Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) was elected by Republicans on the Senate Committee on Armed Services to serve as the new ranking member. The seat became open following Sen. John McCain’s (R., Ariz.) term limit.
Inhofe accepted the role offering his top five priorities:
1. Missile Defense and Nuclear Modernization: Ensure our nuclear programs are on track for modernization and that our missile defenses are adequate to secure the nation and our allies.
2. Acquisition Reform: Define program risks upfront and balance R&D and procurement funding; ensure accountability for programs; pursue contracting reforms, particularly small business set aside abuse.
3. Readiness and Capabilities: Establish oversight and accountability for new processes to allow the military services to efficiently manage their installations, force structure, and resources without risk of wasteful spending or a hollow force; identify and mitigate the risks to our national security and our military forces incurred by arbitrary defense budget cuts and force structure reductions that are not grounded in sound strategy addressing the full range of current threats; preserve comprehensive health benefits for all eligible DOD beneficiaries, including suicide prevention programs; ensure wounded warriors receive the best healthcare the nation can provide.
4. Strategy: Review DOD strategy and threat assessments, and conduct an independent review to ensure that our assets are adequately and appropriately deployed; address ongoing and future contingencies.
5. Efficiencies: Improve DOD efficiencies by clearing out non-essential and non-defense items from the Defense Budget to include R&D set asides and green initiatives that do not help our fighting capabilities; ensure a greater degree of accountability and transparency for DOD budgets through audits and financial management oversight.