U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe
“Tonight we heard President Obama emphasize the importance of building and supporting a strong American middle class, one that gives opportunity for all to achieve the American dream. Tonight, Ms. Susan Bumgarner, an exceptional teacher from my state of Oklahoma, from Norman, Oklahoma, sat in a seat of honor with the First Lady. As a teacher, Susan plays one of the most important roles in helping young Americans someday achieve this dream. As for the President, his four-year record on quenching these opportunities speaks louder than his rhetoric tonight.
“If Washington is serious about job creation and a strong middle class, the President should look to my home state of Oklahoma. Our unemployment rate has remained near full employment. Why? 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.
“In this Congress, I will do everything in my power to help America achieve domestic energy independence. And we can do it today. 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. The President likes to boast that more fossil fuels are being produced now than under his predecessor, but this is only because of the hard work of the private sector. Meanwhile the President has all but stopped development of energy on the public lands.
“While his climate change agenda may sound good, it will ultimately result in the regulation of everything from hydraulic fracturing to greenhouse gases. Over regulation is killing us. This is why I am writing legislation that will require the Administration to disclose studies of how each of their rules will impact our energy independence.
“Tonight, we also heard the President briefly address gun control. His agenda on this issue is a disaster. As Congress contemplates new legislation, 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? – They will anyway.
“In closing, I was disappointed to hear little from President Obama on the looming deadline of March 1st, a date when $492 billion in cuts to the military will go into effect due to his sequestration. The President’s disarming of America is the greatest threat we face today.
“Over the past four years, the President’s non-defense spending has increased by 30 percent, while our military men and women have absorbed $600 billion in defense cuts – which will soon total to nearly $1 trillion. For 14 months, Congress has repeatedly requested 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, as seen in recent legislation I introduced with my fellow Republican colleagues. We can fix this.
“The Administration’s policies of tax increases, government expansion, American disarmament, and over regulation aren’t working. As your Senator, I will continue to fight for legislation that will grow the middle class, unleash the American dream, and invigorate our economy. A glimpse into our nation’s history shows us the path forward. It’s not that difficult. All we’re asking for is energy independence, a strong military, and secure borders.
“On behalf of my 20 kids and grandkids, we’ve got a country to save, and I’m going to try to do it.”
U.S. Congressman Tom Cole
"President Obama's assessment of the state of our union fails to appreciate the gravity of our economic challenges."
"Debt reduction is the defining issue of this decade, yet the president continues to avoid proposing serious, specific solutions. Instead of taking the opportunity to be honest with the American people about the magnitude of our fiscal challenges and the danger they pose to Medicare and Social Security, President Obama largely ignored tough issues in favor of 'modest reform' ideas and false promises that require spending we can't afford."
"In the short term, I was disappointed that the president failed to address the immediate challenge of the across-the-board cuts in government spending known as sequester. His failure to lead in this area by proposing meaningful reductions in mandatory spending puts the jobs of thousands of Oklahomans at risk."
"The best way to strengthen the economy and create jobs is to reduce the deficit through tax reform, spending restraint and entitlement reforms. President Obama needs to understand that the