The Edmond Sun

State News

January 22, 2014

Lankford wants country moving in right direction

OKLA. CITY — Why Congressman James Lankford voted in December to approve the federal budget became an issue at an Oklahoma City town hall meeting Tuesday evening.

Lankford has been adamant during his two terms in office that the $17 trillion federal debt and the $680 billion deficit are not sustainable. He has supported a balanced budget amendment which the White House rejects.

“The entire government is out of control and not on my side,” a woman said. “…And then I look at Sen. Cruz who can stand up with fire and backbone and say, ‘my God this has to stop.’”

Cruz was an architect of the 2013 government shutdown by insisting the federal government defund the Affordable Care Act. Lankford, R-Edmond, and other House Republicans fought in 2013 to delay the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment for one year and to defund the health care law.

Congress passed the Ryan-Murphey budget deal in December with Representatives  Lankford, Tom Cole and Frank Lucas voting in favor of the bill, while Congressmen Markwayne Mullin and Jim Bridenstine opposed the measure. President Barack Obama said the bill contains more than $20 billion in deficit reduction.

Passage of the bill prevented another government shutdown in January.

“That was not an easy decision. There’s plenty of good and bad in that,” Lankford said. “At the end of the day, my conservative principles are if it’s going to do a major slash on defense, and I’m going to hand to the president the ability to do another major cut in defense — it would be the third one in four years — I don’t want to hand that to him. That was my option.”

Lankford said he is tenaciously conservative, but realizes the opposition the House faces in the White House and Senate. Yelling at press conferences does no good, he said.

“I cannot just sit and yell for a year and say I’m angry,” Lankford said. “I’ve got to find some way to make progress.”

Lankford said his conservative principles may only move the nation forward a foot, but that is better than standing still. Lankford, who announced his intention to run for the Senate this week, said he will remain calm because he believes he can win the argument.

“I’m a Christian and I love to be able to tell people about my relationship with Jesus Christ,” Lankford said. “But, I’ve never been able to shout someone into heaven.”

The federal government had not been doing the 12 appropriations bills for every section of the government for several years. This has resulted in continuing resolutions, which takes a previous budget and changes the date. In January, Congress passed an appropriations bill after the budget was passed in December.

Lankford said he did not support January’s appropriations bill because it spends $18 billion more than what Congress had agreed on in December.

A continuing resolution is a bad way to do business because it repeats the same expenditures from the year before. If the military wants to purchase a certain number of machine guns one year, the continuing resolution will mandate the military to purchase the same equipment again whether they need machine guns or not. The CR keeps the military from updating the items they need.

“It’s awful strategic work,” Lankford said.

Three years ago, the federal government was overspending $1.4 trillion in deficit. Progress has been made to reduce the deficit to $680 billion, he said.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” Lankford said. “If anyone thinks we’re going to solve the budget issues in one year, with some vote that’s going to happen that’s going to solve all the budget years, you’re mistaken about how bad the budget situation is.”

Lankford said he encourages job growth to create more tax revenue without having to raise taxes.

December’s budget agreement protects defense, but keeps the same deficit reductions for the next eight years, Lankford said.

“If that did not occur in December, the conversation at Tinker Air Force Base would be how long civilian employees would be on furlough at Tinker this month.”

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121 ext. 114

1
Text Only
State News
  • History_Tour_5_BH.jpg History tours begin May 17

    Downtown Enid will be the scene of Chisholm Trail Coalition Walking Tours

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War the theme at Heritage Center Family Saturday

    The event will be 1-3 p.m. Saturday and is free with admission to the museum.

    April 15, 2014

  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014

  • brisket2.jpg Food Network show visits Guthrie for ’89er Days

    Guthrie’s annual ’89er Days Celebration provides a variety of activities for people to enjoy including a carnival, rodeo, parade and lots of food vendors.
    This year, visitors at the 84th annual event, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, will notice an added bonus when a film crew from the new television series “Carnival Eats” will be in town filming for its inaugural episode.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCSP-Family and Treasurer-04-15-2014.jpg Treasurer Miller awards ‘Tax Day Baby’ with college savings plan

    April 15 is commonly known as the day many will spend in line at the post office or finishing final preparations for tax returns. This year, one Oklahoma family spent April 15, tax day, welcoming their new son, born at 2:07 a.m. and was recognized as the first Tax Day Baby at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. 
    As the first Tax Day Baby, State Treasurer Ken Miller, R-Edmond, awarded, Quan Ta, with an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan worth $1,529. Miller, who serves as board chairman for the OCSP, reminds parents and grandparents that any contribution made to an OCSP account by April 15 qualified for a 2013 Oklahoma income tax deduction.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Candidate filing period ends

    From the U.S. Congress to the Oklahoma House, several incumbents are hoping to hold onto their jobs in the 2014 elections.

    April 15, 2014

  • SPICER.jpg 5 suspects face charges in Edmond home assault

    A resident was silent while he was kicked repeatedly in his ribs and head during last week’s assault in an Edmond home, court records show.
    Jenny Monroe, spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department, said five individuals arrested in recent days appear to be the extent of the suspects in the incident. Monroe said the victim, 64, is back at home after he was transported to a metro hospital.
    The five suspects according to the Edmond Police Department and Oklahoma County records are:

    April 14, 2014 5 Photos

  • 11 file for county offices

    Eleven candidates filed for Oklahoma County races last week with County Assessor Leonard E. Sullivan, 79 of Oklahoma City, re-elected to office without opposition, said Doug Sanderson, secretary of the Oklahoma County Election Board.
    Voters will nominate their party’s candidates on June 24 for the statewide primary election, Sanderson said. A run-off primary election is set for Aug. 26. The statewide general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.

    April 14, 2014

  • jc_Erick Wyatt.JPG Norman man takes on challenge to unseat Inhofe

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of candidate profiles leading up to the 2014 Oklahoma elections.

    Erick Wyatt is running for U.S. Senate to be a strong voice of the people, he said. More than anything, Wyatt said he is running against incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe for the sake of his children.
    The Norman Republican vows to represent the people’s interests instead of the interests of powerful political groups, Wyatt said.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gray Mud Disposal 20140202-27.jpg Changing hands: Gray Mud Disposal’s new owner 'bullish' on Enid's drilling future

    The Woodford Shale has a geological formation south of the city that could explode in popularity over the next few years.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo