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The Oklahoman - Rep. James Lankford calls for 'better legacy' in Republican address

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by Chris Casteel

Rep. James Lankford called Saturday for a "better legacy for the next generation'' as he delivered the Republican weekly address on the eve of President Barack Obama's second inauguration.

"I hope you will join me in praying for President Obama and his family as he embarks on his second term as President of the United States,'' said Lankford, R-Oklahoma City. "The issues we face in the coming weeks and months will be difficult, but we must resolve them in the long-term, best interest of all American families."

Lankford, who just began his second term, was tapped for the second time in less than two years to give the weekly Republican remarks. He previously spoke on gasoline prices. Lankford was recently chosen chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, a leadership position.

In his own weekly address, the president encouraged Americans to get behind the gun control proposals he made earlier this week. Those proposals include expanding background checks to cover gun shows and other private sales and a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons.

"Already, we're seeing pundits, politicians and special-interest lobbyists calling any attempt at commonsense reform an all-out assault on liberty-- not because that's true, but because that's how they get higher ratings and make more money,'' Obama said. "But this time, it can't be up to them. It's got to be up to you … Ask your member of Congress if they support universal background checks and renewing a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And if the answer is no, ask them why not."

The president decided to launch an aggressive campaign against gun violence after 20 children and six adults were killed in Newton, CT last month. Lankford and other members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation have questioned the constitutionality of some of Obama's gun proposals.

In his remarks on Saturday, Lankford portrayed debt as a danger facing the nation.

"Federal overspending that was intended to lift us up as a nation is actually dragging our families down,'' he said. "Certainly, on the weekend we commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must renew the dream for our children's future.

"As we tackle our nation's enormous debt, halt our out-of-control deficit spending, and address the cultural shifts in our country's character, let us pursue a better legacy for the next generation."


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