Congressman Frank Lucas is pleased to announce five upcoming town hall meetings in Dewey, Woodward, Washita, Ellis and Harper counties on March 30th through April 1st. 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.
Monday, March 30:
Taloga Town Hall Meeting10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.Great Plains National Bank, Community Room100 S. Broadway, Taloga, OK
Woodward Town Hall Meeting1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.Woodward Conference Center, Meeting Room 23401 Centennial Lane, Woodward, OK
Tuesday, March 31:
Cordell Town Hall Meeting1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Cordell Police Department, Precinct Room105 W. Main St., Cordell, OK
Wednesday, April 1:
Shattuck Town Hall Meeting10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.Shattuck Chamber of Commerce Building115 South Main Street, Shattuck, OK
Laverne Town Hall Meeting1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.Laverne Community Center201 South Broadway, Laverne, OKRead More
Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed the bipartisan EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1029), introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice-Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). The bill brings fairness, transparency, and independence to the EPA’s expert panel.
“The EPA’s Science Advisory Board was intended to provide a meaningful, balanced, and independent assessment of the science that informs federal regulatory decisions,” said Congressman Lucas. “However, the EPA systematically silences voices of dissent on the Science Advisory Board, ignores calls for independence and balanced participation, and prevents the Board from responding to Congressional requests. This is a good-government bill; it reflects the values we should uphold regardless of which side of the political aisle we are on. The bill recognizes the important role science should play in our policy debates and provides safeguards to give the public confidence in science. It restores the independent Science Advisory Board as a defender of scientific integrity.”
The SAB was created in 1978 to provide independent expert advice to the EPA and Congress on scientific and technical information that may be used to justify federal regulations. Over the past decades, shortcomings with the current process have arisen, including limited public participation, EPA interference with expert advice, and potential conflicts of interest.
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act:
· Strengthens public participation and opportunities for the public to comment
· Reinforces peer review requirements and reduces conflicts of interest
· Provides opportunities for dissenting panelists to make their views known
· Requires communication of uncertainties in scientific findings and conclusions
In western Oklahoma, we’re no strangers to regulatory overreach from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Farmers, ranchers and small businesses are often surprised to find themselves the target of burdensome and downright inefficient regulations.
These regulations range from something as specific as farm fuel tank permitting requirements to vastly prohibitive restrictions on the electric plants that power our homes.
Government intrusion into America’s energy and agricultural sectors reverberates into our everyday lives in the form of higher food prices or monthly energy bills. Stagnant wages and underemployment have only exacerbated this problem for families trying to make ends meet.
The science behind EPA regulations is as important as the money they siphon from our economy. Science and data are invaluable tools in helping us navigate complex policy issues, and when the economic cost of these regulations reaches into tens of millions of dollars, we need to get it right.
The Science Advisory Board (SAB) is a panel of independent experts that reviews the science behind EPA rules which potentially impact the lives of millions of Americans. The heavy costs of these regulations should warrant some degree of public oversight and an assurance that this board’s findings are free from bias – not provided by a set of handpicked advisers.
Shortcomings with the process have come up recently, including limited public participation, interference with expert advice and possible conflicts of interest. These are alarming signs for an organization whose reputation stems from impartiality.
This week the House will vote on a bill I introduced to address these issues and ensure the science guiding EPA’s regulatory policy is objective, open and balanced.
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act prevents the agency from using this advisory board to simply sign off on their regulatory agenda by empowering the board to listen to outside expertise. State and private experts sometimes have the greatest knowledge on issues. However, too often they are locked out of this process entirely. This should be reason enough to implement transparency measures to this board.
In fact, during most SAB meetings participation from the public is limited, if not entirely absent, and there is essentially no avenue for interested parties to comment on the scope of the board’s reviews. Some of the members who serve on the panel have even made public statements advocating specific policy positions on the same issues they are tasked with providing unbiased scientific advice.
Partisan inclinations should play no role in EPA’s science. And actively shutting out certain unpopular viewpoints is a disservice to scientific integrity and the public. My proposal requires members to disclose potential conflicts of interest and makes them available for public review.
For an agency that consistently shrugs off Congressional oversight efforts, the significance of SAB’s role cannot be overstated. Opposition to our proposal’s goal to shine light on the board’s review process is merely an excuse to defend the advisory board’s obstructionist and partisan status quo.
This is a good-government bill, one that can help restore credibility and trust in a federal agency that has lost much of it. Disagreements on scientific conclusions should not occur on the House floor, and this legislation will ensure the best experts are free to undertake an open and honest review of EPA’s regulatory science.
