Sen. Lankford: Actually getting things done

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford

Video Report: Sunday morning, Senator James Lankford appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the President’s first 100 days, Washington’s broken budget process, health care reform, North Korea, how we handle imprisoned Americans abroad, and a number of other issues.

Excerpts:

On President Trump’s first 100 Days:

Rep. James Lankford outside the US Supreme Court

Like [OMB Director] Mick Mulvaney just talked about regulatory issues, [this administration] has actually done more Congressional Review Acts than any other time, any presidency. We’ve done about 15 of those, there was one total over the decades in the past. And getting Neil Gorsuch on board was good. There were some fumbles out of the gate with trying to deal with the Executive Order on immigration and trying to get the language right and pulling it back and trying to go back again… they’re getting their feet on the ground. Personally, the biggest issue is that they’ve got to get the staff together and positions filled.

On President Trump’s Tax Returns:

The President has legally done everything he’s required to do with the financial disclosures. I do not in any way think that Congress should in any way step in to compel [the release of taxes]. I just think the President should be able to keep his word and be able to move on.

On health care reform:

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)

I think it’s a terrific idea to get [an Obamacare replacement] through the House in the first 100 days. If that’s possible, we can move it over to the Senate, we can take a look at it and try to get it done and get it to the President’s desk. That would be terrific. My biggest issue of several issues is how do we deal with the cost increases for those folks that are 400% of poverty and up. They have dramatic cost increases. On the individual markets the rates went up 76% for those individuals in the individual market in Oklahoma.

On the possibility of a government shutdown and budget negotiations:

We have a real issue in the process of budgeting and how we do it, we are never going to get another [budget] product until we fix the process. There’s a group of us in the Senate that have been pushing hard to change the way we do budgeting so we can actually get this done right and not have these cliffs all the time.

On why Republicans can be critical of President Trump:

…I think what you’re finding is Republicans are being consistent [like we were with President Obama]. They’re playing it straight to say if there’s an issue, let’s raise the issue, regardless of who was in the White House and be able to help solve the issues that we got. I don’t see that is inconsistent.

On the 2018 midterms and Republican prospects?

I think it’s very early to worry about the 2018 prospects. I do think we will get health care done in the next couple of months. We have to, again with the rates going up so dramatically, we have to be able to deal with that. I do think we will get tax reform done. We will deal with budget issues. We have to deal with half a trillion dollars of overspending this year.

When we start to actually get a lot of these things done, I think the American people can say it’s messy, it’s noisy, the language wasn’t always artful in the process, the tweets at 1:00 A.M. weren’t always my favorite, but we are actually getting things done, we are making progress.

The American people were extremely frustrated, I think the international community was frustrated that the previous administration appeared to be sitting still and gridlocked, not getting anything done. If we can prove we can get things done, I think the American people will say great, and at least we’re getting things done and moving.

General Vincent Brooks, Senator Lankford and Rep. Russell in South Korea

On North Korea and how America deals with imprisoned citizens abroad:

It’s not just an issue about how we deal with the issue of North Koreans, but trying to get a policy in place for all people. We don’t have a clear policy across the entire government about how we handle prisoners and what the process will be on the ground – region to region. It’s kind of an ad hoc process [we seek to resolve].

On Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian interference:

I heard many people say that the Senate Intelligence Committee just started. We actually started more than five months ago, we’re just working quiet through things that are like this. …We are moving closer but we are doing it the right way and we are going to go where the facts go.