Whatzup Politics (1278)
OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma beef task force designed to analyze problems in marketing and processing beef has been organized by State Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, and State Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant.
The two legislators have invited independent ranchers, meat buyers, meat processors, livestock auction owners and meat inspectors to convene and identify financial obstacles and structured solutions that will provide a process for long-term financial gain for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.
“Four major meat packers, Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS (Brazilian owned) and National Beef are controlling about 87 percent of beef processing and sales,” Humphrey said. “They have considerable control over what ranchers are paid for cattle and what consumers pay for meat. The beef price is very low for ranchers and extremely high for consumers while meat packers are making millions of dollars. This is not acceptable.”
The Lawmakers said Oklahoma ranchers are feeling the financial squeeze as production costs continue to climb along with farm debt. Chapter 12 bankruptcies are up 24% over last year. The beef supply chain has been challenged nationwide because of the closure of 75% of American feedlots and 48 packing plants. The pandemic has also had a negative impact. Times are tough for American agriculture in all sectors, they said.
Sen. Bullard stated, “We are extremely pleased that practitioners in Oklahoma agriculture have agreed to participate in the examination of problems in raising and selling cattle. We also are happy to learn that Senator Murdock (R-Felt) and Representative Ty Burns (R-Pawnee) have agreed to join the task force.”
Ranchers agreeing to serve on the task force are Evan Rowland, Durant; Pamela Livingston, Seiling; Jim Robinson, Boswell; Brad Hutchinson, Canton; and Tim Bryant, Ardmore. Meat processors are Bill Johnston, Clarita and Steve Swigert, Durant. They will represent the packing plant concerns. William Payne, Saint Louis, will explain the packing plant to consumer issues. Steve Combs, Chester, is a federal meat inspector and will outline slaughter regulations. Meat buyer Paul Cochran, Crowley, Texas, will provide information and data relating to the packaging and marketing process. Stockyards owners Jerry Nine, Woodward, and Jeff Hazaleus, Durant, will outline the spot-buying process, cattle futures and pricing cattle. Consultants to the task force are rancher Andy Chain Hutchinson, Canton; Lobbyist Rex Duncan, Pawnee; and rancher Gary Greene, Tishomingo.
Brad Hutchinson, president of the Oklahoma Independent Stock growers Association, stated, “The future of our children, grandchildren and our western lifestyle are at risk. We appreciate Oklahoma legislators stepping up to help solve major problems, which are impacting our economic wellbeing.”
The Task Force will file a final report with the Oklahoma Senate and House Agriculture Committees, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Ranchers with concerns outside of what is mentioned can call (580) 371-6677 to express opinions.
Justin Humphrey represents District 19 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Atoka, Bryan, Choctaw and Pushmataha counties.
Be an Example for Future Generations By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
Will Rogers, “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son,” once said, “This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it.” Even though Rogers said this more than 100 years ago, it remains true to this day.
These days, it feels like our country is more politically divided than ever. Many people dread talking politics with family or friends over fear of upsetting one another and damaging their relationships. Others have lost all respect for elected officials and the office they represent simply because they don’t agree with their political views.
It shouldn’t be this way. There was a time when everything didn’t have to be about politics and we have to work to get back there. We must love and respect our neighbors no matter what political party with which they identify. We can disagree with the political views of an officeholder while still respecting the office itself.
Our county can only move forward when we put politics aside and work together to make real change.
As parents know, our kids are always watching our actions and will imitate them. We must set an example of respect for future generations and put politics aside for the good of our country.
Want to stay up-to-date on what I’m doing in Oklahoma and Washington on your behalf? Sign up for my newsletter by visiting Mullin.house.gov/newslettersignup.
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) released the following statement after becoming an original cosponsor of the JUSTICE Act, which was introduced in the House of Representatives today.
