MUSKOGEE – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) announced the winning essays in the 2015 Second District Constitution Essay Forum.
“We appreciate all of the students who took the time to study our U.S. Constitution in more depth and formulate thoughtful responses to the essay questions.” Mullin said. “We are also grateful to our judges for their time and talents in evaluating the essay submissions.”
Middle School Winners:
First Place: Sydnee Martin, Bluejacket Public Schools
Second Place: Michele Oswald, Cookson Hills Christian School
Third Place: Sabrina Frost, Gore Upper Elementary School
High School Essay Winners:
First Place: Hanna Brewster, Bluejacket Public Schools
Second Place: Luke Inman, Stilwell High School
Third Place: Dakota St. Pierre, Stilwell High School
Our country’s energy policies and infrastructure need an update.
Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation to bring part of our energy policy into the present by repealing the crude oil export ban.
The current ban on crude oil exports is outdated and is holding our nation back. Lifting the ban on the export of crude oil is about maintaining our standing as a global leader, incentivizing innovation and bringing jobs back to our communities right here in Oklahoma.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton’s (TX-06) H.R. 702, legislation which I have championed, would lift the ban allowing us to compete with other oil exporting nations, including those that do not always have our best interests at heart, or that of our allies.
U.S. energy policy must evolve from where it was in the 1970s. Forty years ago, Congress enacted the ban in response to an Arab oil embargo. The world is a different place, and while we are the number one producer of petroleum liquids, we are falling behind with this restriction from exporting crude oil.
Additionally, in the Energy and Commerce Committee, we have been working to modernize our nation’s energy policy and infrastructure, as well as enhance energy security. The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015 (H.R. 8) is the first effort for significant energy reforms since 2007. On Sept. 30, 2015, the committee referred the legislation to the House for consideration.
In mid-October, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power, U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), will join me in Oklahoma where we will sit down with leaders from Oklahoma’s energy and power sectors to discuss the impact of federal regulations and help develop policy proposals that maximize production and support the energy workforce in Oklahoma and our nation.
I am focused on supporting job creation through innovation and opportunity, as well as an energy infrastructure that will ensure affordable energy to Oklahoma families whose paychecks are already stretched thin.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) issued the following statement Wednesday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 719, a measure to fund the federal government through December 11, 2015. Mullin voted in favor of the stopgap funding bill.
“Today the House voted to fund the federal government through December 11, 2015, and avoid a shutdown.
“Our nation has learned of the truly deplorable acts committed at Planned Parenthood regional centers, where the body parts of completely innocent unborn children are harvested for money. It is shocking and disturbing. Like many others, I don’t want one single dime of taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood.
“Unfortunately, the federal funding for Planned Parenthood is not a line item we can just cross out. Those funds come mainly through Medicaid and Title X. So we must work smarter to find ways to stop funding this group.
“I have listened carefully to pro-life advocates from Oklahoma and National Right to Life, who said they believe a shutdown would ultimately damage efforts to protect the unborn. I agree. And I will not take any action that, at the end of the day, puts the pro-abortion movement or Planned Parenthood in a stronger position so they can continue to rob countless children of their human dignity, their God-determined destinies and their lives.
“I remain firm in my conviction that we must protect the sanctity of life. I will continue to use my position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to stop Planned Parenthood and similar organizations who may be engaging in these practices. This fight is not over.”
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (H.R. 1624) on Sept. 28, 2015, to maintain the current definition of the small-group insurance market and to help businesses and employees access quality and affordable health insurance.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, on Jan. 1, 2016, the definition of a small-group market is set to change from 1-50 employees to 1-100 employees.
The bipartisan H.R. 1624, which Mullin helped author along with U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02), gives states the flexibility to increase the small-group threshold if they choose, but removes the federal requirement to change the small-group definition.
“Congress must act fast to protect hardworking Americans and job creators while respecting states’ rights to determine the definition of their small-group markets,” said Mullin.
Changing the definition of small-group markets as required in Obamacare could have serious consequences for small businesses and their employees across Oklahoma, Mullin added. With this change on the horizon, mid-sized employers could choose to self-insure rather than face the bureaucracy associated with Obamacare. Small businesses that do not have the ability to self-insure would be left in a much smaller insurance pool, and premiums for businesses and employees could skyrocket. Estimates have shown that premiums for patients in this group could increase up to 18 percent next year.
Before Obamacare became law, state insurance commissioners defined the size of small-group markets. Under Obamacare, the administration shifted this responsibility to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
“In yet another federal power grab under the president’s health care law, the administration has put Washington bureaucrats in charge of defining the size of small-group markets, instead of insurance commissioners who understand the dynamics of their individual states and who are accountable to the people of their state,” Mullin said.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said the legislation will help protect the state’s small businesses.
