Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas is pleased to announce upcoming town hall meetings to be held in Ponca City, Perry, Stillwater and Guthrie on Tuesday, May 31st and Wednesday, June 1st. Residents of these locations are invited to attend and share their thoughts on current events in Washington. Lucas will be discussing his work in Congress, taking questions about issues important to constituents of the Third Congressional District and asking for input on legislation currently before Congress.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Ponca City Town Hall Meeting
Standing Bear Museum
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
601 Standing Bear Parkway
Ponca City, OK 74601
Perry Town Hall Meeting
Perry Municipal Building
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
729 Cedar Street
Perry, OK 73077
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Stillwater Town Hall Meeting
Stillwater Public Library (Room 309)
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
1107 South Duck Street
Stillwater, OK 74074
Guthrie Town Hall Meeting
Oklahoma Territorial Museum
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
406 E Oklahoma Avenue
Guthrie, OK 73044Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-3) today voted to pass the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation which funds our nation’s military and sets our defense priorities for the year to come. Lucas released the following statement upon passage of the bill:
“Despite veto threats from President Obama, I believe the House-passed NDAA puts forward the best vision for the future of our military and national security,” said Congressman Lucas. “Whether it’s increasing troop pay or streamlining the acquisition system, this legislation boosts military readiness and ensures our servicemen and women have the tools they need to carry out the mission we ask of them.”
“Like the past five NDAA bills signed into law by President Obama, today’s legislation also contains language prohibiting the closure of Guantanamo Bay and prevents any effort to transfer terrorist combatants to American soil.
“From an Oklahoma perspective, this year’s NDAA is particularly important because it maintains support for the delivery of new KC-46A tankers – the next generation of armored aircraft used to perform aerial refueling procedures. Altus Air Force Base will oversee training on this modern aircraft and Tinker Air Force Base will provide logistics and support.”
H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act, is the 55th consecutive annual defense policy bill passed by Congress. The legislation increases troop pay by 2.1 percent and reverses the president’s drawdown on military troops by adding 3,000 Marines and 4,000 Airmen to our armed forces. It also builds upon recent military sexual assault reforms by making it easier for victims to report cases and implementing stricter sentences for offenders.Read More
This week the House Agriculture Committee heard from a variety of retailers, including Love’s Travel Stops in Oklahoma, about their experience working with SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Under a new USDA proposal, there is a growing concern from many retailers and convenience stores that they will no longer be able to accept SNAP benefits.
USDA’s new criteria calls for much stricter requirements on the number and variety of foods a retailer must stock and sell to participate in the program. It also disqualifies businesses where readymade or prepared meals account for over 15 percent of its sales.
This may make sense for more urban, densely-populated areas but for folks in rural America who live 20, 30 or more miles from the nearest grocery store, the new standards are far too stringent. Smaller retailers are disproportionately impacted because they are simply unable to keep up with stricter staffing and food stocking requirements. These sorts of business decisions make it significantly more difficult for retailers who are looking to open up shop in regions without large grocery stores.
Assistance programs like SNAP serve an important purpose to help folks who are struggling to put food on the table.
It’s also an essential reality for the development and passage of any modern Farm Bill that maintains critical protections and resources for our nation’s farmers and ranchers. We made big reforms in the 2014 Farm Bill to rein in excessive spending and promote SNAP accountability by tightening the standards for eligibility and implementing commonsense restrictions.
Several years of hard work and bipartisan negotiations went into crafting and passing the 2014 Farm Bill, and I believe the law is very clear when it comes to which retailers may or may not participate in the food stamp program.
That’s why both Republicans and Democrats on the Agriculture Committee are troubled by USDA’s attempt to rewrite portions of the existing legislation. Estimates suggest that under the new policy tens of thousands of smaller convenience stores throughout rural America and the rest of the country would effectively be locked out from accepting SNAP benefits.
Families who currently rely on these assistance programs would be forced to travel even further for affordable and sustainable groceries or lose access to them altogether.
In fact, many of these stores have even indicated that a vast majority of customers using food stamps at their locations are residents of the community, not just those passing through.
