- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - U.S. Sen. James Lankford criticized the Obama administration on Thursday for the Iran nuclear deal and the Environmental Protection Agency for its interpretation of federal law during a speech before the Edmond Chamber of Commerce.

During a luncheon at the Gaillardia Country Club, the Edmond Republican spoke to about 150 members and fielded questions, most of which centered on the agreement struck by the U.S., Iran and five world powers that’s aimed at dismantling Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

“A conservative like James Lankford and a liberal like (U.S. Sen.) Chuck Schumer from New York both agree this is a bad deal for America,” Lankford said. “This is not right for our allies. This is not best for us. This is not right for the world as a whole in the future.”

Lankford said he wants to keep the existing sanctions in place and force negotiators to return to the bargaining table, although he acknowledged it’s still not clear if there are enough votes in Congress to sustain an expected veto by Obama of a resolution disapproving the deal.

Lankford also criticized the EPA for its proposed rule to redefine the country’s waterways. Lankford said the rule would give the federal agency far too much power to regulate virtually every body of water in the country.

Oklahoma’s attorney general has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the rule as arbitrary and an abuse of discretion, maintaining it will place too much of a burden on landowners and farmers.

Before the meeting, Lankford said he has not decided which Republican presidential candidate he plans to support, saying he has “several that I really like.”

He declined to say which candidates he likes, although he didn’t seem particularly impressed with GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“I’m looking for Trump actually giving some solutions about how he’s going to solve stuff,” Lankford said. “He’s talking a lot about problems right now, but he’s not talking about how he would actually fix it.

“It’s really easy to identify what the problems are. It’s much tougher to know how to fix it.”


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