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Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford criticizes administration on energy, defends Republican budget

Freshman Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, is the second Oklahoma tapped in April to deliver weekly national GOP message.

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: May 1, 2011
/articleid/3563643/1/pictures/1406955">Photo - Rep. James Lankford
Rep. James Lankford
Already, we’ve seen how the investments we’re making in clean energy can lead to new jobs and new businesses.”

Lankford said ending certain tax breaks used by oil and gas producers would hurt consumers and threaten jobs.

“Republicans are focused on expanding all American energy production to help lower costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create millions of American jobs,” Lankford said.

The House will start next week with legislation to ease drilling restrictions on federal land, he said.

Budget addressed

In his comments, Lankford also addressed controversy over the House Republican budget plan to convert Medicare into a program that helps pay for private insurance. Lankford said Medicare was already “teetering at the brink of insolvency.”

“Let me be clear: The Republican plan would not affect current Medicare beneficiaries, or any American 55 or older,” Lankford said.

Democrats have criticized the plan, saying it would lead seniors in the future to pay far more for their health care costs.

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the increase in out-of-pocket costs would be considerable.

Lankford also referred to the upcoming vote on the nation’s debt limit, saying the American people wouldn’t tolerate an increase “unless it comes with meaningful steps to cut Washington spending and start working us out of debt.”

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