The bottom line is that SNAP must remain accountable and accessible for all Americans – not just those in heavily populated parts of the country. I have joined several of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in a letter to the USDA requesting that they stick to what the 2014 Farm Bill laid out.
As I’ve said on numerous occasions, the Farm Bill is not written for the good times but for when times aren’t so good. This applies to both the production and the nutrition side of things.
I look forward to continuing our work with the USDA and hope that we can effectively implement the reforms laid out in the Farm Bill.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) recently named Conner Carroll as staff assistant in his Washington office. Carroll, a native of Perkins, Oklahoma, graduated from Oklahoma State University in May with a degree in Agribusiness. He will assist constituents who call into Lucas’ office, in addition to organizing tours, managing the internship program and handling Capitol flag requests.
“We are excited to bring Conner onto our team here in Washington,” said Congressman Lucas. “He has demonstrated a strong understanding of the district and I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to my staff and our constituents.”
“As a lifelong resident of Perkins, Oklahoma, and a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University, I couldn’t be more excited to serve the constituents of the Third District here in Washington, D.C.” said Carroll. “I am thankful and excited for the opportunity to join Congressman Lucas’ staff.”
Last summer, Carroll served as an intern for Congressman Lucas in Washington. Prior to that, he participated in a legislative internship with Oklahoma State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Carroll is the son of Jimmy and Becky Carroll of Perkins, Oklahoma.
Congressman Frank Lucas welcomes Carroll to his DC office.(Click photo for HD version)Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-3) today voted to pass H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, legislation to modernize and establish clear protections to the privacy rights of American’s email and electronic files. According to the three-decade-old law that currently covers electronic communications, the government and law enforcement are allowed to access emails in most inboxes that are more than six month old without needing to obtain a warrant.
Lucas, a cosponsor of today’s privacy legislation, released the following statement upon its overwhelmingly bipartisan passage in the House of Representatives by a vote of 419-0.
“Your private emails should be just that: private,” said Congressman Lucas. “I’m encouraged to see a vast majority of my colleagues in the House unite behind this comprehensive bill to modernize our laws on email and data privacy. Our Constitutional rights should never be left to fester under aging laws when we have the ability to fix them. I hope the Senate and President Obama will recognize the urgent need to take action on this critical issue.”
H.R. 699 overhauls the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 to ensure our nation’s laws are keeping pace with the growth of technology. The Email Privacy Act closes a decades-old loophole that enables government and law enforcement to access emails and other data more than six months old that are hosted on third party servers such as Gmail, Yahoo and most internet service providers.
The legislation creates a new warrant requirement for law enforcement seeking to access email or text messages; continues to hold remote computing service providers subject to warrants; and maintains Congress’s subpoena power to conduct investigations.Read More
In order to sniff out potential terrorist attacks, the National Security Agency (NSA) monitors the metadata of millions of phone calls and other communications. Whether you are for or against this practice, there are strong cases to be made on both sides of this debate – a constant balancing act between privacy and security.
However, most Americans would agree that if an agency like the IRS were to take advantage of similar methods, it would be a clear abuse of our Constitutional right to privacy.
That’s why you may be surprised to learn that according to a nearly 30-year-old law, the government is allowed to access emails in your inbox that are more than six months old without needing to obtain a warrant.
Technology and our day-to-day reliance on it have grown dramatically in the past three decades so it’s hard to believe that the last time Congress legislated on this issue was with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 – before a large majority of Americans were even able to access the internet, let alone email.
This 20th century law applies to email accounts that are hosted on widely used third party servers such as Gmail, Yahoo and many internet service providers. Even electronic files on your phone like photos, videos and text messages that are increasingly being stored on remote servers through cloud computing would be subject to this law.
Who in the government can access this information? It’s hard to say since many agencies keep their operations and procedures under wraps, but this list may very well include the IRS, who could take advantage of existing law to investigate income or gifts that may not have shown up in your tax filing. Internal digital communication within your business or between colleagues could also be accessed.
In fact, former versions of the IRS handbook that have been made public specify that “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation to privacy in such communications.”
It’s one thing to receive an audit from the IRS. It’s an entirely different matter to have a government bureaucrat snooping through your emails.
I am not a lawyer but it doesn’t take one to realize that the laws on the book covering this issue are glaringly out of date.
