01.19.15

Senator Lankford Statement on the President’s State-of-the-Union Speech

WASHINGTON, DC— Senator James Lankford (R-OK) released the following statement in response to the President’s State-of-the-Union speech:

"Tonight’s State-of-the-Union address took a celebratory tone that simply isn’t consistent with what is happening across the nation. I am thankful that some economic data points are improving, but many in our nation are frustrated.  I believe, as most Oklahomans do, that our nation can and must do much better. We must not become complacent to stagnant hourly wages, a sluggish labor force, and high federal debt.

“Since President Obama took office, median household annual income has dropped by $3,000. Hourly wages have been stagnant, increasing only 1.7 percent in 2014, which is only slightly more than the 1.3 percent inflation rate. The unemployment rate has fallen primarily because the labor force participation rate remains extremely high. If the labor force participation rate were the same as when the President took office, the unemployment rate would be 9.9 percent. The federal deficit is way too high at nearly half-a-trillion dollars. Americans are still losing their health plans, while premiums continue to increase. Terrorism makes us feel less safe at home.

“It is my sincere hope that President Obama commits to work with Republicans on solutions that will increase economic opportunity and security for all Americans. We must enact policies that allow the private sector to create more jobs, lift wages, and lower costs for health care, education, and energy.”

For Senator Lankford’s first State-of-the-Union as a Senator, his guest was Dr. Eric Joseph, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City. Lankford spoke at the University’s commencement in May 2014. CLICK HERE to view a short video of Mr. Lankford and Dr. Joseph, recorded just before the State-of-the-Union.

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