Whatzup Politics (1053)
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3253, the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act, which will extend funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) for two years. The CCBHC pilot program in Oklahoma has provided assistance for those battling mental illness and substance abuse disorders for the last two years and funding for the program currently expires on June 30, 2019.
“Despite the opioid crisis leading to the deaths of more than 70,000 Americans by drug overdoses, only one in ten Americans with an addiction receives treatment,” Mullin said. “CCBHCs have dramatically improved access to community-based opioid addiction care in Oklahoma and the seven other states with pilot programs. Extending funding for these programs will allow more people to get the help they need and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this legislation before funding runs out.”
By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
The United States is in the best neighborhood on the planet and our neighbors are our best customers. Canada is the number one market for exports and Mexico is number two, both nationally and in Oklahoma. Oklahoma exports $1.4 billion worth of goods and services to Canada and $527 million to Mexico, accounting for nearly 40 percent of Oklahoma’s total exports. Over 100,000 Oklahoma jobs rely on our trade with these two countries. These statistics make it clear that trade with our North American neighbors is critical to our economy and job market.
For too long, American consumers and producers have been at a disadvantage because of the outdated and unfair North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). President Trump promised the American people a better trade deal with our North American trading partners and he delivered. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) brings us into the 21st century and puts America first. It will positively impact the lives of countless workers, business owners, farmers, and families in Oklahoma and across our country.
The USMCA was signed nearly seven months ago, on November 30, 2018, by the leaders of the three countries. Under the Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA), it’s up to Congress to enact this agreement. But Speaker Pelosi has yet to bring it to the House Floor for consideration. What are we waiting for?
Every day we delay approving the agreement, we hurt American farmers, ranchers, workers, manufacturers, and businesses. The USMCA will bring home American jobs and continue to grow our economy. According to a study from the International Trade Commission, the USMCA would add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy and create 176,000 new jobs. Auto workers are missing out on $34 billion in investment in their industry. American dairy, wheat, chicken, egg and turkey producers are missing out on expanded access to Canadian customers. Just last week, nearly 1,000 agricultural groups called on Congress to ratify the USMCA citing the benefits the deal brings to the industry.
The American people should not have to wait any longer. It’s time to seal the deal. Speaker Pelosi needs to put politics aside and work with Republicans to deliver this win for our country.
By Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman
As we move past the legislative session and into the summer months, the team at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) has had the privilege of working with two successful youth programs: OK-LEAD and Hoops 4 Heroes.
This most recent OK-LEAD program brought together tribal youth from across the state for one day to meet in conjunction with the Sovereignty Symposium, a forum which examines issues impacting the 39 sovereign nations located within our state boundaries. Students at OK-LEAD met to share stories and discuss issues ranging from tribal and state laws which impact the youth of the state, along with a history of treaties impacting tribal members. One issue that students were extremely engaged in was the importance of respecting tribal traditions when it comes to youth activities, including school graduations. For example, some schools ban the wearing of an eagle feather at graduation. We will be discussing that topic more at our Fall Forum in October, so stay tuned!
OICA also helped orchestrate the pilot program for Hoops 4 Heroes, a national nonprofit that is working to start basketball camps for the children of incarcerated parents in NBA cities across the United States. Nineteen young athletes participated in the program, joining an existing camp associated with the Oklahoma City Thunder. They also attended special events just for them focused on teambuilding and empowerment. The Hoops 4 Heroes kids also played in an exhibition game between the Oklahoma City Police and Fire Departments (congrats to the police, who took home the trophy!). Hoops 4 Heroes was started by two 14-year-olds,Robert Goeas and Vinnie Nicholson, and it was very inspiring to see young people display such a commitment to helping their peers.
With OK-LEAD and Hoops 4 Heroes concluded, OICA is now focusing on our summer activities, which includes our annual gala, the Heroes Ball (and the accompanying “kids only” party: the Sidekicks Ball). One of the reasons for hosting these parties is to celebrate our annual award winners, who I am pleased to announce today.
The Kate Barnard Perseverance Award for lifetime achievement will be presented to the family of Judge Lisa Tipping Davis. Judge Davis, who recently passed away due to cancer, was the presiding juvenile judge for Oklahoma County and had a distinguished career in public service, especially for helping young Oklahomans. Lisa’s children will be present to accept her award at the banquet, to be held on Friday, July 26.
