WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to raise energy taxes can only drive the price of gasoline higher, Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., said in the party's address.
The freshman Republican said gasoline prices are almost double what they were when Obama took office two years ago.
"For more than two years, his administration has knowingly increased energy prices by choking off new sources of traditional American energy and smothering our economy in new energy regulations," Lankford said. "His latest proposal -- hiking taxes by billions of dollars –- will not lower gas prices and would actually make the problem worse."
The congressman said in coming days, the Republican-dominated House would take up debate on the GOP's American Energy Initiative, which he said would rein in energy costs by reducing reliance on foreign oil and create U.S. jobs.
On the ongoing budget battle, Lankford said the Republican version "would not affect current Medicare beneficiaries, or any U.S. citizen 55 or older.
"We want them to have access to the same kind of medical retirement options that members of Congress and all federal employees benefit from," he said.