Lankford Slams Democrats’ Out-of-touch Progressive Policy Push
Lankford: “Is this really what the American people want? I can assure you in Oklahoma, it is not.”
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on YouTube.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today spoke on the Senate floor to rail against the Democrats’ out-of-touch progressive policy push while the rest of the nation and the world are dealing with huge issues largely being ignored or bungled by the Biden Administration and congressional Democrats. Lankford highlighted the head-shaking nomination of climate extremist Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Bureau of Land Management, Biden’s failed foreign policy and failed border management, and the Democrats’ push for more taxpayer funded abortion, radical tax increases on every American, major threats to Americans’ privacy by the IRS, and vaccine mandates that threaten our military, federal employees and contractors, and businesses in Oklahoma.
Lankford introduced the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act to repeal President Biden’s Executive Order which mandates vaccines for federal employees and federal contractors. Lankford has been vocal about President Biden’s Executive Order. He sent a letter to President Biden outlining his concerns with the vaccine mandates and has stood firmly with Oklahoma service members, health care workers, federal employees, and private-sector workers who have chosen so far not to be vaccinated. Lankford will back efforts to disapprove of any rules mandating vaccines for private companies and their employees and also introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevent Act to prohibit the Department of Defense from giving service members a dishonorable discharge for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Biden’s vaccine mandates
The President gave a speech and dropped a mandate and said, ‘Everyone that works in a company that has 100 people or more has to get the vaccine.’ That's his requirement. He's yet to get the legal requirement for that. They've yet to put out a single document from the department of labor. They put a deadline date out there and asking every company to be able to implement it simply based off his speech. The President cannot just give a speech and mandate to the country what to do. That's not how a representative republic works. But yet, that's what's happening.
It's even more chaos among federal workers and among federal contractors, because he did the same mandate to them. But quite frankly, agency to agency they're trying to figure out what to do. One agency handles it one way; another agency handles it completely different because no order has come down from the office of personal management and the Office of Management and Budget. They have failed to put out the most basic instructions so there is chaos. And literally we have individuals that are federal contractors and saying, ‘We're not going to do federal contracting anymore on this,’ or they can't complete a contract because so many people within their company have said, ‘I’m not going to take the vaccine. I’ve already had COVID. I have natural immunity. I'm not going to do it.
Currently the President has only given a speech, and whether it's the National Guard that only has 40 percent of the Guard vaccinated or whether it's in private companies, the chaos is running around the entire country. As people that are vaccinated like me encourage others to be vaccinated and to say I’m glad that I’ve been vaccinated, I’m glad that I have the vaccine, and others are saying, ‘You know what, I’m an American, why are you making me take this? Why am I going to lose my job if I can't do this?’
If you don't capitulate to the vaccine mandate, guess what? The $3.5 trillion new bill increases OSHA fines for you ten-times higher than what they used to be. Ten-times higher than what it used to be. This is about caving to their will.
On climate extremist Tracy Stone Manning
The Senate is currently taking up a nominee, the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning. There's a lot that I can say about Tracy Stone-Manning, but there are some key features if you're going to deal with the Bureau of Land Management. You walk into a leadership role where you have thousands of people working under you and around you and you have care for the forests, and you have care for a lot of things that are in our environment. This particular leader was involved when she was in college and a group that was gathering to be able to spike trees…
I wish I could say that is the only issue that was there, but as you read through her writings, she wrote multiple different things about dealing with environmental issues, but one of the things that was most painful to me to be able to read was a section that she wrote where she had a picture of a child and in the picture of the child it said this is the greatest environmental threat that we face. Children. And her philosophy the world has too many kids and the way that we can protect the environment is to have fewer children in the world. I happen to think children are a blessing, not an environmental threat.
But this body is about to vote on putting Tracy Stone-Manning leading the Bureau of Land management. I wish I could say that's the only issue that's actually moving right now.
