Cole Responds to President Biden's First Actions in OfficeThu, 21 Jan 2021 12:24:48 CST
Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement regarding President Joe Biden’s first actions in office taken by issuing and signing executive orders.
“The executive orders that President Biden signed during his first day in office are a mixed bag. Some, especially those related to the pandemic, ought to be supported and accompanied by additional legislation. Others are largely symbolic and are simply sops to various Democratically aligned special interest groups. But several of President Biden’s orders are dangerous and damaging to the long-term national interests of the United States. They must be vigorously opposed in Congress.
“First, the decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline will cost our country billions of dollars, thousands of jobs and weaken America’s energy independence. It is also a slap in the face to our Canadian friends, hurting their economy and implicitly questioning the judgment of one of America’s best friends and most reliable allies.
“Second, the decision to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement without renegotiating its terms will weaken America’s economy and lock in inequitable mandates that favor China at the expense of U.S. jobs and energy independence. President Biden ought to put the Paris Climate Agreement before Congress and ask for congressional changes and approval. That is something neither he nor President Obama ever dared to do. Climate change is real, and it ought to be addressed. But it must be done in a way that is internationally equitable and does not cost millions of U.S. jobs or put America’s hard won energy independence at risk.
“Finally, the decision to cease work on border barriers is simply wrong headed. While not the only answer to border security, walls and barriers are effective when it comes to limiting the illegal movement of people and drugs across our borders. Moreover, this executive order will surely be interpreted as a signal across Central America encouraging a new wave of illegal immigration into the United States.
“I am prepared to work with the new Biden Administration when and where I can. Indeed, later today I will vote in favor of giving retired General Lloyd Austin a waiver so that the Senate can consider him for the position of Secretary of Defense. I have met with General Austin on several occasions in Iraq as well as questioned him in congressional hearings. In my opinion, he has served our country with honor and distinction. If President Biden wants him to serve as his Secretary of Defense, Congress should consent to that request after the appropriate confirmation hearings. And I stand ready to work with the Biden Administration in efforts to defeat the coronavirus and revive the economy.
“However, when the Biden Administration is wrong - as it most assuredly is on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Paris Climate Agreement and border security - I will oppose it respectfully but forcefully. Calls for bipartisanship and unity are all well and good. But in a democracy, there must also be vigorous debate and hard-fought compromises on important legislation and initiatives.”
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