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GOP Weekly Address: Rep. Lankford Calls Obama's Inaugural 'Fresh Start,' Invokes MLK

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- On President Obama's inaugural weekend, Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford is choosing to look ahead with a fresh perspective.

"With the swearing in of a new Congress and the inauguration of President Obama, this is an opportunity for a fresh start," he says.

In this week's Republican address, Rep. Lankford looks past those policies on which he and the president disagree, and suggests Americans pray for President Obama as he takes the oath of office for the second time.

"Tomorrow, President Obama will be sworn in for a second term," says Lankford. "Though we disagree on many areas of policy, I join my fellow Americans in pledging to pray for the President, his family and our nation in the days ahead."

Referencing the challenges of unemployment and the climbing living costs seen by Americans over the last year, Lankford urges Democrats and Republicans to work together in creating a plan to get the country back on track.

Though Lankford's criticism of President Obama and Senate Democrats could be perceived as less aggressive than some of his Republican colleagues, he doesn't completely let the president off the hook.  Four the past four years, Lankford notes, neither the president nor Senate Democrats have introduced a budget.  

"Unfortunately, the president has already missed more budget deadlines than any of his predecessors," Lankford says in the address.

But government acting without an approved budget for this long "is not the result of Washington gridlock," he says.

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

"This debate is often argued in numbers and figures, but it’s really about families like yours that bear the burden of a slow economy," he adds.

Before closing the address, Lankford reminds Americans of another weekend highlight: the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

In facing our country's current economic issues, which Lankford says are not "impossible obstacles," but merely the "challenges of our time," he notes, "We have the guidance of great leaders of the past who have faced tougher challenges than this with grace and dignity like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King once said, ‘Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?’"

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