The Sonic Commitment Award will go to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, the program which has investigatory oversight over state programs relating to child well-being. OCCY is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year and was created as a result of the Terry D. Lawsuit, the same case which created OICA.
The soon to be named award for individuals of the year will be given to Karen Waddell, the President and CEO of the Lynn Institute, who was also instrumental in organizing Count Me in 4 Kids, the collaborative effort to help children’s nonprofits in central Oklahoma. Karen and her team are implementing a youth directory for services which will benefit all Oklahomans as they seek aid for our youngest state residents.
Our Gateway to Leadership Award, presented by Gateway First Bank, will be given to two former state representatives who have continued their careers in service. Laura Boyd and Ron Peters, two champions for children who had distinguished careers in creating policy to benefit children in need, will both be honored at the Heroes Ball for their dedication and commitment.
Finally, we are also still taking nominations for our Anne Roberts’ People’s Choice Awards, so please make your nominations at oica.org to ensure we recognize those deserving for their work for Oklahoma’s children!
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens, to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.
Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) released the following statement after President Trump announced that the United States and Mexico have reached an agreement to curb illegal immigration through the southern border and as a result, the tariffs that were set to go into effect on Monday are indefinitely suspended.
“President Trump has proven himself yet again to be a great negotiator and has shown us the art of the deal,” Mullin said. “This is great news for our country. There is a crisis at our southern border and this new agreement with Mexico ensures they will do their part to stop the record-breaking number of people illegally crossing the border. I applaud President Trump and his administration for bringing Mexico to the negotiating table and getting a deal that will help keep the American people safe.”
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Shane Stone (D-OKC) has announced that he does not plan to seek a fourth term as House District 89’s representative.
Stone was elected to the Oklahoma House in 2014. Part of House Democratic leadership, Stone served this past session as the Assistant Democratic Minority Leader. He has also served on the following committees: Administrative Rules, Appropriations & Budget General Government Subcommittee, County and Municipal Government and Insurance.
“Serving with Rep. Stone has been a true honor,” said Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman). “His commitment to working families not only in his district but across Oklahoma has been nothing short of inspiring. I am especially thankful for his friendship and support during my time as minority leader. The House Democrats are extremely grateful for his service to our caucus and the state.”
Stone and his family have deep roots in Oklahoma, especially in House District 89. Having the opportunity to represent the South OKC community has meant a lot to the South Sider.
"Serving South Oklahoma City in the State House has been a dream come true,” Stone said. “However, after much consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020. I will be forever thankful to my family and friends that helped me become the best representative I could be, to my colleagues for working every day to make this state a better place, and to the people of House District 89 for their continued support and the opportunity to serve."
During Stone’s tenure, through his tenacity when advocating for his constituents, he received the respect and appreciation of his Democratic colleagues.
“Shane’s dedication to the good people of House District 89 was apparent the first day I met him,” said Rep. Monroe Nichols (D-Tulsa). “Over the last three years I’ve watched him – one of the youngest legislators serving – become one of the most powerful voices for hard-working Oklahomans. On a personal note, Shane has been my very best friend in the Legislature. Although he’s 10 years younger than me, I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him and consider him one of my greatest mentors. I will miss him dearly. I wish both he and his wife Courtney the best as they shift to a new and exciting chapter in life.”
And his Republican counterparts.
“Representative Stone has been a fierce advocate for South Oklahoma City,” said Majority Leader Jon Echols (R-OKC). “He is always concerned first and foremost with doing what he believes is best for the people of his district. It has been a true honor to serve with him and count him as a friend. South OKC has been served honorably by Representative Stone, and he will be missed.”
Always in the minority, Stone saw the need to ask questions and ensure that legislation passing through the House by the majority was fully vetted by the body.
"There is something special about being an Oklahoma House Democrat and having had the opportunity to serve under Leaders Scott Inman, Steve Kouplen, and now Emily,” Stone said. “I'm beyond optimistic about the future of this caucus knowing that many will continue to ask questions of the supermajority and drag Oklahoma back toward the middle for quality bipartisan solutions.”
Stone’s career has been highlighted with milestones and major victories both inside the Capitol and back in District 89.
"Many of my proudest moments as a representative have occurred close to home,” Stone said. “Coaching Police Athletic League teams, speaking at graduation ceremonies and organizing public meetings; but I was also very honored to have sponsored the inaugural Hispanic Cultural Day at the State Capitol and to have been part of the historic revenue-raising measure to deliver hundreds of millions of annual dollars to public education last year."
