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Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford pushes President Barack Obama to commit to balanced budget

In closed door meeting on Capitol Hill, Oklahoma City Republican gets the first question to the president and urges him to follow President Bill Clinton's lead in working toward a balanced budget
by Chris Casteel Published: March 14, 2013
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— Rep. James Lankford on Wednesday tried to get President Barack Obama to support the goal of balancing the budget in 10 years, but the president told him that it wouldn't benefit the economy, Lankford said.

At a closed-door meeting between House Republicans and the president on Capitol Hill, Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, also told Obama the Old Testament story of Isaiah's prophecy about King Hezekiah — that he had saved Jerusalem for his lifetime but it set it up for destruction later.

“That's my concern for where we're headed right now,” Lankford said he told the president and added that annual interest payments on the debt are expected to top $800 billion in 10 years.

Lankford, the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, asked the first question to Obama, and said in an interview later that he started out by noting that the president frequently campaigns against the House GOP. Better, Lankford said, would be to act on the matters where there's common ground.

“I'm just not going to do the things you want to do,” Lankford recalled the president saying. “You have to do some of the things I want to do. That's compromise.”

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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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