I love Thanksgiving in Oklahoma. Hunting season has just kicked-off, it is the thick of wrestling season, and I get to fill up on turkey, pie, and ice cream.
I have so much to be thankful for: my wife, Christie, and our five kids, Jim, Andrew, Larra, Ivy, and Lynette; the opportunity to represent Oklahoma’s Second District; and the support system I have both in Oklahoma and Washington, DC.
The Mullin family grew from five to seven soon after I was elected to Congress when we adopted our twin girls, Ivy and Lynette. Christie and I never planned on becoming adoptive parents, but the Lord had something in store for us that we never could have predicted.
November is National Adoption Month and a time when many of us will gather with our families and give thanks for all of life’s blessings. Christie and I, and our entire family, have been blessed with the opportunity to share our adoption story and spread awareness about adoption and foster care issues.
This year, the focus of National Adoption Month has been on the kids who will age out of the foster care system. No child will outgrow the need for a family, and so we need to talk every day about the kids of all ages who are in need of a permanent, loving home.
When Christie first brought up the idea of adopting the girls, I went through my list of excuses. I said that we could provide support financially, but our life was already in chaos with my election to Congress. She was very patient, even though I was being selfish. Then, she asked me to pray about it.
I could not pray to make her heart as selfish as mine. I could only pray to make mine bigger.
Now, it is hard to remember a time before our family grew. If you are being called to adopt, do not be scared. Pray for an open heart, because by adopting or opening your home to kids in the foster care system, you will help create a brighter future for our nation.
Christie and I, and our entire family, wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season full of God’s blessings.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) on Thursday voted in support of a bill to protect Americans from foreign enemies. The American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act (H.R. 4038), an updated version of the bill Mullin helped introduced earlier in the week, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 289-137.
“The president’s complete lack of leadership in the global fight against ISIS has left Americans vulnerable to attacks by this terrorist group,” said Mullin. “Our responsibility first and foremost is to keep Americans safe. We cannot ensure safety if we cannot verify the identities of the individuals entering our country.”
Under current law, refugees entering the United States are subject to a strict screening process that takes 18 to 24 months to complete. Individuals first register with the international body that manages refugee resettlements and are subject to interviews and assessments. Individuals who pass the assessments are referred to the U.S. government for a screening process that includes health checks, biometric checks, background screenings by the U.S. Homeland Security Department (DHS), and in-person interviews by trained resettlement officers. If the individual passes the DHS background checks and additional screenings, they may be granted entry into the United States.
The SAFE Act reinforces current law with regards to refugees from Syria and Iraq. Under the bill, no refugee from Syria or Iraq would be allowed to enter the U.S. until DHS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence unanimously affirm that the individual poses no security threat and provide a certificate to Congress. The bill also requires DHS to send monthly reports to Congress detailing decisions to approve or deny the admission of refugees from the two countries.
“The SAFE Act is a starting point. We need to continue to have serious conversations about our national security, our strategy to defeat ISIS, and the process for admitting refugees into our country,” Mullin added.
Since 2012, three refugees from Syria have been placed in Oklahoma. These individuals were resettled as part of a family reunification. The SAFE Act will now move to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) on Tuesday was selected to join the conference committee charged with developing the final long-term highway bill.
"I fought for Oklahoma's transportation priorities while the House developed and finalized its version of the long-term highway bill," said Mullin. "Now, I have the opportunity to make sure these priorities are preserved in the final bill that gets signed into law."
The U.S. Senate passed its version of long-term highway legislation, the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vison for the Economy (DRIVE) Act, on July 15, 2015. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its separate long-term highway legislation, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015, on November 5, 2015. The U.S. Constitution and congressional rules allow for a joint, House-Senate conference committee to be appointed to negotiate the differences between the two chambers. Once the negotiated bill is approved by the conference committee it will be sent to both chambers of Congress for final approval before it is sent to the president.
Mullin, a second-term lawmaker on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during his first term representing Oklahoma's Second Congressional District in Congress. Mullin joins U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on the conference committee.
"I am honored to represent the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on this conference committee," Mullin added. "The transportation and energy sectors contribute significantly to Oklahoma's economy, and I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge on these two issues to the table. From ports and airports to highways and bridges, our state has a big interest in the final version of this bill."
Gary Ridley, the Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation, praised Mullin’s selection to the conference committee.
“Oklahoma is very fortunate that Congressman Mullin has been named a conferee on the highway bill, which is extremely important to the state and the nation. He will represent Oklahoma well. His previous experience gives him a wealth of knowledge and shows he is committed to transportation,” Ridley said. “With Senator Inhofe’s leadership as co-chairman of the conference committee and Mullin’s expertise, Oklahoma and the nation will be well served by their common sense approach to transportation policy as they work to pass a long-term reauthorization.”