“Defunding the police and creating anarchy is not a serious answer to the problems our country is facing,” Mullin said. “This bill delivers real solutions to invest in better training, improve transparency and create more accountability so police departments can better serve their communities. I am proud to support the JUSTICE Act and I hope my colleagues across the aisle will put politics aside to make these meaningful reforms.”
The JUSTICE Act is the House version of the bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press briefing President Trump is “fully in support of the Scott bill.”
Highlights of the bill include:
- Improves law enforcement transparency through additional reporting including annual reporting on the use of force and reporting on no-knock warrants.
- Ensures law enforcement agencies and officers are held accountable by developing accessible disciplinary records systems.
- Provides $500 million for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to equip all officers with body cameras, improve the use of body cameras, and store and retain footage.
- Bans the use of chokeholds except for in situations where deadly force is authorized.
- Improves officer training by directing the Attorney General to develop training curricula related to the duty to intervene and de-escalation and appropriates funds to pay for costs associated with new training requirements.
- Includes the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, making lynching a federal crime.
- Creates a bipartisan commission on the social status of Black men and boys to issue a report to Congress on conditions affecting Black men and boys, including education, health care, financial status and the criminal justice system.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced today that the City of Tulsa – Rogers County Port Authority will be awarded a $6.1 million grant to support the construction and improvement of rail transportation and utility infrastructure in support of a new two million square foot manufacturing and distribution facility at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. In February, Sen. Inhofe sent a letter to Secretary Chao in support of Oklahoma’s grant application.
“The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is an economic driver for our state and supports thousands of jobs,” Mullin said. “This investment will provide for much needed upgrades and continue to bring more economic activity to our area. I am glad the federal government recognizes the importance of this port and I look forward to seeing the benefits of this investment for years to come.”
“I’m pleased to announce a $6.1 million grant for the Tulsa area to support the Port of Catoosa’s new manufacturing and distribution facility,” Inhofe said. “The Port of Catoosa is vital to our local economy and this grant will help improve and maintain the port’s infrastructure, which so many rely on for their livelihood. With this money, we can work to make the necessary upgrades so goods and services will be able to utilize the port many years into the future.”
“The Tulsa Port’s endeavor to develop its newly acquired 2,000+ acres of land in Inola, Oklahoma into a world class port and industrial location will be greatly enhanced by this INFRA Grant award,” said David Yarbrough, Port Director of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. “We would like to thank Senator Inhofe and Congressman Mullin for their support in this grant process, as well as their tireless efforts to champion investment in infrastructure which promotes economic development throughout Oklahoma and the entire United States. Additionally, this grant application would not have been possible without the true public-private partnership and support of Rogers County, The Oklahoma Department of Commerce, The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Sofidel America, WATCO Companies, and INCOG (Indian Nation Council of Governments).”
The INFRA program is expected to award $906 million to significant projects that support the Trump Administration’s focus on infrastructure improvements. INFRA advances a grant program established in the FAST Act, authored by Sen. Inhofe in 2015, to help rebuild America’s aging infrastructure.
“This Administration is focused on infrastructure improvements and this $906 million in federal funding would improve major highways, bridges, ports, and railroads across the country to better connect our communities, enhance safety, and support economic growth,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Paid for and submitted by Paul LaRosa
Elect PAUL LAROSA LeFlore County Commissioner, District#2
First, I would like to commend and thank the people who currently handle Le Flore County (LFC) trash. It is the authentic ‘dirty job’ as Mike Rowe would say. Once our trash is compacted at the County Transfer Station it is transported somewhere else.
Where does all the LFC trash go? Answer: Other cities landfills at an expense of +/- $40,000 a month. Purchasing land in LFC and creating our own landfill is under consideration. My question is, “Is our own LFC landfill the best solution?”
I have looked at communities who deal with this same problem. There are successful trash programs that incorporate diligent recycling programs alongside waste disposal. Large recycling facilities include conveyor belts receive the trash for separating paper, glass, aluminum, plastics, and metal or anything useful. The separated recyclables are then sold to manufacturers who make products from them. The sorting and packaging are done by robots in certain communities and people in others. I also found that there are federal grants available that could possibly help get a program of this scale and complexity up and running.