“The PACE Act will ensure that small businesses are not hit with drastic premium increases due to Obamacare,” Doak said. “Allowing the definition of ‘small group size’ to expand would negatively impact consumers and the job creators who keep our economy running. The challenges faced by each state will be unique, which is why each state should have the power to define the size of its small group market. H.R. 1624 will help protect Oklahoma small businesses from harmful and unnecessary regulatory costs, and I want to thank Rep. Mullin for pushing this important legislation.”
H.R. 1624 passed the House by voice vote. The bill will now move to the U.S. Senate.
On September 17, 1787, the members of the Constitutional Convention came together one last time to sign our Constitution. With these signatures, Americans were freed from Britain’s tyrannical rule, and our government began to take shape.
Our Constitution has stood the test of time. What began as our way of pushing back against an oppressive government has become one of the most well-known pieces of American history.
Students across the nation learn those first words of a timeless document—words that are the foundation for our government: the three different branches, the importance and value of the checks and balances system, the rights granted to them in the Bill of Rights, and the seventeen other amendments that follow.
“We the people, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Lawmakers have been entrusted to protect the very rights established in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the amendment process. Despite the changes we have seen in our nation since 1787, our Constitution has always stood strong.
Four months of deliberation by the framers was all it took to create a document that has withstood more than 220 years of government – a document that brought together the views of 39 very different men to establish the executive branch, a legislative branch, and the judicial branch.
During Constitution Week, which is celebrated from September 17-23 every year, Americans are encouraged to read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and to reflect on the framework of our government and the different roles each branch of government plays in the checks and balances system.
We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We must never forget that.
WASHINGTON – Bishop Edward Slattery, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, was the special guest today of Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) to hear Pope Francis address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.
Each member of Congress was allowed one guest to be in the U.S. House of Representatives’ chamber to hear the papal address – the first time a pope has spoken to a joint meeting of Congress. The Pope’s speech was also broadcast to the public on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, where he also made a public appearance.
“Bishop Slattery has always been very kind to me, and even took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me a few months after I first took office,” said Mullin. “I was very pleased that Bishop Slattery was able to join me as the Pope spoke to Congress and our entire nation.”
House Speaker John Boehner invited Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress in March 2014. On Feb. 5, 2015, the Vatican officially accepted the invitation.
Mullin said he appreciated the Pope’s visit to the United States, the U.S. Capitol and the pontiff’s mission of service to God.
“I know the Pope’s visit to the U.S. is very exciting for many Catholics,” Mullin added. “His message of the importance of the family, of putting people first and living by the Golden Rule are good reminders for all of us.”
Like business owners in big cities and small towns across Oklahoma, I want my company to provide good health insurance because it helps us attract and retain the best employees. But Obamacare makes this very hard. And, it is about to become even harder.
In the new year, Obamacare’s employer mandate will go into full effect, and that could have serious consequences for small businesses and their employees across Oklahoma.
Businesses with 100 or more full time employees will be required to provide health insurance that covers at least 60 percent of total allowed medical costs. Many employers have already been forced to comply with the employer mandate, resulting in expensive premiums or patients losing their health care plans altogether.
Beginning January 1, the definition of a small-group market is set to change from 1-50 employees to 1-100 employees. Most of us can see the obvious difference between a business that employs three people and a business that employs 100 people. Why can’t Washington bureaucrats acknowledge this obvious difference?
With this change on the horizon, mid-sized employers could choose to self-insure rather than face the bureaucracy associated with Obamacare. Small businesses that do not have the ability to self-insure would be left in a much smaller insurance pool, and premiums for businesses and employees could skyrocket. Estimates have shown that premiums for patients in this group could increase up to 18 percent next year.
Additional costs from Obamacare and its mandates are passed on to consumers or absorbed by making cuts to our workforce or employees’ hours.
Before Obamacare became law, state insurance commissioners defined the size of small-group markets. In yet another federal power grab under the president’s health care law, the administration shifted this responsibility to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Both are run by unelected bureaucrats who are not accountable to the people of Oklahoma.
I am working with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on solutions that will protect businesses from the employer mandate and small-group change. Time is of the essence because mid-size employers must make their insurance decisions by mid-September and insurance companies will send out their notifications of policy discontinuations and premium increases by Oct. 1, 2015.
I helped write a bipartisan bill with U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02) to protect businesses from the looming small-group change. The bill, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (H.R. 1624), gives states the flexibility to increase the small-group threshold if they choose, but it removes the federal requirement to change the small-group definition.
