WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement after the House passed S. 612, Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN):
“WIIN delivers a major victory for Oklahoma and includes several priorities important to its citizens, and I am proud to support its passage,” Mullin said. “I’d like to thank Senator Inhofe for the role he has played in the inclusion of Oklahoman priorities to WIIN. As the Chairman of the Energy and Public Works Committee, he has been instrumental in crafting these provisions for the benefit of Oklahomans.”
Within the WIIN is the final water settlement agreed upon between the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes and Oklahoma City. The settlement will allow the state to maintain its permitting and administrative authority, and the Indian tribes will undergo evaluations of water allocation processes. Additionally, it will include lake level release restrictions to allow Oklahoma City to continue to utilize Sardis Lake for recreation, fishing, and wildlife habitats.
“The water rights dispute in south-central and southeastern Oklahoma has a long and complex history, and I am glad to see the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, the State of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City work together to agree upon this settlement,” Mullin added. “Water is one of our most precious resources, and I am pleased that parties with differing interests can come to an agreement for the good of Oklahoma, and its natural resources.”
It also includes a provision that allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accept and use funds, equipment, and labor from private entities in the event of a failure or maintenance issue that the Corps does not have the resources to fix. The McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) and the ports in Oklahoma’s Second District brings in millions of dollars each day to Oklahoma’s economy.
“The McClellan-Kerr and its ports are essential to Oklahoma’s revenue stream and we can’t allow a lock or dam failure to impede it as a source of income for the state and hamper our economy,” Mullin added. “WIIN makes sure that the Corps would deliver the resources necessary to navigational systems in the event of emergencies.”
Another win for Oklahoma is the Fountainhead land transfer from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Creek Nation will pay fair market value for the land and the Department of Interior will hold the land in trust for Creek Nation.
“With the transfer of the Fountainhead land, Creek Nation can develop the resources on the land and utilize the land as they see fit. History has proven Native American tribes to be noble stewards of our nation’s land, and with this transfer they will be able to create jobs and increase development for the benefit of their tribe,” said Mullin.
S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act passed the House by a vote of 360 – 61. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Across Oklahoma and the rest of the country, medical innovation has lagged over the past few decades. Last week, Congress came together to pass legislation to reverse that trend. With the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, the medical field will receive a major shot in the arm.
First and foremost, this bill will save lives. It speeds up production of life-saving drugs to fight diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and a number of other rare diseases. It removes bureaucracy within the Food and Drug Administration to help speed up the production of medications that thousands of Americans are waiting for to survive. It also boosts funds to the National Institutes of Health to ensure America continues to lead the world in medial innovation. All of these funds are matches with dollar-for-dollar cuts and increases in revenue.
21st Century Cures tackles another major issue facing Oklahomans: mental health. The package includes Rep. Tim Murphy’s H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. I was a cosponsor of the original version of this bill, and I voted in support of it in the House earlier this year. It will improve the availability of mental healthcare and authorizes grants to prevent adult suicide in tribal communities across the country. These tribal communities often exist in very rural communities and not only lack resources because they are rural, but lack resources because of inequities in the Indian Health Service. Sadly, suicide rates are disproportionately higher among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Much needed assistance is also included to fight the growing opioid epidemic. Our district contains two of the top five counties in the state for unintentional painkiller overdoses. This bill provides a funding path for everything from treatment to criminal justice reform, to overdose reversal and recovery. Another major win for Oklahoma, this bill provides a path for funding for the opioid bills that we passed earlier in the year, like an amendment we wrote that makes sure that the Attorney General takes into account the needs of Native American and rural communities when awarding grants to combat opioid addiction.
