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On February 28, Senator James Lankford released the following statement on President Trump’s address to a Joint Session of Congress:
“Tonight, President Trump gave a moving speech to the nation in a Joint Session of Congress that hit on the heart of the issues facing all Americans. His focus on bringing a very divided nation together to build a more united States of America was an important message after a divisive election. We can disagree strongly, but we must remain civil in how we engage in our neighborhoods and communities – especially with those who think differently, look differently, and act differently from us. Our common bond as Americans must unite us more than it divides us. Our almost 250 year American experiment must continue to grow as we nurture the oldest democracy in the world.
“The President reminded all Americans that each of us plays an important and unique role in the future of this country. To unleash our national potential, Congress and the President must work together to improve the economy, lift the regulatory burden, secure our nation’s borders, and defend our country from those who seek to harm us. True regulatory reform can unleash business productivity, and lift unnecessary restrictions on families and manufacturing plants, so that the private sector can revive the economy. Oklahoma has experienced the pain of Obamacare’s increased health care costs and decreased access. I am grateful President Trump reiterated his commitment to ensure health care is more affordable and more accessible for everyday Americans. We also cannot forget that America faces very real threats every day and each of us must remain committed to national security.”
Senator Lankford also released a video statement on the President’s address.
Tonight, President Trump addressed a lot of issues to the nation at a joint Session of Congress. It is a unique gathering any time a President comes. It’s not just to speak to Congress, and the Supreme Court, and the Cabinet, it’s to speak to all the American people and deal with the issues that we’re facing as a nation, I’m glad he was able to bring some of those things to the nation.
On the need for national civility:
We’re in a unique time as a country. We’ve got to deal with things like basic civility, and how we disagree on issues, but be able to be able to disagree in a way that pushes us to be able to resolve it, and solve the problems as a nation.
On the benefit of legislative action:
The President can obviously take some actions, and he has already taken many actions to be able to reset the course for the nation. As we’ve seen in previous years, you can’t do long-term change in what needs to happen in the nation, to be able to resolve our issues without us working together, the Executive Branch and the American people through their elected representatives in the House and the Senate.
On regulatory reform:
It’s good to see President Trump come and be able to lay some things out, and say, here are the big issues we’ve got to be able to work together on, like regulations. Regulations can be handled by the Executive Branch, but real reform in regulations will be done through the Legislative Branch, by us actually bringing statutes up and passing them, and changing [policy] forever, allowing the American people to have more input. I have several bills that I’m currently working on in my own committee, the Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee, we are working to make permanent changes on how the American people get greater input in the regulatory state.
On national security and defense:
We’ve got to deal with national security, which has been a big issue for the President. There are a lot of things the president can do, and he laid some of them out tonight. But there is a lot that we have to work on together. Like budgeting for national defense. Finding a way to deal with national defense budgeting without taking us further into debt as a nation. So, that means smart budgeting, not across-the-board cuts. But actually, being more strategic in how we handle the budget items.
On the sluggish economy:
Last year, most people don’t know the economy grew 1.6 percent, the lowest growth that we’ve had since 2011. It was a dramatic decline again in our economy. So, while the election was happening, many people didn’t notice the economy was dragging again. We’ve got to get economic activity. That’s why I’m so pleased to hear not only tax reform, but about regulatory reform, and what we will do to give more power back to the American people, to start businesses, innovate, be more creative and prioritize what’s happening here with our economy and growth.