Congress must act fast to protect hardworking Americans and job creators while respecting states’ rights to determine the definition of their small-group markets. With 220 cosponsors from across the country on H.R. 1624, it is clear that a majority of lawmakers agree.
Obamacare remains one of the largest threats to businesses across Oklahoma. In Congress, I am working on solutions to shield Oklahoma businesses and their employees from this bad law.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) voted on Friday to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funding, citing disgust and outrage over videos that have surfaced detailing the horrific behavior at Planned Parenthood regional centers. The bill to block funding for Planned Parenthood (H.R. 3134) prohibits the organization from receiving any federal funding for the next year unless it certifies it will not perform abortions or provide funding to any other organization that performs abortions.
“Our values define us. As an American and as a Christian, I am heartbroken over the disgusting behavior at Planned Parenthood regional centers,” said Mullin. “As a father whose life completely changed the second I held my first child, I will never understand how someone could treat a baby like a commodity and talk about its body parts like items for barter and trade.”
The House adopted an amendment to H.R. 3134 that diverts funding from Planned Parenthood to community health centers that provide women’s health care services. There are 21 health care clinics for every one Planned Parenthood center in Oklahoma, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
“We need to block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding; but more importantly, we need to make sure that the laws in our country protect the most innocent in our society—babies who cannot defend themselves,” Mullin added. “Withholding federal funding from just one organization that performs these heinous acts is not enough, and that is why I am using my position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to take a hard look at the laws we have on the books, and I will continue to support measures that help advance Oklahomans’ pro-life values.”
Mullin also voted in support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504), which protects babies who are born alive after an attempted abortion and places criminal penalties on any health care practitioner who does not comply with the protections. The bill passed the House by a vote of 248-177.
Mullin is a cosponsor of H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 241-187. Both H.R. 3134 and H.R. 3504 will now go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) today issued the following statement after the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved H.R. 702, a bill that allows the United States to adapt to changing crude oil market conditions:
“The current ban on U.S. crude oil exports is outdated, and it is holding us back. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle can agree that policies that restrict the United States from competing in the global market harm our economy.
“Instead of supporting the bipartisan effort to lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports, the president has made it clear that he would rather a country like Iran surpass the United States in the global energy market. President Obama would prefer to grow the bureaucracy in our federal government and push his own agenda rather than help foster free enterprise in the United States.
“I want the president to know that lifting the export ban on crude oil is about maintaining our standing as a global leader, incentivizing innovation, and bringing jobs back to our communities. Passing H.R. 702 out of the committee today is an important step in making sure U.S. energy policies evolve to support innovation and American jobs, and I am going to work to make sure we keep this momentum.”
H.R. 702 passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce by a vote of 31-19. A vote on the bill is expected in the U.S. House of Representatives in September.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was on a service call for Mullin Plumbing. When the first plane crash was reported, my customer pulled me from my work and told me I needed to see something. We stood in front of the television and neither of us knew what to say.
Most of us can remember where we were when we heard that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania. And we can remember the days that followed— the sadness we felt for the loss of far too many innocent lives and the pain and anger we felt on behalf of our great nation.
Communities across the country came together in support of first responders, church pews were full of people trying to make sense of what had happened, and parents struggled to find a way to explain the events of that day to their children. We rallied around each other and our country. We hugged our loved ones a little longer before we left the house in the days and weeks forward, because our world had forever changed.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001, taught us the need to be constantly vigilant. The subsequent attacks we have seen at home and abroad are reminders that we cannot let our guard down for a single moment. Vigilance has become our new normal.
I am grateful for law enforcement and for the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line every day to watch over our nation. Their sacrifices and hard work are things we will never be able to repay.
In the face of tragedy, we were also reminded that each day is a blessing, and while we do not know how many days we have, we know that we can strive to be the best version of ourselves each day. Through everyday acts of compassion, kindness, and sacrifice, we can demonstrate what makes America so special.
Addressing the nation after the greatest terrorist attack in U.S. history, then-President George W. Bush said that terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. He said that although the acts had shattered steel, they could not dent the steel of America’s resolve.
Fourteen years after 9/11 there are still great evils in the world, but America is strong. We will stand firmly against those evils. We will stand against the hatred, violence and religious intolerance they represent, and we will continue to show those who seek to tear us down that they will never succeed.
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.
Thanks to advances in technology, U.S. crude oil production has doubled since 2008. #LiftTheBan
Retweeted by RepMullin
We need an energy policy for the modern day. Here's my weekly column on the benefit of allowing crude oil exports: http://t.co/WuRIWMN11u