Your private emails should be just that: private. That’s why a vast majority of members of Congress, including myself, have united behind H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, to revamp and clarify the existing law on this matter. Our Constitutional rights should never be left to fester under aging laws.
This bill establishes strict guidelines for the government or law enforcement to acquire a court-issued warrant before they can look into an individual’s private email or text messages. Law enforcement should have access to a wide arrange of tools to go after criminals but open and unencumbered access to your emails and personal files should not be one of them.
Several well-intentioned pieces of legislation get stuck in congressional committees or vetoed by President Obama but the issue of privacy bridges Americans from both sides of the aisle.
Passing by an enormous margin of 419-0 this week, I hope the magnitude of support behind the Email Privacy Act will encourage the Senate and the president to swiftly take up consideration of this critical matter.
The rapid evolution of technology highlights the pressing need for a more responsive and modern congress, and I believe this legislation is a promising step in the right direction. As your elected representatives, it’s our duty to stay informed on these matters and act accordingly so that we can protect your Constitutional rights and hold those in the federal government accountable.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-3) today voted to pass two pieces of legislation aimed at bringing greater accountability to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its employees.
From 2004 to 2013, the IRS’s inspector general found that almost 1,600 IRS employees were willfully tax noncompliant. The No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act, which passed today by a vote of 254 – 170, seeks to remedy this issue by prohibiting the IRS from hiring any new employees until the Treasury Secretary verifies that no current IRS employees have significant delinquent tax debt.
The IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending Act, which today by a vote of 245 – 179, grants Congress greater control over how the IRS spends fees imposed on taxpayers. These fees amount to roughly $350 million per year, with a portion going towards the implementation of Obamacare, according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
“Frustration with the IRS is an issue that resonates with Americans of all political philosophies. Unfortunately, President Obama has repeatedly blocked any effort to fix our country’s staggeringly complex tax code or even reform the IRS – an agency with an astounding record of dishonesty and incompetence under this Administration,” said Congressman Lucas.
“Any government agency, especially one with so much power over our nation’s workers and businesses, must be held to the highest degree of accountability. With these two bills today, the House continues its fight to protect taxpayers by drawing greater scrutiny toward IRS spending and ensuring the agency’s employees are worthy of the confidence and trust of the American people.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) today released the following statement regarding Tax Day and reforming our nation’s tax code:
“The president’s annual budget has repeatedly shown that he and his party have no interest in fixing our nation’s tax code or even reforming the IRS – an agency that goes above and beyond its mission when it comes to targeting Americans for their religious beliefs but loses billions of dollars every year in fraudulent refunds and cybertheft,” said Congressman Lucas. “These failures are symptomatic of an agency that has become too large and too bureaucratic to carry out its original mission. Taxpayers are shelling out billions of dollars and countless hours to simply comply with our nation’s tax code.
“For families, this is money that could go towards paying the bills and time that could be better spent with their children. For small businesses, these expenses could be the difference between hiring more employees or investing in new capital.
“Tax Day reminds us that there is a real need for tax reform in this country and for years I have advocated for a simpler and fairer tax system, one that encourages economic growth and does not require the help of expensive professionals to decipher. I look forward to continuing this debate and pushing for commonsense reforms to help Oklahomans keep more of their hard earned dollars.”Read More
FAIRVIEW — Congressman Frank Lucas spoke on a variety of issues Tuesday afternoon in a town hall meeting in Fairview.
Lucas spoke a familiar refrain, stating the “political oxygen” is being sucked from Congress and presidential “silly season” is underway.
Regarding Oklahoma, Lucas said the state needs rain. Two of the state’s biggest economic drivers —agriculture and oil— both are impacted by drought, ethanol and other factors.
“We’re caught in a lack of world demand because of lagging world economies,” he said of the two topics.
Agriculture will balance out, he said, but Congress will need to review some Conservation Reserve Programs next year.
Oil prices also will even out within three years, he said.
“This is not 1982,” he said. “It took 15 years for property prices to recover then. It won’t be 15 years. It’s just a matter of how many. I think two to three.”
Regarding federal politics, appropriation bills and a budget resolution remain at a standstill, and Lucas said Congress may not pass a budget resolution.
