James Inhofe

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U.S. Senator

James Inhofe




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the OK-Senate Class II Seat:
(Next election: 2 November 2010)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the OK-Senate Class II Seat)
On the Web
Official website

James Mountain Inhofe, usually known as Jim Inhofe, has been a Republican Senator for Oklahoma since winning a special election in 1994.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.


James M. Inhofe has voted in favor of big oil companies on 100% of important oil-related bills from 2005-2007, according to Oil Change International. These bills include Iraq war funding, climate change studies, clean energy, and emissions.[1] See below for oil money in politics.

Iraq War

Inhofe voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.

March 20, 2003, on the Senate floor, Inhofe stated one of his justifying causes for War Upon Iraq:

"This is not a war on Iraq, it is a liberation of the Iraqi people who have been oppressed and tortured for decades.
A lot of people do not think of Saddam Hussein as a terrorist, but if you measure the severity of terrorism by the number of people someone has tortured or murdered, certainly no one can hold a candle to Saddam Hussein." [1]

On October 5, 2005, Inhofe was one of nine Senators who voted against Senator John McCain's anti-torture amendment to the FY 2006 Department of Defense Budget Legislation. When asked by the Washinton Post about his rationale for this opposition, Inhofe replied,

"From my first statement in the Senate Armed Services Committee in May of last year, I have made it clear that we are spending far too much of our time and effort on the prisoner abuse issue and not enough time on the quality of our interrogations. ...The military justice system was well into its investigations before the public was even aware of the issue. It is my feeling that the more we air this issue publicly, the more we are emboldening the terrorists. The more we talk about our methods of interrogation we must remember that the enemy is listening." [2]

After General Antonio M. Taguba had entered the non classified portion of his Abu Ghraib Report into the Senate Record Inhofe's first response that day was:

"as I watch this outrage -- this outrage everyone seems to have about the treatment of these prisoners -- I have to say, and I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment."[3] Inhofe continued, "...you know, they're not there for traffic violations. If they're in cell block 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands."

Inhofe further stated that these detainees should be grateful to be in the hands of American abusers, rather than Hussein's torturers: "I would guess that these prisoners wake up every morning thanking Allah that Saddam Hussein is not in charge of these prisoners. When he was in charge they would take electric drills and drill holes through hands, they would cut their tongues out, they would cut their ears off."

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Climate change

Inhofe has a history of opposing environmental groups and global warming initiatives. There are several transcripts of Inhofe speeches on the Senate floor regarding this, offered as documents by his official website:

On April 28, 2004, Inhofe was honored for his "work in promoting science-based public policy" [4] by the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, a think tank that disputes the scientific consensus on the causes and magnitude of global warming. (The think tank has received $658,575 from ExxonMobil since 1998). [5]

Asked in writing in 2004 by journalist Chris Mooney whether Inhofe agrees that he's at odds with the scientific mainstream, his committee staff retorted, "How do you define 'mainstream'? Scientists who accept the so-called 'consensus' about global warming? Galileo was not mainstream." [6]

On September 28, 2005, The Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works held a hearing titled "The Role of Science in Environmental Policy-Making". Inhofe, the committee's chairman opened the hearing stating that: "Today's hearing will focus on one of the three objectives I set out when I assumed the Chairmanship of the Committee – to ensure that regulatory decisions are based on sound science.Too often the environmental policy decisions made by EPA and other science-based agencies are driven by political or personal agendas. You see this in types of research that gets funded or the types of grants that get awarded. It is my hope this hearing will help shed some light on how science is used by policy-makers and that we can arrive at some concrete suggestions for making the process better." [7]

In 2003, the Natural Resources Defense Council noted that Inhofe "scored zero with the League of Conservation Voters since 1997, was the only senator to oppose Everglades restoration, and once compared the Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo." [8]

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act became law on November 27, 2006 upon receiving President Bush’s signature. Its stated purpose is “to provide the Department of Justice the necessary authority to apprehend, prosecute, and convict individuals committing animal enterprise terror.” Originally introduced by Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on September 8, 2006, the bill ultimately passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and a voice vote in the House.

Main article: Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act


Inhofe was born November 17, 1934 in Des Moines, Iowa and moved with his family to Tulsa when he was a child. He served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1956 (though some sources claim he served from 1957 to 1958) never rising above private and never leaving American shores. [9]

Several years later he became president of the Quaker Life Insurance Company. He became active in Republican politics in the mid-1960s. He was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1967 to 1969, and a member of the Oklahoma Senate from 1969 until 1977, the last four of those years as minority leader. (He gained a degree in economics while serving as an Oklahoma State Senator.) [10] During his tenure there Inhofe ran twice for election to other positions: for Governor of Oklahoma in 1974, losing to Democrat David L. Boren, and in 1976 losing a race to represent Oklahoma's First Congressional District (which was based in Tulsa) to incumbent Democrat James R. Jones.

