The terrorist attacks in Paris have shaken France and its allies. We grieve for the lives lost and pray for the recovery and healing of those injured or otherwise impacted. This tragedy is a grave reminder that we cannot waiver in the face of Islamic extremism.
It comes as no surprise that ISIS was behind the coordinated attacks that took the lives of at least 129 individuals and injured more than 350 others. And we cannot blind ourselves to the fact that this is far from an isolated or rare instance. Just the day before, a suicide attack in Beirut took 43 lives and in the previous month a terrorist bombing killed over a hundred people who gathered for a peace rally in Turkey.
Unfortunately, President Obama’s foreign policy strategy leading up to this point has been indecisive and ineffective. Contrary to what the president has told us, ISIS is far from “contained.” What may have started as a regional conflict has begun to spill into the western world.
In Iraq and Syria, ISIS continues to murder thousands of innocent Christians and Muslims alike and with these latest attacks has explicitly set its sights on western democracies. They recently released a video claiming Washington, D.C. as their next target.
We are beginning to witness the consequences of the terrorist organization’s unfettered growth in Syria and Iraq. Their widespread and indiscriminate violence has destabilized vast portions of the Middle East and has triggered a mass exodus of refugees.
While our country has a strong record of providing asylum to those fleeing war and oppression, the recent influx of refugees from Syria presents a unique challenge, as ISIS looks to exploit our compassion to inflict more damage.
The White House has remained tone deaf on this issue. In light of the recent events, President Obama still stands by his call to bring at least 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States over the coming year. Of course, Americans are left wondering why the president has a plan to resettle Syrian refugees but has laid out no vision or strategy to defeat ISIS – the unmistakable source of this crisis.
I believe we should take a step back and get a grip on this issue because we cannot afford to get it wrong. We should halt all incoming Syrian refugees to ensure terrorists are not infiltrating the refugee populations.
The State Department and Department of Homeland Security are tasked with screening thousands of potential refugees. I think it’s appropriate we review this vetting process in order to make sure it is entirely thorough. No one can be allowed to fall through the cracks. Right now, the president cannot honestly make that guarantee.
That’s why I am supporting legislation that will stop the entry of refugees from Syria until Congress can assess these programs.
Anything short of completely dismantling ISIS and its stranglehold on the Middle East will have no lasting impact. Until the president can lay out an acceptable strategy to do this, we must take any and all necessary steps to protect ourselves at home. Our national security is on the line.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) released the following statement today upon news of President Obama’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline:
“Today President Obama chose to promote the interests of environmental groups over those of Oklahomans and the rest of our country. The Keystone pipeline would create thousands of jobs by embracing America’s energy innovation and would help reduce our dependence on oil from foreign countries. The president’s latest move continues his trend of blocking pro-growth economic policies and drags our country backwards when we ought to strongly lead the way in energy production,” said Lucas.
A 2014 report from the State Department found that the pipeline would result in significant economic growth, including 42,100 jobs and contribute $3.4 billion to the U.S. GDP. The report also found that the pipeline would have a much smaller impact on the climate compared to other methods of transportation like rail or tanker.
Oklahoma’s portion of the Keystone XL pipeline has already been completed.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) today met with a group of Oklahoma veterans traveling to Washington as part of the Oklahoma Honor Flights Program. The organization works with volunteers to help ensure World War II veterans can visit the memorials dedicated to their service.
“I am truly grateful for this unique opportunity to welcome our veterans on their trip to our nation’s capital,” said Congressman Lucas. “These monuments are a symbol of the sacrifice and service of these individuals. It was an incredible moment to share with them.”
The Oklahoma Honor Flights program has helped transport veterans to Washington since 2009. All travel costs are covered through private donations. Oklahoma Honor Flights has taken roughly 2,000 veterans on 21 flights since the program’s inception.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) today voted to pass H.R. 702, a bill which would lift the 40 year old ban on exporting crude oil from our country. This legislation comes at a time when oil production in the United States has reached historical highs. Lucas, a cosponsor of the legislation, released the following statement upon the bill’s passage:
“America is currently one of the top global energy producers in the world, and it’s time for us to recognize that. We should be looking for ways to take advantage of our domestic energy production, rather than stifling it through misguided government intervention. Lifting this outdated ban benefits several facets of our economy, from drivers paying less at the pump to the revitalization of rural communities who play a major role in American energy production,” said Lucas.
