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The Hill - Lankford Criticizes Senate Democrats, Obama on Budget

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By Jennifer Martinez

Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) hammered Senate Democrats on Saturday for not approving a budget resolution in nearly four years.

Lankford also criticized President Obama for falling behind on finalizing a budget proposal in time for next month's deadline, saying he has "already missed more budget deadlines than any of his predecessors."

"Every family and every business has a budget, our nation should have a budget as well," Lankford, the new chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, said during the GOP's weekly address.

Unlike the Senate, he said the House will pass its budget on time and vowed that "it will be a plan to slowly but surely walk our nation out of debt, deficit and decline."

House Republicans plan to pass a three-month increase in the debt limit next week. They will also seek to add a bill to it that will prevent lawmakers from being paid if the House and Senate fail to pass a budget resolution. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Friday said the House will pursue strategies to force the upper chamber to pass a budget.

In his address, Lankford took a jab at a comment Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made about the Senate choosing not to put forward a budget proposal.

"Majority Leader Harry Reid said it would be 'foolish' for his party in the Senate to produce a budget. We disagree. With more than 16 trillion dollars in debt, we believe it is foolish not to have a budget," the Oklahoma Republican said.

He argued that American families are hurt the most by Congress's failure to work out a budget.

"When day to day life costs more and jobs pay less, we don't solve the problem by delaying our federal spending decisions, raising taxes or refusing to tackle our nation's most pressing economic challenges," Lankford said.

While the inauguration and start of a new Congress provides "opportunity for a fresh start," Lankford warned that the GOP "will not simply provide a blank check for uncontrolled spending, irrational borrowing and constant nickel and dime tax increases."

"We should cut Washington's budget, not your family's budget," he said.

Lankford encouraged both parties to work together on a plan and cited a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that said: ""Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

"That is a good word for all of us and a clarion call that should ring in our ears on his birthday weekend," Lankford said. "Regardless of our differences, we all have the same dreams of a better future for our kids and grandkids."


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