On Biden’s failed foreign policy
As I turn and look around the world, there are so many issues and things that are going on right now. Turkey has actually announced they're going to buy more Russian missiles. They're completely ignoring what's going on. France is furious with the United States right now and feels like the United States stabbed them in the back in forming an alliance without them, withdrawing their ambassador, the first they've done in centuries with the United States because of the broken relationship with France. We have put sanctions on individuals, but I wish I could tell you it was due to a Russian pipeline but, no, those sanctions were pulled. Or I wish I could tell you is was on Turkey for actually buying Russian surface-to-air missiles but that hasn't been done. We have added sanctions on to the attorney general of Guatemala.
On the aftermath of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan
In the Armed Services Committee this week, the top brass for the United States made it very clear that they had recommended to the President leaving 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, when the President has announced no one ever told me that, the top leadership said they made it clear.
On Biden’s unprecedented move to fire Board of Governors for the Service Academies just because they were appointed by Trump
Many people don't know that President Biden just a couple of weeks ago fired every appointee from the Trump Administration time period, that President Trump put in, for the Board of Governors for all of our academies. The Naval Academy, West Point, Air Force Academy, just cleared them all. It wasn't based on their qualifications. It was just if Trump pointed them they're all bad. By the way, that's never been done by any president, ever. Just cleared the deck. If Trump said they were good, they must be bad.
On Biden’s failure to secure the southern border, enforce the “Remain in Mexico” policy
On the southern border, we all know full well what's happening in the chaos that's there. As we've now topped well over a million individuals that we've interdicted from over 100 different countries that have crossed our southwest border illegally. And the number, I would love to tell you, of those that have been allowed to come into the country except DHS won't tell us that number, for months.
Federal courts have stepped in and have told the Biden Administration they have to reimpose the MPP process that President Trump put in that dramatically dropped the number of people coming to our southwest border illegally. Federal courts instructed the Biden Administration a month ago that they have to put that back in place, and so far the Biden Administration has said, ’We're thinking about it. We're examining it,’ and won't even release a timeline to be able to follow the federal court. Now, it's one thing for the Biden Administration to be angry at Congress, but currently they're ignoring a federal court order. That's a whole different issue on our democracy. Afghan evacuees have one set of standards to be able to come in. People in the southwest border have an entirely different set, and in the middle of it there's an ongoing dialogue about vaccine mandates for every American.
On the out-of-touch Democrats’ failing to address what matters to the American people
All of those things are happening all around the world, and on the other side of the building, they're working on fighting over an infrastructure bill and a $3.5 trillion social welfare entitlement bill that they're working to be able to move through, as the left and the uber left fight about how much they can spend today.
On the Democrats’ pushing for more taxpayer-funded abortion
It's fascinating to me, in the budget documents they put out, they continue to attack the most basic issue of life while they do child care spending on one hand and saying, ‘We want to help children. If you're a baby in the womb, you've got no chance under their bill. If you're a child that they can see, they want to do $450 billion in new entitlement programs. But if you're a child in the womb, the bill is full of additional incentives to increase abortion in America and to do taxpayer-funded abortion in America.
I have to tell you, I saw a New York Times article just recently that had a line where they were talking about abortion and encouraging abortion, and they were talking about the new Texas law dealing with abortion and life. And they added into it, ‘I think a majority of women are being sentenced to being parents.’ Sentenced to being parents. How about welcoming a child and seeing them for who they are.
On the Democrats’ reckless tax and spend spree
The $3.5 trillion bill that's out there has an enormous cost, but, quite frankly, the content of the bill is more dangerous than the cost. I remember full well in the 1990s, President Clinton standing in front of the nation and saying we're going to end welfare as we know it. And his statements about the welfare experiment that we have had for decades to be able to send cash payments out to individuals we now know doesn't work. We need to incentivize work. We need to incentivize individuals so that individuals are able to rise. Shockingly in this $3.5 trillion entitlement bill, they're literally going back to welfare as we once had it rather than ending welfare as we know it. They're returning to just checks rather than encouraging jobs.
We've seen already what that looks like in our economy, just this year when in March, April, May, June so many states had such a hard time hiring individuals because individuals were getting just enough money to be able to get by, and so employers were trying to hire people but people were saying as long as I can get by I’m just going to be able to get by. And we watched company after company struggle to be able to actually bring staff on. We watched lots of restaurants cut their hours. We watched lots of stores cut their hours because they couldn't get enough staff. That's the plan for this $3.5 trillion bill, to cut more checks to more individuals, to make it even harder to be able to function in our economy. And it's not just that. It's throughout the bill.