By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
When we hear that something is record-breaking, we usually think of something great happening, like a high school team breaking the school’s win record or catching the biggest fish at the lake. But some records are not intended to be broken and that is exactly what is happening with the crisis at our southern border.
More people have been apprehended in the past seven months than during any full year in the last decade. In May, the largest group ever was taken in at the border, with 1,036 people-including 63 unaccompanied children-trying to cross illegally. Border Patrol has come across more than 180 groups of more than 100 people, many using children who are borrowed or bought as pawns, trying to gain access to our country.
Approximately one million illegal aliens are projected to arrive at our border this year alone. Over the last month, Border Patrol has apprehended an average of 4,500 people per day. That is the equivalent of the entire town of Fort Gibson or Broken Bow crossing the border every day of the month.
Migrants are flooding our borders and it’s not only a national security threat, it’s also a humanitarian crisis. Processing centers and detention facilities are far beyond their capacities. Outside organizations who have been helping to provide aid are overwhelmed. We cannot stand by and let this crisis continue to break records day in and day out.
Pelosi Democrats recently put their legislation to address our broken immigration system to a vote. The hyper-partisan bill showed once again that they have no real interest in addressing the crisis and continue to put politics over people. It contained nearly $35 billion for amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and not one penny to secure our border. This is unacceptable and only makes the situation worse.
Every day we go without securing the border is a day that will continue to break the wrong records. I will continue to stand with President Trump in his efforts to secure our border and keep our country safe.
TULSA – Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman, D-Tulsa, released the following statement addressing the recent flooding in Tulsa:
“Today we received an update from the Army Corps of Engineers indicating releases from the Keystone Dam are falling and the level of the Arkansas River is dropping. While this is welcome news, it is important for residents to be aware the situation is still very serious, and health and safety risks remain. As floodwaters recede, neighborhoods will be inspected for safety before evacuated residents are able to return.
“The last few weeks have been very challenging for our communities, but our residents are tough and resilient. Please remember that nobody has to go through this alone; there are many resources available to help those affected by the flooding and severe weather. Residents can still dial 2-1-1 to request assistance. My constituents in District 37 can also call my office at (405) 521-5600 if you have questions or have a specific request for assistance. If you are able to volunteer with relief efforts, please contact the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 or visit their website at redcross.org
“Over the coming weeks and months, I will work tirelessly to make sure our communities have the tools to begin the long road to recovery. I have been coordinating with officials at the federal, state, and local levels on relief efforts and will continue working with them through the recovery process. I want to thank Tulsa City Councilor Jeannie Cue, County Commissioner Karen Keith, and all of the officials who have put in countless hours assisting impacted communities. We also acknowledge and thank the Army Corps of Engineers, Oklahoma National Guard, and first responders for all they have done to protect us. We will continue to come together as Oklahomans and we will move forward.”
A Portion of Senator James Lankford's Newsletter
Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors:
It has been a long few weeks of weather for Oklahoma families, meteorologists, first responders, and emergency management personnel after spring storms, tornadoes, and flooding have hit us and the Midwest especially hard this year. My staff and I remain very engaged with local, state, and federal officials to get people and communities the support they need to recover. Cindy and I continue to pray for those affected and for the brave first responders helping people evacuate flooded areas and rescuing Green Country residents as they are affected by flooding and storms.
Oklahoma's process to apply for federal disaster assistance is ongoing. In the meantime the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management asks affected residents to report damage to their property at damage.ok.gov or call 2-1-1 from anywhere in the state.
On May 23, the Senate passed and I voted for the disaster supplemental funding bill, which included funding for ongoing disasters affecting Oklahoma and the Midwest. Additionally, the bill included an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. The bill has not yet passed the House, but I look forward to its consideration in the days ahead.
Predominantly, local and state resources respond in disasters, but there is also a federal component, especially FEMA assistance and flood management through the US Army Corps of Engineers. I remain engaged with FEMA and the Corps personnel on the ground and will continue to receive regular updates on the status of the dam and levee system. I will also directly push for a clear after-action review concerning all federal responses to flooding in Oklahoma.
