Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford slams President Barack Obama's effort against human trafficking
President Barack Obama issues new order aimed at cracking down on the use of forced labor on U.S. contracts overseas, but U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, says his legislation is a better solution.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced new steps on Tuesday to crack down on the use of forced labor by overseas contractors working for the United States, but Rep. James Lankford accused the president of undermining work under way in Congress.
Obama issued an executive order that would establish new procedures for preventing forced labor from being used on contracts and subcontracts and for investigating potential abuses.
“In short, we're making clear that American tax dollars must never, ever be used to support the trafficking of human beings,” Obama said in a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. “We will have zero tolerance. We mean what we say. We will enforce it.”
Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, held subcommittee hearings on the problem of forced labor being used on U.S. contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, and he co-authored bipartisan legislation that has many of the same components as the president's order, including a requirement that contractors have a plan to comply with the anti-trafficking rules.
Lankford's legislation was made part of the 2013 defense bill that passed the House in May.
The Senate defense bill, which is pending, is expected to include similar language.
Although the president's order doesn't preclude future congressional action, Lankford said he was “saddened that the president plans to undermine months of our bipartisan, bicameral work by issuing a temporary executive order. This is a serious issue that requires legislative solutions and deliberate action, not just political hype.”
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 13851OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 13814Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 9624Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 7322Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 7022Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss
- 5771Soaring gasoline prices hurt Oklahoma City area retailers
- 5205Student shot dead during botched home invasion