2012.
In 1959, Inhofe married Kay Kirkpatrick, with whom he has four children.
Inhofe is a private pilot and flies a Van's Aircraft RV-8 he built in 2002. He has attended the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh gathering over 40 times; in 2021, he said, "I've slept in the same tent for 20 years. If you're not sleeping in a tent, it's not like being at Oshkosh."
On November 10, 2013, Inhofe's son, Perry Inhofe, died in a plane crash in Owasso, Oklahoma, flying alone for the first time since training in a newly acquired Mitsubishi MU-2.
Inhofe was the first recipient of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Character and Leadership Award for his character and leadership in public service.
|Republican||Denzil D. Garrison||62,188||41.24|
|independent (politician)||Jim Primdahl, Jr.||2,412||3.14|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||43,463||59.29|
|independent (politician)||Robert T. Murphy||2,668||3.64|
|Democratic||Gary D. Allison||61,663||42.81|
|independent (politician)||Carl E. McCullough, Jr.||3,455||2.40|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||103,458||52.63|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||75,618||55.96|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||36,354||67.71|
|Republican||Richard L. Bunn||17,339||32.29|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||119,211||52.79|
|independent (politician)||Danny Corn||47,552||4.84|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||116,241||75.34|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||670,610||56.68|
|independent (politician)||Bill Maguire||15,092||1.28|
|Libertarian||Agnes Marie Regier||14,595||1.23|
|independent (politician)||Chris Nedbalek||8,691||0.73|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||583,579||57.30|
|independent (politician)||James Germalic||65,056||6.39|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||116,371||84.18|
|Republican||Evelyn L. Rogers||10,770||7.79|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||763,375||56.68|
|independent (politician)||Stephen P. Wallace||55,708||4.14|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||231,291||87.68|
|Republican||Erick Paul Wyatt||11,713||4.44|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||558,166||68.01|
|independent (politician)||Joan Farr||10,554||1.29|
|independent (politician)||Ray Woods||9,913||1.21|
|independent (politician)||Aaron DeLozier||7,793||0.95|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||277,868||74.05|
|Republican||Jim Inhofe (incumbent)||979,140||62.91|
|independent (politician)||Joan Farr||21,652||1.39|
|independent (politician)||J.D. Nesbit||11,371||0.73|
In Spanish: Jim Inhofe para niños
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