Mullin's provision to permanently fix conflicting state and federal regulations on the accepted size of highway signs for churches and civic groups is included in both the House and Senate long-term highway bills. He has two additional provisions that support U.S. auto manufacturers that have been included in the House version of the bill. An amendment Mullin offered to allow construction on bridges despite the presence of non-endangered, migratory birds was rejected in the House but is included in the Senate version of the bill.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) on Wednesday voted to better support rural and small community waters systems in Oklahoma and across the country. S. 611, the Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act, a bill that reauthorizes federal assistance programs for small public water systems, was approved by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously.
“Complying with federal standards can be a major financial burden for small and rural drinking water supply systems,” said Mullin, a second-term lawmaker on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We need to make sure our water suppliers have the resources they need to achieve and maintain federal drinking water standards while keeping the cost of water affordable in our communities.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, small water systems make up seventy-seven percent of all U.S. water systems. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for drinking water quality and monitors the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards. S. 611 amends the SDWA to reauthorize EPA grant and technical assistance programs that help small water systems meet and maintain federal drinking water standards. Small water systems can apply to receive awards through grants or cooperative agreements with non-profits that provide certain on-site or regional assistance programs.
“Small and rural communities face unique challenges when it comes to maintaining and upgrading the systems that provide drinking water for families, schools, businesses, and other organizations,” Mullin added. “My priority is to make sure these unique challenges, and all unique challenges of small and rural communities, are considered and addressed in federal policy discussions.”
James Gammill, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Rural Water Association, thanked Mullin for his support on S. 611 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"The Oklahoma Rural Water Association represents over 570 small and rural communities. We are grateful for Congressman Mullin's support on S. 611. Small and rural communities rely on on-site technical assistance and training for compliance with the myriad of federal EPA regulations, avoiding EPA fines, and operating drinking water and wastewater supplies. Without this assistance, effective implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act in rural areas would be nearly impossible," said Gammill.
S. 611 passed the U.S. Senate unanimously on June 9, 2015. The bill must now be passed by the full U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) today issued the following statement after the House Committee on Energy and Commerce advanced two resolutions providing for congressional disapproval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule regulating emissions from power plants:
“The president continues to show a pattern of disregard for hardworking Americans and continues to put the priorities of radical environmentalist ahead of what is best for American families. Not only do these rules threaten economic growth and put the reliability of our electric grid at risk, many American families cannot afford the real-life cost of these rules—the loss of jobs and increase in electricity rates will have profound impacts on all of our neighbors, but especially those who are already struggling to pay their bills. Our committee has taken action to rein in this administration, and the Senate has already voted to reject the so-called Clean Power Plan. Congress will disapprove of these rules, put the resolutions on the president’s desk, and make him answer to the American people.”
MUSKOGEE - The opportunity to apply for admission to one of the U.S. Service Academies is available to any Second Congressional District student willing to work very hard and go the extra mile in preparing themselves for the rigorous expectations of an academy.
Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) said service academies offer a challenging curriculum and they train the next generation of leaders.
“Any student in our district interested in attending one of these service academies must be prepared to work hard, persevere and challenge themselves,” Mullin commented. “But the pay off will benefit our entire nation. Our country needs more strong leaders with solid Oklahoma values.”
Lacey Kelley is a 2014 Tahlequah High School graduate that Mullin nominated and who was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Kelley said she wanted to attend the Naval Academy because she recognized it was an opportunity to further her both personally and professionally. Kelley is studying mathematics and will graduate in 2018.
“Life at the academy is high-paced and challenge-filled,” Kelley said. “The academy presents daily opportunities for you to push your limits and rise to the challenges put before you.”
The process of applying for a service academy should begin early in a student’s high school career. Mullin encourages interested students to begin researching requirements and taking the necessary rigorous classes in ninth grade. Students can apply beginning in their junior year of high school.
Kelley, who will be visiting several area schools in the coming weeks, also suggests any students interested in an academy to take as many academically challenging classes as possible and getting involved in team sports and strengthening their physical standards to meet the academy’s requirements.
“Also, for aspiring applicants, I would advise looking into the Summer Seminar and STEM programs that the academy offers to high school students,” she added. “These programs give students a glimpse into academy life and serve well in the decision making process involved in coming to the academy.”
Kelley is scheduled to speak this month at Okmulgee High School, Tahlequah High School, Fort Gibson High School and the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Regional Center.
