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The Oklahoman: Oklahoma lawmakers criticize Obama's State of the Union address

January 12, 2016
News Stories

The Oklahoman - Chris Casteel

Members of Oklahoma's all-Republican congressional delegation dismissed President Barack Obama's final State of the Union speech on Tuesday as another defense of the policies they claim have failed.

The Republican lawmakers criticized the president's economic, military, health care and environmental positions, all of which were showcased in the president's address. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, also blamed the president for the partisan gridlock Obama bemoaned in his remarks.

Here are statements from five of the seven Oklahomans in Congress.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa: "We heard the president talk about how his vision of America is what's best for our future. As we count down the final months of his presidency, Americans need to remember that this administration's policies have been a disaster.

"His lack of leadership has resulted in global instability, the rise of ISIS and the drastic weakening of our military. Americans are now less safe because of Middle Eastern instability he caused with the hasty withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Obama tries to take credit for the country's energy renaissance, but what he won't acknowledge is that it's occurred in spite of his war on fossil fuels.

"Twenty-seven states have sued EPA over its power plant regulations because they know these regulations will cost $292 billion and result in double-digit electricity price increases with no measurable emission changes.

"This confirms the president is delusional when he says these regulations will save the planet or that they bolster the worthless climate change agreement in Paris, which the next Republican president will swiftly do away with."

Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City: “Families in Oklahoma have been harmed by the policies and politics of the last seven years. Washington has become more partisan, our economic growth has become more anemic, and federal regulations have dramatically increased, controlling more of our everyday lives.

“I did appreciate the president's praise of our troops and acknowledgement that we have the strongest military in the world. I also agree with the president that we can one day conquer cancer. This is a big vision that America should pursue; we all have someone who has walked the long journey through chemotherapy.

“Over the past four quarters, the economy has grown at a sluggish 2.1 percent, which is directly attributable to the president's policies of debt, burdensome regulations and higher taxes."

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore: “Rather than leading the charge to solve the real problems facing our fellow Americans, the president has greatly increased our long-term economic woes, severely underestimated and failed to address threats to our security and ignored constitutional limits to the powers entrusted to the executive branch of government. Sadly, what we heard (Tuesday) is only more of the same.

“After seven long years, the sun is about to set on his administration, and yet the president's speech indicates that he is frantically trying to rewrite history in order to salvage a legacy that history is not likely to treat favorably."

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville: “The president's final State of the Union address was evidence that there has been very little for the American people to celebrate over his two terms in office. He chose to focus on the future, so he could ignore the failures that will define his presidency.

“The president spoke of the need to build trust to fix politics, but his actions over the past seven years have only led to distrust and partisan gridlock in Washington."

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne: “Oklahomans are looking for action over words. President Obama's track record for the last seven years cannot be obscured by more empty rhetoric and the same old politically divisive ideas. Every time the president vetoes legislation like the repeal of Obamacare, the defunding of Planned Parenthood or the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, it shows Americans what we could actually accomplish if there was a real leader in the White House.”

Online: The Oklahoman