“It’s disturbing that while the president is content with allowing Iran to enter the global energy market, the United States still faces a domestic ban on the export of oil produced in our own country. In fact, many of our allies would likely prefer to import oil from us rather than more volatile nations. This legislation today simply helps recognize that Russia, Venezuela and the Middle East aren’t the only relevant oil producing nations in the world, and that our country – driven by hardworking and dedicated individuals – ought to be leading the way in energy.”
The crude oil export ban was enacted in 1975 as a response to the Arab oil embargo. H.R. 702, which passed by a vote of 261- 159, effectively ends this ban.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislation would generate $1.4 billion in profits to the federal government over the next 10 years through oil and gas leases. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also anticipates the legislation would help lower gas prices by 1.5 to 13 cents per gallon.
Oklahoma is one of the primary states driving our country’s energy boom. The American Petroleum Institute (API) found that over 2,500 businesses throughout Oklahoma play a role in the oil and gas industry, which supports roughly 364,300 jobs state-wide.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) today voted to pass H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, which would divert federal funding from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, to community health centers across the country for a period of one year. Recent video evidence outlined the removal and sale of tissue from aborted fetuses at Planned Parenthood clinics. These graphic images and testimony have led to public outrage and prompted congressional investigation and action on this issue. Congressman Lucas released the following statement upon passage of the legislation:
“The practices depicted in recent undercover videos from Planned Parenthood clinics are reprehensible and should have no place in our society today. I support all efforts to further investigate what occurred behind closed doors at these clinics and in the meantime they should not receive a dime of taxpayer money.
“This is not what our country stands for. I have always considered myself pro-life, but I hope that more Americans will come to understand the harsh reality of abortion amidst this controversy.”
Lucas also supported passage of H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protections Act, which requires health care practitioners present when a child is born alive following an attempted abortion to exercise the same degree of care as any other child born alive.
Both H.R. 3134 and H.R. 3504 passed the House today.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas is pleased to announce upcoming town hall meetings to be held in Major, Grant, Alfalfa, Woods, Beaver, Texas, Cimarron, Noble, Kay and Osage counties on August 18th through August 28th. All residents of these locations are invited to attend a meeting and express their opinions. Congressman Lucas will be discussing current events in Washington, taking questions about issues important to constituents of the Third Congressional District, and asking for opinions and input on legislation currently before Congress.
Tuesday, August 18
Fairview Town Hall Meeting3:00 – 4:00 p.m.Fairview Community Center123 South 6th AvenueFairview, OK 73737
Wednesday, August 19
Medford Town Hall Meeting11:00 – 12:00 p.m.Medford City Hall615 North FrontMedford, OK 73759
Cherokee Town Hall Meeting2:00 – 3:00 p.m.Alfalfa County Farm Bureau113 South GrandCherokee, OK 73728
Alva Town Hall Meeting4:00 – 5:00 p.m.NWOSU Student Center, Ranger Room709 Oklahoma AvenueAlva, OK 73717
Thursday, August 20
Beaver Town Hall Meeting2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Beaver County Farm Bureau812 S. DouglasBeaver, OK 73932
Friday, August 21
Guymon Town Hall Meeting8:00 – 9:00 a.m.PTCI Meeting Room607 S. MainGuymon, OK 73942
Boise City Town Hall Meeting10:30 – 11:30 a.m. PTCI Room115 West Main StreetBoise City, OK 73933
Thursday, August 27
Perry Town Hall Meeting4:00 – 5:00 p.m.Perry Municipal Building 729 Cedar StreetPerry, OK 73077
Friday, August 28
Blackwell Town Hall Meeting 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Kay Electric (Kay Room)300 West Doolin AvenueBlackwell, OK 74631
Skiatook Town Hall Meeting3:00 – 4:00 p.m.First Baptist Church of Skiatook825 W Rogers Blvd.Skiatook, OK 74073Read More
“This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.” — President Barack Obama
This is how the president characterized and defended his recent agreement with Iran to delay the country’s nuclear development program. The deal today looks much different than the president’s originally stated mission to outright prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately this latest agreement is nothing more than a speed bump in Iran’s long march toward an atomic bomb.
President Obama’s self-styled landmark deal looks more like the shortsighted product of a legacy-minded, second term president whose time in office is ticking away. The result is a watered down deal that simply delays a pathway to a nuclear Iran, rather than outright preventing it. In exchange for Iran’s cooperation, the United States has vowed to lift sanctions that have been crippling Iran’s economy for years.