Lucas has represented congressional districts in western Oklahoma since 1994. He sits on the Agriculture and Financial Services committees and is vice chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas is pleased to announce upcoming town hall meetings to be held in Beckham, Custer, Kingfisher, Blaine and Garfield counties on March 9th through 11th. 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.Monday, March 9: Sayre Town Hall Meeting 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Western Technology Center 2002 NE Highway 66, Sayre, OK 73662 Clinton Town Hall Meeting 11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Frisco Center 101 South 4th Street, Clinton, OK Tuesday, March 10: Kingfisher Town Hall Meeting 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Chisholm Trail Museum 605 Zellers Ave., Kingfisher OK Watonga Town Hall Meeting 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. City Hall Grand Ballroom 117 N. Weigle, Watonga, OK Wednesday, March 11: Enid Town Hall Meeting 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Gantz Student Center, GU 100 (north side of the Ballroom) 100 South University Avenue, Enid, OK Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, today questioned Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about the impact of the central bank’s quantitative easing policy on older Americans and those saving for retirement. The Federal Reserve’s policies have artificially restrained interest rates, threatening the value of traditionally safer assets such as bonds or bank deposits.
At a House Financial Services hearing Lucas noted, “Over the course of the last six years, policy decisions have been made… dramatically causing interest rates to be less than they would have normally been, and at the same time, having an aggressive buying program on certain assets that would in effect hold up their value above and beyond what they would normally be worth that there is a cost there.”
Lucas expressed concern about the consequences of these policies on older Oklahomans and those approaching retirement. “Someone is paying for the economic methadone we’ve been existing on for six years,” Lucas said. In response, Yellen acknowledged that “it’s been a tough period for savers…retirees especially”.
Addressing concerns from older constituents, Lucas requested numbers from the Federal Reserve reflecting the transfer of value between one asset class to another as a result of quantitative easing.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) today introduced H.R. 1029, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015, legislation to ensure the science guiding EPA’s regulatory policy is objective, independent and available for public review. The bipartisan bill establishes guidelines for membership to the Science Advisory Board, which advises the EPA’s regulatory decisions. Companion legislation was also introduced today in the Senate by Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
“I appreciate Congressman Peterson joining me in this bipartisan effort to ensure the best experts are free to undertake a balanced and open review of regulatory science. The Science Advisory Board (SAB) informs the EPA on regulations that impact the lives of millions of Americans,” said Congressman Lucas. “The heavy costs of these regulations warrant some degree of public oversight to ensure SAB’s findings are free from bias or conflicts of interest and not simply provided by a set of handpicked advisors. The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act addresses these issues by ensuring the science guiding EPA’s regulatory policy is open to review by the public and requiring members who serve on this board to disclose their professional backgrounds.”
“The Science Advisory Board’s work is important to making sure the EPA considers all scientific information when writing regulations that will impact American farmers, families and small businesses. This legislation builds on the work done in the 2014 Farm Bill and is necessary to ensure the EPA takes into account the best information possible, with input from the public and independent stakeholders. A balanced and independent Science Advisory Board will help alleviate some of the unintended consequences surrounding EPA regulations,” said Congressman Peterson.
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015 amends the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1978 to:
Yukon, Okla. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) recently welcomed Kirby Smith to serve as field representative for the southwest portion of Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District, which covers 11 counties. Smith, a native of Elk City, previously served as the Public Information Manager for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
“I am glad to have Kirby join our team,” said Lucas. “With her knowledge of the district and previous work experience, she will be a tremendous asset to my staff and the constituents of Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District.”
“Western Oklahoma is my home, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Congressman Lucas’ staff. I look forward to serving the people of Oklahoma’s third district,” said Smith.
Smith is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Agricultural Communications. She is the daughter of Ralph and Tammy Smith of Elk City.
Congressman Lucas’ district office provides several services to constituents, including assistance with federal casework and information regarding federal grants. Smith will work out of Lucas’ Canadian County office. She can be reached at (405) 373-1958.
This week President Obama released his annual budget proposal for the federal government. And for the first time in years, he actually sent it to Congress on time. In fact, this is only the second time in his presidency he has met his legal obligation to submit this important spending plan on time.
While it’s the duty of Congress to pass a budget, the president releases his budget to outline his agenda for the year to come. Unfortunately, this agenda amounts to nothing more than a big government wish list. The president has laid out his vision for the coming year – more taxes, more spending and more debt.
Unlike American families, who must prioritize their spending, the president’s budget never balances – not 10, or even 20 years from now. This is simply irresponsible.
By not paying down our national debt, the interest on this debt will continue to grow, just like a loan from a bank. If the president’s budget were to take effect, the annual cost of interest alone would soon become larger than our nation’s spending on national defense, Medicaid or all other agency spending for that matter. This means it will become more difficult – if not impossible – to pay off our debt burden down the road. Simply borrowing more money is in effect taxing tomorrow’s generation to pay for bigger government today.
And most Americans don’t even want a larger federal government. Like many of you, I have greater faith in the ability of individual Americans to create prosperity than the government. That’s why several of my colleagues in Congress, including myself, have called for a balanced national budget. We need to practice fiscal restraint today so that ten years from now, we don’t find ourselves exponentially deeper in debt.
It’s common sense. The federal government should not spend more than it takes in. Rather than reaching deeper into the pockets of taxpayers, we need to sit down and figure out where money can be saved. However, President Obama has indicated he is content with continuing the trend of tax-and-spend government by proposing more than $2 trillion in new taxes over the next decade.
Many of these the taxes would indiscriminately hit ordinary Americans. For example, President Obama would like to raise the Death Tax to 60 percent. This will make it even more difficult for families to pass their farm or ranch down to their children or grandchildren. It’s absurd to place the burden of more government spending on the backs of farm families in rural America.