Service academies include:
US Military Academy: West Point, N.Y.
US Naval Academy: Annapolis, Md.
US Air Force Academy: Colorado Springs, Colo.
US Coast Guard Academy: New London, Conn.
US Merchant Marine Academy: Kings Point, N.Y.
Additional information on academy application processes can be found online at mullin.house.gov or on each academy’s website.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) on Monday joined his colleagues in introducing the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act (H.R. 3999), a bill to make sure refugees entering the United States are properly vetted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“There are radical, intolerant forces who actively seek to destroy our country, our allies, and our way of life. The safety of American citizens needs to be our number one priority,” said Mullin. “We cannot let individuals into our country if we cannot verify their identities.”
The SAFE Act requires the FBI Director to certify that background checks have been thoroughly administered for Syrian and Iraqi refugees attempting to enter the United States. The bill also requires the DHS Secretary to affirm every refugee being admitted does not pose a security threat.
“The report that one of the suicide bombers involved in the recent terror attacks in France was admitted into Europe with Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their own country has increased fear across the world,” Mullin added. “We cannot keep the American people safe if there is the potential for security threats to slip through our vetting process. The DHS Secretary and the FBI Director must actively affirm the security of each refugee before they are admitted into our country.”
The SAFE Act has received support from 33 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where it awaits further action.
This past week, on Veterans Day, I had the honor of presenting Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and other medals and commendations to two different U.S. Army veterans.
In both cases, the soldiers never received the medals they earned during their wartime service – something that our team is finding to be somewhat common during World War II and the Vietnam era.
My office is always happy to help veterans, from any branch of service, who earned medals during their time in service but for some reason never received those medals. It is a very special opportunity for us to be able to facilitate honoring these service members in this way.
At a Veterans Day ceremony at OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, I presented a Bronze Star to 1st Sergeant Amos Starr, a Vietnam veteran. Starr’s records showed that he should have received a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service “in connection with military operations against a hostile force.” Mr. Starr’s medal was the result of casework by Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson, whose office asked me to make the presentation since Starr is a resident of the Second Congressional District.
Later that afternoon at American Legion Post #20 in Fort Gibson, I posthumously presented the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and other medals and commendations to PFC Richard V. Miller, a World War II veteran from Muskogee.
The medals for PFC Miller, who served with Company I, 411th Infantry, 103rd Division during World War II, were presented to his family because he passed away in 1980, without ever receiving the medals he had earned.
It is such an honor for our office to be able to participate in these medal presentations and my team is dedicated to making these ceremonies as special as possible for the veterans and their families.
If my office can be of assistance in helping veterans or their families in any way, my veterans’ caseworkers can be reached in Muskogee at (918) 687-2533 or in McAlester at (918) 423-5951.
MUSKOGEE – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) presented Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and other medals and commendations to two different U.S. Army veterans on Veterans Day.
In both cases, the soldiers had never received the medals they earned during their wartime service – something Mullin said is somewhat common during World War II and the Vietnam era.
At a ceremony in Okmulgee, a Bronze Star was given to 1st Sergeant Amos Starr, a Vietnam veteran. Later that afternoon, Mullin posthumously presented the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and other medals and commendations to PFC Richard V. Miller, a World War II veteran from Muskogee.
“My office is always happy to help veterans who earned medals during their time in service but for some reason never received those medals,” Mullin said. “It is a very special opportunity for us to be able to facilitate honoring these service members in this way.”
Mullin began the day speaking to the students and faculty at Okmulgee High School during their annual Veterans Day program. In addition to talking to the students about decisions and honoring veterans, Mullin’s office had Starr’s medal on display for students to see. Starr and his wife, Sheldon, attended the high school program.
At OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, Mullin officially presented Starr with the Bronze Star that records show he should have received for his service in Vietnam during 1969-1970. Starr’s medal was the result of casework by Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson, whose office asked Mullin to make the official presentation since Starr is a resident of the Second Congressional District.
The medals secured by Mullin’s office on behalf of PFC Miller were presented to his family, as Miller passed away in 1980, without ever receiving the honors. Miller served with Company I, 411th Infantry, 103rd Division during World War II.
The posthumous medals presentation was held at the American Legion Post #20 in Fort Gibson.
“It is such an honor for our office to be able to participate in these medal presentations and my team is dedicated to making these ceremonies as special as possible for the veterans and their families,” Mullin said. “It is just a very fitting way to spend our Veterans Day.”