Overall, this bill delivers major wins for rural America. It will help make sure that small town hospitals and clinics can keep their doors open for business. It ensures that even though someone lives outside of the city limits, they can still get access to the medical equipment they need, like oxygen and CPAP machines. I am proud to have supported this bill, and I look forward to working on other ways to improve the access to medical care for eastern Oklahoma.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement after learning of President-elect Donald Trump’s intent to name Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“I am pleased to hear that President-elect Trump plans to select Scott Pruitt as the EPA Administrator for the next administration,” Mullin said. “If the incoming administration wants an EPA Administrator who understands that the true role of the federal government is to let the states regulate themselves, they are wise to pick Scott Pruitt.”
“Since he began as Oklahoma’s Attorney General in 2011, Scott has done a tremendous job fighting the EPA in Oklahoma to protect our citizens, businesses, and farms against overbearing environmental regulations,” Mullin added. “I’m confident that as the Administrator of the EPA, Pruitt will fight to return the power of regulation back to the states and will continue to cut the red tape to lessen the burden on all those affected by the suffocating restrictions of the EPA.”
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement after the passage of his legislation, H.R. 6435, a bill to authorize the Directors of Veterans Integrated Service Networks of the Department of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with appropriate civilian accreditation entities or appropriate health care evaluation entities to investigate medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs:
“It’s not often enough that common-sense bills like this see a vote on the House floor, and a fast track to the Senate. Simply put, H.R. 6435 allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to contract with civilian health care accrediting and evaluation groups to investigate problems within our VA medical centers. It ensures that our VA medical centers have all the information they need to make improvements for our veterans,” Mullin said. “Our men and women who have served in uniform deserve the best quality care that we can provide, and this bill is another step in making sure that the VA becomes more transparent and accountable.”
Congressman Mullin worked closely with Senators Inhofe and Lankford of Oklahoma to bring this bill forward.
“This legislation empowers regional VA leaders to partner with the private sector in turn creating a second layer of accountability within our facilities,” Senator Inhofe said. “Increasing accountability will improve the quality of care our veterans in Oklahoma and across the nation receive. There is no better group to give this contracting authority to than the regional VA directors as they know first-hand the issues their medical facilities face and are directly responsible for bringing about change in the midst of excessive bureaucracy. I look forward to passing this legislation in the Senate before the Christmas recess.”
“Men and women who served our nation in uniform deserve quality care. Unfortunately, the VA isn’t always meeting this expectation,” Senator Lankford said. “To ensure our veterans receive quality care, we must give our senior officials at the regional level the tools to inspect and identify problems. This bill will help bring the VA in line with the expectations of our veterans and fellow Oklahomans.”
H.R. 6435 passed the House by voice vote on Wednesday afternoon. The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration.
WASHINGTON— Today, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) announced that he will host a telephone town hall for his constituents in the Second District of Oklahoma. The call will last approximately one hour.
To participate in the telephone town hall, constituents can dial 877-229-8493, and enter Access Code: 111439 at 7:05 pm CT tonight.
Please call Congressman Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-2701 with any questions or for more information on tonight’s event.
WASHINGTON— In light of recent news coverage that has completely distorted my hopes for Indian Country under President-elect Donald Trump, I feel the need to clarify my comments, and alleviate any concern that Indian Country should fear the federal government privatizing their land.
The land entrusted to tribes belongs to the Native American people, and it ought to be up to them alone to decide how to best use and distribute the resources on their own land. This land and the rights to its use have developed over generations of treaty negotiations and trust authorities. We must continue to uphold those rights and allow tribes to continue on the course of self-determination laid out in those agreements.
In working with the incoming administration, I am confident that we can improve the land trusts and allow the tribes to be independent in determining their own use of resources and land. It is time to end the overreaching paternalism that has held American Indians back from being the drivers of their own destiny.
By removing public-land restrictions on Indian trust land, such as the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA), we are not “privatizing” Indian land. We must also remove the barriers from the decision-making process and stop forcing tribes to ask permission from federal entities like the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Self-determination in their own affairs is the only way for tribes to pull themselves from poverty and grow as a people. These acts of sovereignty are important because tribes know best what their people need and Natives have always been good stewards of our natural resources and land. It is my goal, and I will continue to urge President-elect Trump to provide tribes with the resources they need in order to best decide how their land should be developed.