One report from economists at Bank of America predicted Iran’s economy would be nearly twice its current size without sanctions. Needless to say, sanctions have been our most significant bargaining chip short of military action, and we are trading it in to merely delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Lifting long-held sanctions will free up large amounts of money that may go to further destabilizing the region. Some figures suggest that Iran will gain access to up to $150 billion – a considerable portion of their overall economy.
Economic sanctions have brought Iran to the negotiating table. But once sanctions are lifted, Iran’s economic windfall immediately strengthens their ability to walk away from the agreement and insulates them from future nuclear proliferation deals. We cannot re-impose sanctions if the money is already spent.
For a deal allegedly not built on trust, we are putting a great deal of faith in the Iranian government. Iran remains on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. Even with the agreement in place, it’s hard to believe that none of this cash windfall will be funneled toward weapons or missiles pointed at our allies in the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose country now must contend with a stronger and bolder Iran, said the deal gives Iran “hundreds of billions of dollars to fuel their terror and military regime.” Iran’s rhetoric toward Israel has not subsided and it’s hard to believe their support of terrorist proxies such as Hamas or Hezbollah will either.
Despite Iran’s troubling past of violating international agreements, the deal is surprisingly toothless. The ‘verification’ aspect of the agreement can take as long as 24 days, as inspectors must work through a bureaucratic appeals process that includes Russia and China. I doubt these countries have a pressing interest to slow down Iran’s nuclear program.
A strong deal would include 24/7 inspections by our own people at any time and at any place. Anything short of that puts too much trust in a nation that has done little to deserve it.
Congress now has 60 days to review this agreement, and I share the concerns of many Americans who believe the deal does not go far enough to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of an aggressive and unpredictable state. Over the next month, I look forward to hearing your thoughts about the Iran deal and how we can keep our country secure for the next generation.Read More
This week marks five years since President Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law. At 2,300 pages and 400 new rules – many of them not even implemented yet – the legislation is one of the most widespread restructurings of our nation’s finance and banking sector in history.
After the 2008 financial crisis, Americans were left with a lot of questions: What does this mean for my retirement? What caused markets to take a turn for the worse? Can we expect any financial stability in the future?
Much of the criticism centered on the concept of banks being “too big to fail”. In other words, a handful of the largest banks in our country had become so systemically important that our nation’s entire economic health hinged on the success or failure of these institutions.
Congress hastily moved to find ways to prevent this from ever happening again. The result was Dodd-Frank. This far-reaching piece of legislation was enacted in an attempt to prevent another financial crisis.
Early on it became clear that the big operators on the east and west coasts – those considered “too big to fail” – were not the ones facing the greatest pressure under the new law. Just as I feared when I voted against Dodd- Frank, it was the small banks that took the hardest hit.
They were quickly overwhelmed. Many have been squeezed out of the marketplace and the barriers to entry have gotten even steeper.
One survey from Harvard University found that the rate of decline in community banks’ market share has doubled since Dodd-Frank was enacted. The authors of the study attributed this downswing to an “increasingly complex and uncoordinated regulatory system.”
For those who live in rural America, these smaller institutions are the lifeblood of the community. In nearly one out of every five counties in our country, community banks are the only physical institution according to the FDIC. It’s the bank where you know the teller and the loan officer, where you have your savings account and where you have your mortgage.
Unfortunately, Dodd-Frank hasn’t done rural America any favors. Community banks are experiencing a downward trend and many small town bankers simply don’t have the time or staff to keep up.
One community banker told me the biggest challenge, five years after Dodd-Frank, is just the sheer volume of regulations issued in the law’s 2,300 pages. For every page, she says, you have implementing regulations. Some of which strip away their discretion to the point where long-term customers with a history of reliable payments must be turned away.
Many smaller banks simply can’t keep up. Unlike larger financial institutions, these banks can’t afford to hire staff to work on compliance full-time. They end up spending thousands of dollars sending staff to compliance classes just so they can continue to follow the deluge of new rules and regulations.
These costs inevitably hit the consumer. For many community banks, Dodd-Frank has driven them out of the mortgage lending business altogether. Your local financial institution, which knows the customers, knows the properties, and knows the values, won’t be able to write mortgages anymore.