Inhofe's political career was revived in 1978 when he was elected mayor of Tulsa, a position he held until 1984. In 1986, he made another bid for the First District after Jones retired. This time he won, and he served there from 1987 until 1994, being handily reelected every two years in what rapidly became a strongly Republican district. He first came to national attention in 1993, when he led the effort to reform the House's "discharge provision" rule, which the House leadership had long used to bottle up bills in committee.

In 1994, Boren, who had been serving in the Senate since 1979, was elected president of the University of Oklahoma and announced he would resign as soon as a successor was elected. Inhofe won the Republican nomination for the special election that November, and swept to victory amid a strong Republican tide that saw the Republicans take both houses of Congress, as well as elect a Republican to the governorship for only the second time ever. He took office on November 17 to serve the last two years of Boren's term and won the seat in his own right in 1996. He was handily reelected in 2002.

Inhofe outraged federal employees on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by stating on National television that there probably weren't very many casualties because federal employees wouldn't be at their desks at 9:00 instead they would be off having coffee somewhere. AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) responded that maybe that was how Inhofe ran his office....

Inhofe is one of the most conservative members of either house of Congress; among other political stances, he strongly opposes abortion and is a critic of gay rights. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, he was among the panelists questioning witnesses about the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. There he made news by claiming he was "outraged by the outrage" over the revelations of abuse, suggesting that shock at the crimes was more offensive than the crimes themselves. He has also criticized the Red Cross as a "bleeding heart." Against the wishes of the Bush administration, the Pentagon, and the American Petroleum Institute, Inhofe has persistently blocked American ratification of the international Convention on the Law of the Sea, claiming that the treaty would infringe on American sovereignty.

He is also known for being an ardent supporter of Israel. In March 2002, he made a speech before the U.S. Senate which included the explicit suggestion that the 9/11 attacks were a form of divine retribution against the U.S. for failing to defend Israel. In his words: "One of the reasons I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America is that the policy of our Government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them." [11]

Inhofe was one of the most vocal opponents to the withdrawal of the Navy from the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. The island had been used as a live fire training facility despite the opposition of local citizens and environmentalists. After the Navy-Vieques protests, President George W. Bush agreed that the Navy would withdraw as it was the wish of the American citizens of Puerto Rico. Reference: [12]

Inhofe has been labeled as an anti-environmentalist for his views on environmental change. In 2003, he called "catastrophic global warming" a "hoax" and stated that "natural variability, not fossil fuel emissions, is the overwhelming factor influencing climate change" - an assertion allegedly supported by more than 17,000 scientists who are signatories to the Oregon Petition. Inhofe also states that, "satellite data, confirmed by NOAA balloon measurements, confirms that no meaningful warming has occurred over the last century" and claimed that his conclusion was supported by the "painstaking work of the nation's top climate scientists." [13].

Inhofe, citing the numerous uncertainties related to climate science and the adverse impact that mandatory emissions reductions would have on the U.S. economy, voted on June 22, 2005 to reject an amendment to an energy bill that would have forced reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases and created a mandatory emissions trading scheme. "Global warming is still considered to be a theory and has not come close to being sufficiently proven," he said.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Devon Energy$ 24,150
Boeing Co$ 22,600
Murray Energy$ 20,500
General Dynamics$ 19,000
Honeywell International$ 18,000
Robison International$ 15,300
Berkshire Hathaway$ 15,250
Koch Industries$ 15,200
Union Pacific Corp$ 15,000
Bancfirst$ 13,200
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' www.OpenSecrets.org site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for James Inhofe
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Oil and Coal Money in Politics

James M. Inhofe has accepted $311,800 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $160,800 of those dollars were from industry PACS. In total, Inhofe has received $662,506 from oil companies since from 2000 to 2008, which makes him a top recipient of oil money. In addition to oil, Inhofe has received $152,800 in coal contributions during the 110th Congress. $94,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS. See above for oil and energy voting record.[2]

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on James Inhofe. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 205 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-4721 Fax: 202-228-0380
    Webform email
District offices
  • 302 North Independence, Suite 104, Enid, OK 73701
    Ph: 580-234-5105 Fax: (none entered)
  • 215 East Choctaw, Suite 106, McAlester, OK 74501
    Ph: 918-426-0933 Fax: (none entered)
  • 1900 Northwest Expressway, Suite 1210, Oklahoma City, OK 73118
    Ph: 405-608-4381 Fax: (none entered)
  • 1924 South Utica Avenue, Suite 530, Tulsa, OK 74104-6511
    Ph: 918-748-5111 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.


James Inhofe posts on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jiminhofe/

Latest posts:

See all the members of Congress who Twitter

Articles and Resources


  1. Vote Tracker, Oil Change International.
  2. See "Follow the Oil Money," "Follow the Coal Money," and vote tracker from Oil Change International and Appalachian Voices.


Local blogs and discussion sites


Semantic data (Edit data)