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement after the passage of S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.
“One of the most vital responsibilities of Congress is to provide for the common defense, by ensuring the safety and security of our nation and its citizens,” Mullin said. “The NDAA FY17 sends the message that our number one priority in government is supporting our troops.”
The NDAA supports $619 billion for our national defense. Funding levels match the President’s original budget request and authorizes an additional $5.8 billion for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe. Another $3.2 billion is authorized for Readiness Stabilization Funding, which replenishes depleted inventories, stops troop reductions, and bolsters military readiness.
“These funds will maintain our nation’s military operations so that our troops will be fully prepared and have all of the resources they need to combat the war on terror,” Mullin added.
Also included in the NDAA FY17 is a provision to give a full 2.1% pay raise to our servicemen and women, and language from Congressman Mullin’s DOD Workforce Flexibility Act (H.R. 4687).
“Our men and women in the armed forces work tirelessly to protect and defend our nation. While we cannot offer enough to thank them for their unending service to our nation, this 2.1% pay raise is well-deserved for service members and their families,” Mullin said. “H.R. 4687 gives installations with a civilian workforce, like the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, more flexibility in their hiring decisions by allowing temporary employees to apply for permanent positions under merit promotion procedures instead of having to start the application process from scratch.”
Another provision of the bill directs the Department of Defense to properly and fairly adjudicate cases related to the inappropriate attempt to recoup bonuses that had been issued to members of the California National Guard.
“In October, the California National Guard asked servicemen and women to return bonuses that were given to them years ago. This demand by the Department of Defense was outrageous, and with the passage of the NDAA, we are setting up an expedited process to review these cases, waive inappropriate recoupments, and to repay those soldiers who have already paid back their bonuses. Additionally, the Department of Defense is responsible for reaching out to each soldier and notifying credit agencies when a soldier’s debts have been forgiven.”
“I am proud to support the NDAA FY17. I’m grateful for our men and women in uniform who protect our freedoms here at home and abroad, and I am confident that the passage of this bill will give provide them with the resources they need to continue to defend our great nation.”
The Conference Report to Accompany S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, passed the House by a vote of 375 – 34.
On December 7, we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. An attack that lasted just 110 minutes left 2,335 U.S. service members dead and another 1,143 wounded. The next day in an address to a Joint Session of Congress, President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941: “A date which will live in infamy.” I believe those words still hold true today.
After that surprise attack, the United States entered the Second World War, sending 16.1 million Americans into harm’s way on two separate fronts. Oklahomans were called upon to serve in the military, as well as at home. Almost 5,500 Oklahomans died in combat during World War II. Nineteen of those Oklahomans received the highest military honor that the United States can give, the Medal of Honor. In the Second District, Oklahomans did their part for the war effort. They mined lead for bullets and produced gunpowder and ammunition.
The effects of that war can still be seen today in the faces of our WWII veterans. We are losing our greatest generation at an alarming rate. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, only 620,000 people who served during the war lived to 2016, and that number decreases every day. It is up to us to recognize their sacrifice during one of the most pivotal times in our history. If they had not stood up and answered their country’s call, we would not be the great nation we are today.
Our generation also suffered a devastating surprise attack on September 11, 2001. Since that day, we have had troops stationed around the world fighting the War on Terror. This Pearl Harbor Day, we are reminded why we must keep such a large and powerful military. They are what stand between us and those who would destroy our way of life. It is up to us to train our fighting men and women, and equip them with whatever they need to defeat our enemies. We must empower our intelligence community so that they can identify threats before they have the chance to carry out attacks. We must learn from the past so that it doesn’t repeat itself.
December 7, 1941 is a date that will forever be etched into the history of our nation, and we should never forget those we lost on that day, and in the bloody battles that followed.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement after the passage of the House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.R. 34, 21st Century Cures Act.