Our trash can be a resource! We could sell the recyclable part of our trash for income!
You have brought to my attention the issue that our secondary trash collection dumpsters are often overwhelmed. It is not uncommon to see a dumpster filled with one large piece of furniture or tree branch. It is equally common in our area to see vehicles from other states fill up our trash dumpsters. LFC County Commissioners need to review the policy and dumpster locations.
What you throw away and how you do it is ultimately very personal and any meaningful discussion about trash must begin there. Litter, or loose trash, is everywhere in LFC. It is along our historic trails, construction sites, forests, roadways, and highways. Our litter reflects our personal care-less-ness and how we are protecting our natural resources and quality of life for future generation. Sometimes it feels easier to just throw a cup out the car window or drop a soda can in the woods rather than bag it and find a trash receptacle. We can do better.
We can clean up our litter. Teaching our children is a great place to begin forming the habit of environmental cleanliness. We have laws against carrying trash which is not tied down or covered. They need to be enforced and fines posted. The placement of public trash cans needs to be reviewed and the help of business owners engaged to make throwing away your personal trash easier in LFC. Signage such as billboards, use of social media and electronic signs at the Reynolds Center or banks can be asked to help get the message out. The goal being the creation of a habit…a habit to keep the ground clean and preserve our heritage and quality of life.
VOTE PAUL LAROSA LEFLORE COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT #2, JUNE 30th
These Election are an investment in our future!
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, today released the following statement about the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision, which found that federal employment law that protects workers from being fired based on their identity applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Today, the Supreme Court affirmed a truth we already know: discrimination against the LGBTQ community is wrong, and it should be illegal,” Dunnington said. “All Oklahomans deserve the opportunity to build a better life regardless of who they are or who they love. That’s why I’ve filed legislation with similar protections every year I’ve been in office.
“House Bill 2455, introduced in the 57th Oklahoma Legislature, expanded employment and housing protections for Oklahomans, including gender and sexuality. House Bill 1816, introduced in the 56th Legislature, did the same.
“Today was a step in the right direction. Our elected leaders must continue working toward an Oklahoma that is safe and equitable for all our citizens. Until that goal is reached, we will have work to do.”
WASHINGTON—As co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Men’s Health Caucus, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) and Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) introduced a resolution today to recognize this week as National Men’s Health Week.
“With the demands of daily life, staying active and being healthy can get moved to the backburner pretty quickly,” said Mullin. “Living a healthy lifestyle should be on the forefront of our minds. As co-chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus, I am proud to join Congressman Payne, Jr. to introduce this resolution recognizing the week of June 14th as National Men’s Health Week. I hope this week will motivate men to take an active role in their wellbeing, as well as bring awareness to health issues affecting men every day.”
“Too many men are suffering and dying needlessly because they don’t take their health and wellness seriously,” said Payne, Jr. “It is common for men to put off regular physicals and health screenings because they feel healthy. That is why the lifespan for men is five years less than women. Also, men die from heart disease, cancer and other leading causes of death at far greater rates than women. I am proud to introduce this resolution with Rep. Mullin this year and every year because we have to get more men screened for health issues and save lives.”
Full text of the resolution can be found here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2020
Press Release #20-014
As the 2020 election season shifts into high gear approaching the summer, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is reminding political candidates and volunteers to not jeopardize safety and to do their part in saving taxpayer money and keeping Oklahoma’s highways and interstates free of unsightly litter.
Placing yard signs to help promote candidates may be a long-standing tradition in Oklahoma politics, but the areas along highways or on bridges are off-limits. State law actually prohibits such signs from being placed in state rights-of-way due to safety concerns. In addition to potentially blocking drivers’ views at intersections or ramps, illegal sign placement endangers volunteers who try to post them along high-speed roadways or on bridges. Generally, the public right-of-way includes the area of grass between a highway and the nearest fence.