Lucas, R-Okla., said one year ago Congress passed a budget resolution that set spending caps. The resolution was amended in December and funded the federal government through September 2016, he said.
“Of the $4 trillion the federal government will spend next year, about $1 trillion is discretionary money — money spent on an annual, year-to-year basis,” he said. “The other $3 trillion is mandatory money — from Medicare to Social Security to crop insurance — all of those things. So, one-fourth of total spending you have year-to-year control on. The caps agreed to a year ago are about $30 billion different than the caps agreed to last December.”
Lucas said lawmakers are discussing operating by December’s agreement or the smaller caps from one year ago.
“If we don’t get one (budget resolution) done, well at some point we have to do our work,” he said.
Lucas also spoke on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death and President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
Lucas said he does not disagree with waiting to appoint a new justice until the new president is elected.
“But, if you get to a point in November where someone is elected that the majority in the Senate thinks is even more likely to appoint a judge even more extreme, don’t be surprised if the fella that President Obama has nominated — don’t be surprised if given a choice between that nominee or a Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders with a nominee that you don’t get this guy lined up at the last minute,” Lucas said.
Lucas has not endorsed a presidential candidate, but stands by his previous statement that Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee.
“We may have a Republican convention this summer where the nominee will be decided on the floor,” he said. “Up until 10 days ago, I may not have said that.”
Lucas compared the presidential race to a reality television show.
“If you were running a business, you’d ask for more resumes,” he said. “It’s like reality TV has come to the presidential campaign. Stop talking about each other's wife. Can you remember a time when there was less focus on the issues?”Read More
Oklahoma City, Okla. – Today Congressman Frank Lucas announced two town hall meetings to be held next week in Fairview and Cherokee on Tuesday, April 5th. Residents are invited to attend and share their thoughts on current events in Washington. Lucas will be discussing his work in Congress, taking questions about issues important to constituents of the Third Congressional District and asking for input on legislation currently before Congress.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Fairview Town Hall Meeting
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Fairview Community Center
123 South 6th Ave, Fairview, OK
Cherokee Town Hall Meeting
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Alfalfa County Farm Bureau
113 South Grand, Cherokee, OKRead More
2311 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Frank Lucas is a fifth generation Oklahoman whose family has lived and farmed in Oklahoma for over 100 years. Born on January 6, 1960 in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, Lucas graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1982 with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in a special election in 1994, and is currently serving his 11th term as a Member of Congress.
Frank proudly represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District includes all or portions of 32 counties in northern and western Oklahoma, stretching from the Oklahoma panhandle to parts of Tulsa, and from Yukon to Altus in the southwest. It takes up almost half the state’s land mass and is one of the largest agricultural regions in the nation. Lucas has been a crusader for the American farmer since being elected to Congress in 1994 as well as working to protect Oklahoma values.
Congressman Lucas serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. In addition, he serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Frank also serves as a member of the Republican Whip Team. The Republican Whip Team is led by Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-22). The representatives who are members of the team serve as leaders in their party and work with the Republican leadership team to ensure every American’s voice is heard in Congress.
Prior to his service in the U.S. Congress, Lucas served for five and a half years in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, where he tirelessly defended the rights of private property owners and focused on promoting agriculture issues.
Frank and his wife Lynda have three children and one grandchild. The Lucas family belongs to the First Baptist Church in Cheyenne.
Delivered this year’s graduation address at my high school alma mater in Cheyenne. Congrats to the class of 2016! https://t.co/kd2BuVNnh8
VIDEO: Land conservation is best handled at the local level, not by government bureaucrats thousands of miles away https://t.co/ADD9CNyyTA
Look forward to holding four town hall meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday! You can find the full schedule on my website.
We need to be sure we are doing everything in our power to prevent the spread of the Zika virus. Today in the House Committee on Science, Space,
Last night I had the opportunity to return to my alma mater in Cheyenne to deliver this year’s high school graduation address. Congratulations
Celebrated #ArmedForcesDay with the Piedmont Area Veteran's Association today – thank you to all those who serve and have served our country!
Health premiums are skyrocketing, insurance providers are dropping out, and patients are losing access to their preferred doctors. Obamacare