They changed the way that the Affordable Care Act funding is even done. According to the Kaiser Family foundation study that's tracking all of these changes, a family of two adults with a five-year-old child with an annual income of $100,000 will now get $10,500 per year in additional subsidies. A family of $100,000, they're going to give an additional $10,500 per year. That's not the only issue as well.
Dramatic change in preschool entitlements, $450 billion they want to spend on this massive child care and preschool entitlement program. It all may sound great like we need to do more. Why aren't they engaging in things like Head Start and child development block grants? They're ignoring that to do an even bigger new program.
This bill includes a methane fee that will kill the oil and gas industry in my state and around the country. This bill includes a new clean electricity performance program, which will drive up the cost of electricity for every single American.
If you think your electricity bill was expensive this summer wait until the clean electricity performance program comes in. Don't worry, if you plug in your electric vehicle, if you get an electric vehicle, they're going to give you a $12,500 tax credit, if you get an electric vehicle if it's produced in a union shop. Because apparently union shops are more carbon-friendly, I guess. They don't say that. There is no requirement for that. It's not about cleaner environment. It's just an extra perk to the unions on that and a shot to anyone who does production in a state that's nonunionized or nonunion shop. $12,500 they want to be able to pay towards an electric vehicle. And that's not just for some. That's for most every American would get that.
It includes massive new subsidies for solar and for wind, even though wind and solar can make money right now. But because it's so expensive to do the transmission lines from far distances, they're including massive new subsidies for that.
They create $3 billion for the Civilian Climate Corps to be able to pay young people to do climate activism all around the country, so those folks that are climate activists will actually be paid for with your tax dollars.
On the Democrats push to raise taxes on every American
It includes what the Joint Committee on Taxation states that taxpayers—get this—at all income levels will see tax increase under this bill—all income levels. Forty different tax hikes, over $2 trillion in tax increases that they have announced it will cost zero dollars. We're going to spend $3.5 trillion, and it will have absolutely no cost except the Joint Tax has already looked at it and said, ‘All taxpayers will have a tax hit on this.’ In addition to that, companies in the United States will have one of the highest tax rates in the entire world. Just basic economics. When you're trying to compete, do you want to have a lower price or a higher price? Just basic economics.
If the United States is going to compete with China, should we have a lower tax rate than communist China or a higher one? Well, according to this bill, the United States will have a higher tax rate than communist China on our businesses. I don't know of anyone that thinks that's a good idea other than the folks that are voting to increase taxes dramatically on the American people. And for folks that continue to say, ‘It's only on corporations,’ and they think it's Apple and Ford and Conoco, you know what? When you talk about corporations, 1.4 million small businesses are organized as C-corps. Over 84 percent of C-corps have 20 employees or less. If you think this is all about the big boys, oh, just wait.
Not only that, in their tax policy they include new marriage penalties to disincentivize marriage in America. Or if you get married and file jointly, you're going to pay more taxes. It includes new enforcement from the IRS. Initially it was talk about $600, if you deposit or withdraw $600 from your bank account, we're going to do new enforcement that's going to have to get turned into the IRS. Then they changed that because they figured people would get nervous with that so now if you do $10,000 of additions and transactions in your bank account. Almost every American puts in $10,000 in their bank account. If you make $12,000, into your bank account you'll be turned over to the IRS that is leaking information like a sieve, as information is being leaked out to ProPublica to be able to release Americans’ tax returns. At the same time our democratic colleagues are saying we want the IRS to have even more data.
Is this really what Americans want?
There's a lot it of things in this bill and I haven't touched the hem on the garment of how many things are in it. We need to be engaged as Americans. And we need to know what's actually being proposed by this body and by this President and to be able to see the results of that worldwide. It's time for us to engage and to stay informed. And it's time for this body to consider, is that really where the American people are? Is this really what the American people want? I can assure you in Oklahoma, it is not.
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