Today our national debt sits at over $18 trillion. Since President Obama took office, our national debt has risen by over $7.5 trillion. There’s no debating the fact that something must be done to address this, and I look forward to working towards a budget that pays for our nation’s priorities, while addressing the major issues that contribute to our national debt.Read More
El Reno, OK – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, in El Reno to discuss the 2014 Farm Bill and its impact on the state of Oklahoma. The legislation has strengthened several agricultural programs, such as crop insurance, while increasing accountability by repealing direct payments and tightening eligibility requirements. Today’s event at Redlands Community College marks the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the 2014 Farm Bill.
“I am glad to be in Oklahoma today to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Farm Bill,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The Farm Bill has already created jobs, helped farmers reach new markets at home and abroad and boosted the country's economy. This bill has provided much needed disaster relief and reformed programs to better help farmers manage risk. It has also helped families secure home loans, extended credit to small businesses, and invested in innovative research and conservation partnerships in every state. I want to thank Chairman Lucas once again for his hard work in getting this bipartisan bill through Congress and to the President's desk.”
“I appreciate Secretary Vilsack joining me in this forum to discuss the Farm Bill and address the legislation’s implementation with constituents,” said Congressman Lucas. “In addition to saving taxpayers $23 billion, this Farm Bill provides a true safety-net to producers in Oklahoma and the rest of the country. As I stressed during the creation process, the Farm Bill is not written for the good times but for when times aren’t so good. I am proud of the work we did and look forward to working with the Secretary in continuing to effectively implement the important reforms included in this Farm Bill.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) issued the following statement after President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address this evening:
“Tonight the president laid out his vision for the remaining two years of his presidency. Americans are eager to see the president work with – not around – Congress, and the new Republican majority in both the House and the Senate is prepared to find areas where we can come together with the president.
“We are only two weeks into the 114th Congress and so far we have worked aggressively to introduce commonsense, conservative legislation to get our country back on track. Many of these measures are aimed at making it easier for small businesses to hire new employees by rolling back inefficient regulations that hurt economic growth.
“For instance, the House voted to fix a provision within Obamacare that defines full time employment as 30 hours per week, rather than the traditional 40 hours. This provision is just one of many in the president’s vastly complex and unworkable health care law that has discouraged a large number of businesses from hiring more employees.
“The House has also passed legislation to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project the president’s own State Department predicts will support roughly 42,000 jobs and generate over $2 billion in earnings for American workers. More importantly, the pipeline will establish a pathway toward American energy security by helping to shield our country from the constant global volatility of oil supply and prices.
“The Keystone XL pipeline is just one of many energy projects awaiting federal approval. Shale energy production, for example, has the potential to support millions of American jobs while offering a safe and reliable supply of energy. President Obama has the opportunity to make significant progress in this area. Instead, he has focused his efforts on targeting small businesses and ag producers through the Environmental Protection Agency, under arbitrary environmental rulemaking.
“Congress has shown that we are willing to get to work. Unfortunately, the president has chosen to further entrench himself in the same political rhetoric we have heard before. This month alone, he has issued six veto threats. And tonight he proposed yet another tax increase, which has essentially no chance of becoming law.
“Americans already pay enough in taxes. If anything, we should be working to create a simpler and fairer tax code. Oklahomans know that we cannot tax our way to prosperity, and a larger government will only get in the way of a growing private sector. The president’s plan is flawed because a healthy economy does not originate from Washington.
“I strongly believe that jobs and prosperity come from our community – from the small businesses, manufacturers, farmers and ranchers. It’s our innovation and hard work that will keep our country strong for years to come.
“If the last six years are any indication of the next two, the president’s promises will prove to be more empty rhetoric. Congress stands ready to work with the president on a number of issues, but every time President Obama chooses to act unilaterally or go around Congress, it contributes to his growing trust deficit with Congress.
“Our constituents elected us to represent their interests and values in Washington. Oftentimes, the legislation President Obama is blocking is the same legislation the American people sent us here to pass. The president has an opportunity to set aside his all-or-nothing approach that has driven a sharp ideological wedge in our country. I am willing and ready to work with my colleagues in Congress and the president on the solutions we need to get our country back on track and back to work. I look forward to being a part of a productive 114th Congress.”
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.
The House-passed budget plan balances our nation's budget in nine years and sets us on the path to a stronger economy http://t.co/oz7xdDlC7s
Retweeted by RepFrankLucas
Retweeted by RepFrankLucas
Under President Obama, our national debt has soared from $7.5 trillion to $18.1 trillion. The House-passed budget yesterday balances the budget
Earlier this afternoon I addressed several folks from Altus, including representatives from Altus Air Force Base and Altus Chamber of Commerce,
Look forward to hosting five town hall meetings next week in Dewey, Woodward, Washita, Ellis and Harper counties! Visit my website for more details...
There’s still more work to be done to improve rural veterans’ access to health care but I’m glad to see the VA Dept. reevaluate distance
Happy first day of spring & good luck to Oklahoma State Cowboy Basketball and Oklahoma State Cowgirl Basketball!