Several Oklahoma politicians are voicing their opinions following the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued a video response to President Obama's State of the Union Address, criticizing the president for clinging to failed policies. Fallin said that Oklahoma, unlike Washington, had benefited from pursuing free market solutions, lower taxes and fiscally responsible governance.
Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) made the following statement after the President's State of the Union address.
"The President confirmed tonight that his bipartisan talking points are hollow. His willingness to circumvent Congress, the clear representation of the American people and American values, shows his agenda of hope and change is just rhetoric. Threatening ultimatums for if and when Congress doesn't act contradicts our founding principles. Forcing an executive agenda, without constructive conversation, creates a divided nation. Let's sit down with our nation's best interests in mind and come to bipartisan solutions that put America back in business."
Representative James Lankford (R-OK) lamented the President's continued reliance on political rhetoric. The President once again used the formal State of the Union address as another campaign speech.
"The State of the Union did not answer the real questions the American people want to know: why have their wages continued to drag and economic growth seemed so slow," said Lankford. "People want jobs and opportunity, not federal mandates, government programs and rhetoric. Parents dream that their children will have a better future, not a better place in line at a government agency."
"As the owner of small businesses in northeast Oklahoma City, this Administration's regulations—from the healthcare law to Dodd Frank's banking regulations—continue to add burden after burden on me and other local business owners serving our communities," said Lankford's State of the Union Guest, Russell Perry, a local Oklahoma City community bank owner and owner of the Black Chronicle newspaper and over two dozen radio stations across the nation. "As the owner of a community bank, Dodd Frank's regulations have made it nearly impossible to operate. Big banks should have one policy, and small banks should have another to ensure we promote a fair and secure system that works for citizens throughout our state. As we move forward in 2014 and beyond, the President must work with Congress to foster an environment from Washington that promotes hometown economic mobility and job creation for our nation's small businesses—the engine of our economy."
"The constitutional purpose of the State of the Union is for Congress to hear—from time to time—the recommendations from the President that he deems ‘necessary and expedient,'" observed Lankford "Instead, I heard a political stump speech for the fourth year in a row. 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 healthcare 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 nation-wide, 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. We do not need a complex bureaucratic structure to live the American dream; we simply need the federal government to do its limited role and get out of the way.
Congressman Frank Lucas issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's sixth State of the Union address.
"Once again, President Obama focused his State of the Union address on the nation's sluggish economy and unemployment problems," said Lucas. "He made these same issues the focal point in previous speeches; however, Americans have yet to see him produce a plan that puts the jobless back to work and boosts the economy. This time, I hope the president will actually fulfill the promises he made to the American people in his speech tonight.
"In order for the president to move forward and create economic certainty, he must make reducing government spending his top priority. Our national debt stands at an outstanding $17.3 trillion and is increasing at an average of $2.5 billion per day. Since the president took office in 2009, the debt has increased by more than $6 trillion, and Americans have continuously expressed their concerns with the country's out of control spending. The president must realize the federal government has a spending problem, and he must work with Congress to make significant cuts to help address the U.S. debt crises.
"In addition, the president must quit ignoring the many opportunities we have to create jobs in America. For instance, he has failed to approve of the northern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which has the potential to produce tens of thousands of jobs in our country. In the House, we have voted seven separate times to move forward with construction; however, the president and Senate have refused to act on this shovel-ready project. We have also passed dozens of other jobs bills in the House that the Senate has failed to consider. We remain ready to work with the president and Senate colleagues to find middle ground and pass legislation that will kick-start jobs in the U.S.
"The president has stated that he wants to make this a ‘year of action,' however, he must realize using executive action and bypassing Congress is not the way to make this a reality. It is crucial that he works with us to find ways to create certainty for Americans and get our economy back on the right path. As the Congressman representing Oklahoma's Third Congressional District, I look forward to working with the president and leaders of Congress to help accomplish these important goals."
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), released a video response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union address.
"At tonight's State of the Union, Oklahoma was proudly represented by Gary Bird, the Fire Chief for Moore, Oklahoma, who was seated with the First Lady. Bird has faithfully served Oklahomans as a firefighter since 1981, and led us through a difficult, deadly tornado season this past May. Bird and his fellow first responders are Oklahoma's true heroes.
Tonight, 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 healthcare 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 made clear tonight he plans for more of the same this year and will continue to bypass Congress. Americans will see this play out with his Climate Action Plan he unveiled last summer. Through this plan, he will aim to curb greenhouse gas emissions at the cost of economic growth and job creation – a plan similar to Cap-and-Trade. It would have been the largest tax hike in history but it was soundly rejected by the House and the Senate. Now the President is planning to bypass Congress and do through regulations what he could not do through legislation. This is why I will be introducing a bill in the coming weeks that will require President Obama's EPA to be held accountable for their rule making.
Tonight, President Obama also outlined a few ways he believes he can work with Congress this year, one of those being on the transportation bill. After five years of neglecting it, beginning with the $800 billion stimulus that did nothing for transportation, why should we believe him now?
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.
I was troubled that President Obama failed to adequately address the national security crisis currently before us. In his first four years, he cut $487 billion out of our military and is pursuing more cuts now through sequestration. He is disarming America by starving our military. Gen. Dempsey told my committee early last year that our military is being put on a path where the "force is so degrading and so unready" that it could be "immoral to use the force." That's from Gen. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
This should be alarming, because in 2014, the United States has faced news that Al-Qaeda now has the largest presence in the Middle East and Africa than ever before. We have also learned that Iran has no intentions to dismantle its nuclear program. In the meantime, President Obama is relaxing Iran sanctions at a time when public intelligence predicts Iran will have the means to build and launch a nuclear weapon that could hit the United States by 2015—only a year away. Furthermore, the President's failure to present a strategy for the Middle East has allowed Iran and Russia to fill the vacuum in handling rampant terrorism and violent oppression. This threatens our national security and also that of our allies like Israel. Tonight he said nothing to change his defense behavior.
I urge the President to finally truly come to the bargaining table – for the sake of supporting our men and women in uniform, for the sake of achieving energy independence, and for the sake of fulfilling a campaign promise of transparency in a federal government rot with overregulation.
But we didn't hear that tonight."
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