“Today, the House rallied around a piece of legislation that will bring our healthcare infrastructure into the 21st century. The 21st Century Cures Act will help speed up the development of life-saving drugs, by reforming the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This bill will remove regulatory barriers so live-saving drugs can enter the market quicker,” Mullin said.
“Cures legislation also includes the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which has specific provisions to reach underserved and rural constituents across the country,” Mullin added. “With an emphasis on telemedicine, this bill ensures that patients in rural areas are able to access mental health professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists.”
“Additionally, the legislation provides much needed funding to combat Oklahoma’s growing opioid epidemic. Oklahoma’s Second District has two of the five counties in the entire state that have the highest rates of unintentional painkiller overdoses. It’s time to take proactive steps to ensure that law enforcement officials and healthcare professionals have the tools they need to put an end to the opioid crisis.”
“Within Cures legislation is the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment (PADME) Act, which ensures patient access to quality, affordable medical devices in rural areas. Medicare patients deserve quality services and equipment, and with PADME as a part of Cures, patients will see stable rates for their medical equipment no matter where they live,” Mullin said.
“Cures delivers huge wins across the board, especially for the most rural parts of our nation, including the Second District of Oklahoma. From now on, rural hospitals will be able to more freely assist the patients in their own communities, without the federal government mandating what’s best for their patients.”
“I am proud to be a cosponsor of this game-changing legislation, and on behalf of the Second District, I am grateful to see it pass the House today. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this legislation that will help not only rural Americans, but Americans everywhere,” Mullin concluded.
The House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.R. 34, 21st Century Cures Act, passed the House by a vote of 392 – 26.
As we enter the holiday season with Christmas less than one month away, we are reminded to count our blessings and give thanks to the many generosities in our lives. We might be thankful for our family, our friends, our faith, our homes, or our jobs. Many of us are thankful for our good health – but all Oklahomans are paying the price of increased healthcare premiums, regardless of health.
Obamacare has burdened families across Oklahoma and this country. The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has failed tremendously. The law has raised premiums for those insured, so much so that they cannot afford to pay them. In Oklahoma alone, the Affordable Care Act marketplace covers more than 130,000 people. Those 130,000 people will see a huge increase in monthly premiums next year – anywhere between a 58 to 96 percent increase!
But it isn’t just the people with Obamacare that are being hit with drastic increases. Those with private and employer sponsored insurance are also seeing increasingly high rates and ill effects. Obamacare regulations, lack of competition and instability in the marketplace has caused many middle class families to lose their plans or their doctors. Middle class families are now paying thousands of dollars a month for their own healthcare coverage on top of thousands of dollars a month in taxes that fund the ACA subsidies, Medicaid, and Medicare. Businesses are now choosing to pay the employer mandate penalty rather than health coverage to their employees, because plans are so unaffordable.
One constituent of the Second District wrote to my office to ask what can be done for her skyrocketing healthcare rates. She and her husband have participated in the marketplace exchange for the last three years. During the first year, their monthly premium was $1,200. The second year, she paid about $1,900 each month for their healthcare. Next year, her rate will be over $3,500 per month. That’s an increase of over 200% - and over $42,000 each year. This family of two is paying for healthcare what some are paid in a salary in a year!
This holiday season, I am here to deliver news of one more thing we can all be thankful for: healthcare reform. In 2017, with a Republican in the White House and a Republican controlled House and Senate, we can finally repeal and replace Obamacare with a healthcare structure that is affordable for everyone. As part of the House Republicans’ “Better Way” agenda, we want to give citizens more choices and lower costs. We want to give you peace of mind that health insurance for a family of four will be affordable – regardless of age, income, preexisting medical conditions, or circumstances. We want to provide cutting-edge cures and treatments without Washington getting in the way of advancements. Finally, we want to create a stronger, more sustainable Medicare. Our seniors deserve the best treatment there is to offer, and we want to ensure that continues for generations to come.
With so much to be thankful for this season, I’m thankful that change is coming and that quality healthcare will soon be more affordable, more practical, more inclusive, and more sustainable for everyone.
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.