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February 13, 2013

Local reps respond to state of union

CHICKASHA — Tuesday night's State of the Union address drew criticism from local federal politicians.

"President Obama's assessment of the state of our union fails to appreciate the gravity of our economic challenges," Tom Cole, Oklahoma District 4 congressman said in a release.

Cole went on to state that debt reduction has been defining issue of the last decade and that President Obama has yet to suggest a serious solution.

"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," he said.

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe said the president's comments on the middle class were pandering and did nothing to address the true importance of job creation, which Inhofe said Oklahoma has excelled at.

“If Washington is serious about job creation and a strong middle class, the President should look to my home state of Oklahoma, said Inhofe. "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."

Inhofe said while he in office he plans to do everything he can to defend the energy industry.

"Americans shouldn’t be sending $300 billion a year to the Middle East to buy oil," Inhofe said. "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."

Inhofe continued to maintain his stance on gun restriction legislation, an issue that has taken center stage in American politics.

"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," Inhofe said. "Why disarm America while the criminal element keeps their guns? – They will anyway."

Cole said overall, the President choosing not to address the issue of national debt underscored any other point in his address.

"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," said Cole  "His failure to lead in this area by proposing meaningful reductions in mandatory spending puts the jobs of thousands of Oklahomans at risk."

Local citizens commented on The Express-Star's web site with their feelings about the speech, which were mostly of disinterest.

"I think I heard a lot of Charlie Brown's teacher's voice," Rae McElroy said.

John Nicholas said there was no reason for him to watch the address as he already knows the state of the union.

Obama has said gun legislation will be one of the first major issues he tackles in his new term.

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