In addition to our ongoing weather concerns, May is Military Appreciation Month, and I hope that Oklahomans took time with family and friends on Memorial Day to remember those who bravely fought and died for our nation in order to protect our freedoms and way of life. I recently spoke on the Senate floor in support of our active duty military, veterans, and their families.
As Oklahomans continue to reel from flooding and storm damage, I also want to draw your attention to today’s anniversary of another type of disaster: the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. As many as 300 black Tulsans were killed and 1,200 structures were destroyed from May 31, 1921 – June 1, 1921, in a devastating race massacre that destroyed the entire Greenwood District of North Tulsa, formerly known as Black Wall Street. This day is a terrible stain on Oklahoma’s past, but it is also a day to remember and learn from our history. To learn more about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
In God We Trust,
United States Senator for Oklahoma
I enjoyed spending time with the Stigler High School band while they visited DC. Proud of this young group of students!
Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department Seeks Applications For The Land and Water Conservation Fund
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department announced Wednesday that the department is now accepting applications for grant funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Applications are due by 4 p.m. July 31, 2019.
The program is administered through a strategic partnership between the National Park Service and the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.
“The Tourism Department is committed to providing recreational opportunities for Oklahomans that enhance the quality of life in our communities,” said Director of State Parks Kris Marek. "The federal dollars provided by the LWCF program allow communities to determine their greatest needs in order to improve their facilities and provide greater amenities for their citizens.”
The LWCF program provides matching grants to state park facilities and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. The program is intended to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of recreation areas and facilities and to stimulate local investments in the protection and development of recreation resources across the state.
Grants Program Contacts
Grant applications may be found at TravelOK.com/state-parks/get-involved. For additional information about these programs, please contact the following:
About the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department works to preserve, maintain and promote the state’s natural assets and cultural richness through tourism. The Department’s Travel Promotions division administers programs designed to build awareness of the state as a destination and educates on the economic importance of the Oklahoma travel and tourism industry. The staff also oversees the agency’s marketing and promotions efforts along with operating Tourism Information Centers located at major entry points around the state. To learn more about the Department, visit TravelOK.com.
Follow the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department on social media
About the Oklahoma State Parks
Established in 1937, the Oklahoma State Parks system comprises more than 30 parks and five state park lodges around the state. The ecologically diverse parks offer an outdoor experience for every type of vacation. To learn more about the Oklahoma State Parks, visit TravelOK.com/Parks
Follow the Oklahoma State Parks on Facebook: Facebook.com/OklahomaStateParks
By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
While many people across the country celebrated the unofficial start of summer last week, Oklahoma braced for severe weather and faced catastrophic flooding. As I traveled around Northeastern Oklahoma to help communities and meet with emergency management teams, I saw areas devastated. Roads we are used to traveling on a daily basis are not accessible and some have even washed away completely. Families had to evacuate their towns and some even lost their cars, homes, and businesses to the flood.
But in this time of crisis, the Oklahoma Standard is alive and well. Whether it was sandbagging a neighborhood or letting a displaced family stay in your home, neighbors have helped neighbors get through this tough time together. It is inspiring to see so many step up to help those in need.
When the waters start to go down, we will begin the long road of recovery. We will rebuild homes and businesses that were lost and repair damaged roads and bridges. But as we start this process one thing is abundantly clear: we need infrastructure for the 21st century.
A strong, modern infrastructure system is critical, especially when disaster strikes. It provides the necessary transportation paths for families trying to get to safety and for first responders to get to the disaster area for search and rescue. Crumbling roads and bridges put peoples’ lives at risk. We need roads that live up to our demands. As we rebuild the roadways that were washed away or damaged, we should use designs and materials that allow for better water absorption and can withstand the elements.
But it’s not just our roads and bridges that need our attention, it’s also our waterways. During the flooding, dams and levees have been pushed to their limits. Thankfully, they have not failed. But they desperately need maintenance and upgrades in order to withstand this level of use without being compromised. Unfortunately, the timeline for repairs is often years long because of government regulations. It’s time to cut the bureaucratic red tape and make the necessary upgrades in a timely matter to prevent further damage when disaster strikes.
Congress is about to begin a long summer of legislative session and one of the top priorities for President Trump is an infrastructure package. But the only way it gets done is if my colleagues on the other side of the aisle stop playing politics and put the American people first. Our country is desperate for modern infrastructure that meets our needs in the 21st century. I hope that both sides can come together to accomplish this important goal for the good of Oklahoma and the good of our country.