Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech was rife with policies that have destroyed the nation’s middle class and pledged to fight them in Congress.
“The administration’s policies of tax increases, government expansion, American disarmament, and overregulation aren’t working,” the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement. “I will continue to fight for legislation that will grow the middle class, unleash the American dream, and invigorate our economy.”
Inhofe pointed to Susan Bumgarner, an award-winning pre-school teacher from Norman, who sat with First Lady Michelle Obama during the speech.
“As a teacher, Susan plays one of the most important roles in helping young Americans someday achieve the American dream,” Inhofe said. “As for the president, his four-year record on quenching these opportunities speaks louder than his rhetoric tonight.”
He said if Obama was genuinely interested in creating jobs, he should follow Oklahoma’s example and build a strong fuel-based economy.
“Our unemployment rate has remained near full employment,” Inhofe said. “It’s because of our thriving energy sector, an industry the president is attempting to kill with his liberal climate change agenda and his relentless war on fossil fuels.
“Americans shouldn’t be sending $300 billion a year to the Middle East to buy oil. Instead we can invest that money here at home — in America, in Oklahoma. Natural gas is a resource already doing this for us in Oklahoma.
“In this Congress, I will do everything in my power to help America achieve domestic energy independence,” Inhofe added. “And we can do it today.”
While Obama’s climate-change agenda “may sound good, it will ultimately result in the regulation of everything from hydraulic fracturing to greenhouse gases,” he said. “Over regulation is killing us.”
As for Obama’s gun-control agenda, Inhofe called it “a disaster.”
“I will oppose anything that further restricts the Second Amendment or its contribution to the free exercise of all our constitutional rights.
“Why disarm America while the criminal element keeps their guns?” Inhofe asked. “They will anyway.”
As for the impeding budget cuts through sequestration, Inhofe said, “The president’s disarming of America is the greatest threat we face today.”
The nation’s military is expected to face about $492 billion in sequestration cuts, Inhofe said.
“For 14 months, Congress has repeatedly requested that the administration provide a detailed assessment of the impact these defense cuts will have to our national security. Yet they have failed to deliver.
“We are now 16 days away from cancelled deployments, thousands of lost jobs, up to 26,000 furloughs in Oklahoma, and the imminent threat of a hollow military force unable to respond to an increasingly dangerous world.
“I am doing all that I can to prevent these devastating defense cuts,” Inhofe added, referring to legislation he introduced last week to delay the sequestration cuts. “We can fix this.”
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