The best strategy for safe and legal politicking is for candidates to place signs on private property with the landowner’s permission. Inside city limits, candidates should check local ordinances for questions regarding municipal streets and rights-of-way. However, even within city limits, signs are prohibited on state-maintained highways, overpasses and bridges.
When signs are illegally placed, ODOT crews spend time away from other highway maintenance operations to pull them out of the ground, which can be time-consuming and hazardous. Removal of litter, including illegal signs, also delays highway mowing since the signs and posts could potentially damage state equipment.
Each year, nearly $6 million is spent by the department to pick up trash along Oklahoma highways, including illegally placed signs. This money comes out of ODOT’s maintenance budget, the same source of funds for patching potholes, repairing guardrail, mowing and clearing snow and ice. This expense is in addition to the untold amounts of time and money volunteer groups and local governments spend removing litter.
WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, during the Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on how COVID-19 disproportionately impacts minority communities, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) highlighted the benefits Opportunity Zones can bring to rural areas, especially when it comes to rural broadband and jobs.
“We all have unique challenges in our districts and my district is no different,” Mullin said during the hearing. “One thing that has been exposed in my district is broadband. I have a very rural district. In fact, just recently and the only reason I’m able to be on this hearing is because I got internet at my house. When we start talking about opportunity zones, we need to pay attention to that.”
“In opportunity zones, we talk about jobs too because with technology also comes job opportunities,” Mullin continued.
Video of Mullin’s remarks can be found here.
In Oklahoma’s Second District, less than half of the residents have access to broadband internet, something most people across the country have enjoyed for years. More than 45 percent of individuals living on tribal land in Oklahoma don’t have access to high-speed internet.
Last year, Mullin introduced H.R. 2929, the Rural Broadband Network Advancement (RBNA) Act, which would invest in expanding broadband access in rural areas.
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) and Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) introduced legislation yesterday to improve access to disposable negative pressure wound therapy for homebound Medicare beneficiaries. This legislation simplifies the structure of the disposable negative pressure wound therapy benefit and streamlines billing practices for home health agencies.
“Disposable negative pressure wound therapy has helped homebound Medicare beneficiaries access treatment from the safety of their own home. Due to administrative burdens, many home health agencies have not been able to use this technology,” said Mullin. “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to reduce the number of hospital visits for vulnerable patients. I am proud to work with Congressman Butterfield to cut red tape and help Medicare recipients receive the care they need at home.”
“We in America have made great strides in developing technology to more efficiently address the needs of some of the nation’s most vulnerable. It is imperative that we ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to the latest innovations by removing any unnecessary barriers to quality care,” said Butterfield. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, homebound Medicare beneficiaries need access to disposable negative pressure wound therapy now more than ever. This negative pressure wound therapy not only prevents unnecessary complications and hospitalizations due to preventable chronic wound infections, but it also reduces the number of visits necessary from home health aides. This will reduce the threat of COVID-19 transmission and the unnecessary use of personal protective equipment that results from multiple home visits. Unfortunately, many home health agencies have been discouraged to make use of this technology because of undue administrative burdens. This is why I am glad to join Congressman Mullin in introducing this commonsense legislation to make it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to receive high quality care at home.”
In 2015, Congress acted on a bipartisan basis to provide homebound Medicare beneficiaries access to disposable negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). This cost-effective, clinically proven, and patient-friendly technology can substitute for heavier, durable medical equipment versions of NPWT in the vast majority of cases.
CMS’s implementation of the law, however, created an administrative burden that is discouraging the use of this technology by home health agencies (HHAs). By making it easier for HHAs to treat chronic wounds, Congress can help keep homebound patients—including those with diabetes—out of hospitals and physicians’ offices, where they may risk a greater exposure to COVID-19.