WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The swearing-in of President Obama this weekend for his second term offers new opportunities for leaders in Washington, an Oklahoma congressman said Saturday.
Delivering the Republican Party's weekly media address, Rep. James Lankford held out the olive branch of peace for the momentous day, ABC News Radio reported.
"With the swearing in of a new Congress and the inauguration of President Obama, this is an opportunity for a fresh start," he said. "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."
In his other hand, however, Lankford chastised Senate Democrats for failing to pass a budget resolution in nearly four years,
He cited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada as saying it would be "foolish" for the Senate to produce the budget.
"We disagree," the congressman said. "With more than 16 trillion dollars in debt, we believe it is foolish not to have a budget."
He also criticized the president for missing "more budget deadlines than any of his predecessors."
Lankford said the House will pass its budget on time and that "it will be a plan to slowly but surely walk our nation out of debt, deficit and decline."
A three-month increase in the federal debt limit is expected to be passed next week by House Republicans. They also plan a bill to prevent members of the House and Senate from being paid if a budget resolution is not passed.