Inhofe Responds to President Trump's Address before the Joint Session of Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, senior member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee as well as Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), this evening released a video response to President Trump’s 2017 address before the joint session of Congress.
 
Click Here to Watch Sen. Inhofe’s Response
 
As prepared for delivery:
 
The message we heard tonight from President Trump is one of optimism and of great things to come for this country. And for good reason – this is a President of action and it is clear that he will deliver on the promises he made to the American people on the campaign trail. 

The American people know better than to believe everything they see on TV. According to a new poll from POLITICO this morning, 69% of voters agree that President Trump is doing as much or more than they expected during his first month. And 56% believe he is following through on his promises. 

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, just a few weeks ago, I was at the White House for the signing ceremony of the very first law canceling out an Obama era regulation. It was a bill that I wrote and it puts domestic energy producers on a level playing field with their foreign competitors. This is a big deal. 

Today, I was back at the White House, as Trump signed an executive order instructing the EPA to kill the Waters of the United States rule. The rule, which had already been stayed by the 6th circuit court, would have vastly expanded EPA’s authority over state-regulated waters, unfairly penalizing farmers, developers, and the agriculture and energy industries. This rule has been the number one concern of farmers and ranchers, not just of Oklahoma but of America.

This is just the start of many good things to come over the next four years. President Trump’s commitment to repeal two regulations for every new one will reduce the regulatory uncertainty that has crippled our economy. With a strong economy, Americans will be put back to work and be able to support their families. 

Soon, in tandem with the House and the Senate, President Trump will solve the healthcare crisis by repealing and replacing Obamacare. 

Obama promised the American people that Obamacare would lower costs, expand access, and make healthcare more affordable. But we all know it has been a disaster. It hasn’t done any of these things.

This is especially true in Oklahoma, where Obamacare premiums skyrocketed by 78% this year. This is the highest in the nation. 

It is now our job to give Americans real reform that will actually bring costs down and leave Washington bureaucrats out of the business of healthcare – I am confident Trump will get this across the finish line.

Tonight President Trump also made it very clear that following eight years of defense budget cuts we finally have an administration that understands that our military’s critical need additional funding.

The time is now to rebuild our depleted forces. Readiness levels across all services are approaching historical lows, and the world situation is as dangerous as I’ve ever seen it. 

President Trump’s commitment to increasing defense spending is a great first step to rebuilding our military and represents his clear commitment to prioritizing the defense of our nation, as the Constitution clearly requires.

Along the same lines, the President reiterated that our veterans deserve the best possible care available as well as all of the benefits they’ve been promised. This includes allowing them the flexibility to choose their healthcare providers, reducing bureaucracy and red tape around veteran healthcare, holding VA employees accountable, and improving timeliness when it comes to decisions on claims. 

The fact of the matter is that the priorities the Trump administration has set are good for all Americans, regardless of party, and will solve problems we all face on a daily basis. 

One way is by beginning to restore our country’s crumbling infrastructure. 

Last congress I was proud to pass the FAST Act a five year, $305 billion Surface Transportation Reauthorization, one of the largest single infrastructure investments in our nation’s history. But this is not enough. 

Our Federal Highway system still suffers from a $ 1 trillion dollar backlog to maintain modernize and expand this system and this figure does not include the other 3.8 million miles of surface roads in this country or the needs of our other modes of transportation. 

Increasing our nations investment in infrastructure will advance transportation safety, deliver necessary improvements to air, rail, road and waterway efficiency, and enhance mobility through innovation and the adoption of new technologies


Lastly, today with the late Antonin Scalia’s wife Maureen in the audience, President Trump has reminded us of the importance of the Supreme Court. His pick to fill Scalia’s seat, Neil Gorsuch, will uphold the constitutional values we all hold dear for decades to come. Whether it’s our gun rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech or the separation of powers, Gorsuch is the right guy for the job, a steady hand who will fill Scalia’s big shoes.

Tonight’s address by our president has reaffirmed his commitment to working with congress, his commitment to really hearing the concerns of our constituents, to ensuring our communities are safe, our family are healthy, and we have the appropriate mechanisms in place to advance to economy and rebuild the middle class. I look forward to working alongside the President and with my colleagues in the House and Senate to achieve all of these initiatives and more to truly make America great again.