The bottom line is our country’s community financial institutions need relief. They were never the intended target of Dodd-Frank and members on both sides of the aisle realize this. Rather than drive these institutions out of business, Congress should act to bring some commonsense to a law that has left us with more paperwork but fewer solutions to the problems that got us here.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Vice Chairman of the House Science Committee, congratulated NASA on the recent success of its New Horizons space probe. Launched in 2006, the probe was designed to collect data on Pluto and its moons.
“Who said there are not new things to see in the world?” said Congressman Lucas. “The spectacular images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons space probe are simply inspiring. The program’s success reflects years of hard work by the men and women behind this project, and I join the rest of the country in congratulating the entire team behind the mission. From where I’m sitting, it looks like a planet to me.”Read More
Everyone’s got to eat. So in agriculture, we are always planning for tomorrow. Not only does our livelihood depend on it, millions of Americans rely on access to affordable and safe produce to feed their families. However, most people don’t think too much about how their meal made it to their plate.
A poll conducted earlier this year by the Pew Research Center surveyed the gap between public perception and scientific consensus on issues such as climate change, vaccinations and evolution.
The issue that showed the single largest gap between the public and scientists? Whether genetically modified (GM) foods were safe to eat.
While 88 percent of scientists polled believed there was no danger in consuming GM foods, only 37 percent of American adults shared that same opinion.
To get to the bottom of this puzzling disparity, I recently led a bipartisan roundtable in the House Science Committee to discuss the science behind GMOs. A genetically modified organism, or GMO is essentially the result of transferring a desirable trait from one plant or organism to another. The goal of this process is to strengthen an existing crop, thereby increasing its yield, durability or even nutritional value.
This technology has existed for many years. The scientific concept and practice of crossbreeding plants for stronger traits has been around since the dawn of agriculture.
But as the term ‘GMO’ appears on more and more packaging in our grocery stores, it’s reasonable for people to have honest questions about them.
At our roundtable discussion, Dr. Kevin Folta, chair of the Horticulture Sciences Department at the University of Florida, addressed many of the misconceptions and challenges facing the public perception of GMOs. Dr. Folta contended that common health concerns surrounding GMOs are simply unscientific, and that the nutritional value and safety of these foods is no different than traditional crops.
There has been no single case of a person developing any illness, sickness or disease from GM food.
GMOs are actually well researched and stringent academic and industry studies continue to take place, even before the products go to market. From seed to grocery store aisle, there is an exhaustive process a GM product must first undergo. Seed varieties are tested by the USDA, FDA and EPA, not to mention the businesses and organizations whose success relies on sound scientific research.
Biotechnology has also made great strides in sustainability for both our environment and food supply. Land is a finite resource but the demand for food follows a forever upward trend. GM crops offer an innovative solution to this escalating issue.
A GM seed can grow in a wider variety of soils. It can withstand harsher conditions. It can require less pesticides or herbicides. Research today even suggests we can augment the nutritional value of certain produce through biotechnology.
In fact, we have already begun to see this through Golden Rice, which was developed to address malnutrition in developing countries that lack access to certain vitamin-rich foods.
The bottom line is GM crops are better suited to grow in their environment.
For farmers, this means a measurably lower rate of crop failure, with less time and money spent on pesticide application. For the everyday consumer, it means cheaper trips to the grocery store. And for those in developing countries, this technology means food is on their plates rather than rotting in fields from drought or pests.
While some local communities have hastily banned or issued restrictions on GM products, federal policy must remain grounded in science. That’s why I believe we should have a uniform national policy on labeling. We can achieve this by taking advantage of existing resources within the USDA and strengthening the FDA’s role in certifying the safety of GM products.
Consumers should have access to the same information about GM products that they have for organic foods today. These steps would uphold our commitment to food safety and meet consumers’ demand for diverse and affordable foods.
The journey from the farm to your table ought to be a transparent one. And whether you’re a farmer, rancher or concerned parent, it’s important we have an open and honest conversation about the merits of using biotechnology.Read 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.
Even after the recent terror attacks that have shaken France and its allies, President Obama stands by his call to bring at least 10,000 Syrian
Happy birthday to our great state! Today marks 108 years since President Teddy Roosevelt signed the proclamation that made Oklahoma the 46th
Grateful for the opportunity to speak at the Oklahoma Farm Bureau convention this afternoon! It's important we make our voices heard in the fight
Thank you to all who have served and sacrificed to keep our nation safe and free. Happy Veterans Day!
The president’s latest decision continues his trend of blocking pro-growth economic policies and drags our country backwards when we ought