The Oklahoman: Oklahoma lawmakers react to State of Union speech

Jan 26, 2011
In The News

Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation responded Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa
“Though he paid lip service to the deficit and reducing government spending, if you listened carefully, you heard the president’s true agenda when he spoke of making ‘investments.’

“We’ve seen this type of ‘investment’ before from President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. It was called their stimulus plan, which, by the way, only strapped us with even more deficit spending.”

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee
“The president had an opportunity to give budget and entitlement reform real momentum but stopped short. He did what presidents often do and deferred the hard choices to Congress.

“The president’s biggest push was to advance an argument he has made many times in the past — that the government is a vital partner in making investments and spurring innovation. The problem is we’ve had countless Sputnik moments in recent decades that have created little more than space junk.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore
“I appreciated the president’s remarks on civility and am optimistic that this Congress can work together to overcome our challenges. As President Obama rightly noted, the spirit and strength that made America a world leader are more than equal to the moment, and I am confident that we will take the actions necessary to preserve America’s competitiveness and prosperity.”

Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City
“Initiatives that create alternative energy jobs at the expense of traditional energy jobs is a zero sum game. They will not put more people to work and it will not achieve energy independence. The combination of new spending with the proposed budget freeze will only maintain an unsustainable status quo.”

Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa
“Deficit spending and stimulus waste have marked President Obama’s first two years in office — not job creation.

“I’m glad to hear that the president is open to a five-year spending freeze. However, my concern with his plan is that spending would be frozen at an already extremely bloated level. With our national debt approaching $14 trillion, it’s simply not enough fiscal restraint.”

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne
“President Obama vowed to work with Republicans to put an end to irresponsible, out-of-control spending. While I cannot say I agree with everything the president said this evening, he seems more willing to work in a bipartisan manner to move more towards a responsible way of governing for the American people. And I hope this speech is a beginning.”

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee
“Since being elected to Congress, I have always made it a priority to work in a bipartisan and inclusive manner. The Oklahoma delegation has always had a very strong and positive working relationship. In the wake of the recent shooting in Arizona, it is important that elected officials from all parties promote civil discourse and demonstrate to constituents back home that we can work from different ideological perspectives, while still respecting each other’s differences. In that spirit, it was an honor to sit with and share the president’s address this evening with Congressman Frank Lucas and the rest of the Oklahoma Delegation.”

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