TAHLEQUAH - The Cherokee Nation honored Sgt. William Barnes with the “Medal of Patriotism” in a ceremony Tuesday at the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center in Tahlequah. The ceremony also included a dedication of the refurbished Cherokee Warrior Memorial.
“Every year, we gather to celebrate our military heroes and service veterans like Sgt. William Barnes, who served our country so bravely in Desert Storm. As Cherokees, we all have a family member who has served and we owe each and every one of them our utmost respect and admiration,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden.
Barnes, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, is also a Field Representative and Veterans Representative for Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02).
“I am proud of my service in the U.S. Army, but to have it recognized by my tribe is a truly great honor,” Barnes said.
A graduate of Chouteau High School, Barnes enlisted in the Army at the age of 17. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Barnes served as a team and squad leader in a reconnaissance platoon in southern Iraq. He completed over 300 combat patrols and maintained a 100 percent mission and success completion rate. He performed special security missions for the U.S. Department of State and other entities.
Barnes was injured in Iraq during 2005, and retired due to injuries sustained while on duty. After recovering, Barnes enrolled in 2012 at Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) studying political science and history. He will graduate from SOSU in December.
In 2014, Barnes joined Mullin’s district team as a Field Representative for Muskogee, Cherokee, Okmulgee and Okfuskee counties. Additionally, Barnes handles veterans’ casework for the northern half of the Second Congressional District.
“William is a valued member of our team and deserving of the honor that the Cherokee Nation awarded him,” Mullin said of Barnes. “William has a great passion to serve his fellow veterans and their families. I have seen him go beyond the extra mile for many veterans in our district.”
Barnes has also received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Overseas Service Medal and the National Defense Medal, among others.
1113 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Markwayne Mullin was elected to serve the people of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District in November 2012.
Mullin and his wife Christie had three children, Jim, Andrew and Larra, and then on August 21, 2013 they officially became the proud parents of their adopted twin girls, Lynette and Ivy. They raise their children on the family farm where Mullin grew up in Westville, Oklahoma.
Raised in rural Adair County, he learned the value of hard work and self-discipline. The youngest of seven children, Mullin grew up working on the family farm before the sun was up and well before the school day began. When his studies and athletics were finished each day, Mullin would return home and finish his evening chores.
Mullin graduated from Stilwell High School and went to Missouri Valley College on a wrestling scholarship. Shortly after, his father fell ill and the family’s small plumbing company encountered financial troubles. Mullin then returned home and at the age of 20, he and his wife Christie took over the business. At the time the business had only six employees and was in debt.
Mullin resolved for the sake of his family and for their employees, to make the company solvent and ensure it never again fell into those circumstances. For the next three years, Mullin and his wife Christie worked seven days a week, making the difficult decisions necessary to get the business out of debt.
Mullin ultimately returned to college and graduated from Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in 2010. He was honored to have been invited by his alma mater to deliver the keynote address at the OSUIT 2013 Commencement ceremonies in August.
Today, Mullin Plumbing is one of the largest service companies in the region, employing over 120 Oklahomans. It is only one of several successful companies Mullin owns and operates, including Mullin Environmental, Mullin Plumbing West Division, Mullin Services, Mullin Properties and Mullin Plumbing New Construction.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Mullin has been the voice of business owners across America and brings their perspective into the national debate on many issues which directly impact the business community. From immigration and tax reforms to transportation issues and overzealous regulation, Mullin provides the much-needed real world perspective that comes from fighting to successfully run businesses in today’s economic and regulatory environment.
An engaging, energetic and servant-hearted individual, Mullin is not a Washington, D.C. insider. Instead, he’s a hard-working family man who is grounded by a deep faith and his love of country. Mullin holds fast to the values of rural Oklahoma – where deals are still closed with a handshake, where neighbors help one another without a moment’s hesitation and where prayer and worship are still important parts of people’s lives.
Congressman Mullin serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. He was one of only 11 Members chosen to serve on the bipartisan Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation, designated by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The panel traveled across the country to examine the current state of freight transportation in the United States and how improving freight transportation can boost the U.S. economy. The panel will release its findings in late October 2013.
Determined that he would always be accessible and available to the people he represents, Mullin has held three rounds of town hall meetings in each of the 26 counties of the 2nd District so far during his first year in office. He has also held six district-wide telephone town hall meetings. Additionally Mullin has held telephone conference calls with different community groups in the 2nd District, including mayors, county commissioners, chamber of commerce officials, dentists, hospital administrators, pastors and technology centers administrators.
Mullin is a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation. When the 113th Congress convened in January 2013, he became only the second Native American in the House.
Praying for peace in the face of great evil and for the safety of everyone in #Mali.
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