Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) issued the following statement after President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address this evening:
“Tonight the president laid out his vision for the remaining two years of his presidency. Americans are eager to see the president work with – not around – Congress, and the new Republican majority in both the House and the Senate is prepared to find areas where we can come together with the president.
“We are only two weeks into the 114th Congress and so far we have worked aggressively to introduce commonsense, conservative legislation to get our country back on track. Many of these measures are aimed at making it easier for small businesses to hire new employees by rolling back inefficient regulations that hurt economic growth.
“For instance, the House voted to fix a provision within Obamacare that defines full time employment as 30 hours per week, rather than the traditional 40 hours. This provision is just one of many in the president’s vastly complex and unworkable health care law that has discouraged a large number of businesses from hiring more employees.
“The House has also passed legislation to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project the president’s own State Department predicts will support roughly 42,000 jobs and generate over $2 billion in earnings for American workers. More importantly, the pipeline will establish a pathway toward American energy security by helping to shield our country from the constant global volatility of oil supply and prices.
“The Keystone XL pipeline is just one of many energy projects awaiting federal approval. Shale energy production, for example, has the potential to support millions of American jobs while offering a safe and reliable supply of energy. President Obama has the opportunity to make significant progress in this area. Instead, he has focused his efforts on targeting small businesses and ag producers through the Environmental Protection Agency, under arbitrary environmental rulemaking.
“Congress has shown that we are willing to get to work. Unfortunately, the president has chosen to further entrench himself in the same political rhetoric we have heard before. This month alone, he has issued six veto threats. And tonight he proposed yet another tax increase, which has essentially no chance of becoming law.
“Americans already pay enough in taxes. If anything, we should be working to create a simpler and fairer tax code. Oklahomans know that we cannot tax our way to prosperity, and a larger government will only get in the way of a growing private sector. The president’s plan is flawed because a healthy economy does not originate from Washington.
“I strongly believe that jobs and prosperity come from our community – from the small businesses, manufacturers, farmers and ranchers. It’s our innovation and hard work that will keep our country strong for years to come.
“If the last six years are any indication of the next two, the president’s promises will prove to be more empty rhetoric. Congress stands ready to work with the president on a number of issues, but every time President Obama chooses to act unilaterally or go around Congress, it contributes to his growing trust deficit with Congress.
“Our constituents elected us to represent their interests and values in Washington. Oftentimes, the legislation President Obama is blocking is the same legislation the American people sent us here to pass. The president has an opportunity to set aside his all-or-nothing approach that has driven a sharp ideological wedge in our country. I am willing and ready to work with my colleagues in Congress and the president on the solutions we need to get our country back on track and back to work. I look forward to being a part of a productive 114th Congress.”