Oklahoma lawmakers respond to President Barack Obama's speech

Members of the state's all-Republican congressional delegation criticize the president for vowing to circumvent Congress and for not addressing national debt
by Chris Casteel Published: January 28, 2014

Members of Oklahoma's all-Republican congressional delegation responded Tuesday night to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa: “President Obama presented his hopes for 2014, one that will include him using a ‘pen and phone' to get work done. But these tactics are not new to President Obama. He used this strategy in 2013 when his administration issued thousands of pages of health care regulations and job-killing EPA regulations. This excessive power grab is all part of Obama's expanding government where power is increasingly in the hands of unelected bureaucrats instead of the American people.

“President Obama also talked around energy but will continue his war on coal, oil and gas. Sure, he mentioned natural gas — an abundant resource in my state of Oklahoma — but he will kill natural gas by killing hydraulic fracturing.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore: “Throughout his administration, the president has had difficulty working with Congress. ... As expected, new promises abounded tonight, but lofty ambitions don't pay for themselves. Our nation is currently suffering the weakest recovery since World War II, which should drive the president to keep the focus on healing the economy by offering regulatory relief, reforming entitlements and putting the country on fiscally firm footing — not imposing new spending or raising taxes.”

Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City: “I heard no constructive recommendations to Congress or the American people to reduce our debt, remove federal barriers to economic growth or strengthen our families. Oklahomans want to pick their own health care plans, and they want to keep their doctor. They want a thriving economy and safe communities. In a state that has driven the energy industry nationwide, we do not want to endlessly wait on a federal permit from Washington to lead us to energy independence. Oklahoma families want conservative solutions, not more sound bites.”

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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