The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. It is a time of giving and a time to spend with loved ones. This year, I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my family.
Every year, I like to remember the story of the first Christmas. The story of how Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem. How the angels appeared to shepherds in the fields to announce the birth of the Savior. The appearance of a new star that guided the way for the wise men to visit baby Jesus. This story always fills my heart with joy and love.
In today’s world, a lot of people have forgotten this story. They stand in line for hours to get the latest iPhone and they worry more about what is under the tree with their name on it than what they have done for their fellow man. I think it is imperative that we instill the true meaning of Christmas in our children.
There are many opportunities to give during the holiday season. The Salvation Army has people all across the country standing in front of stores ringing bells and accepting donations. The United States Marine Corps Reserve’ Toys for Tots program provides toys for children whose parents can’t afford them. These are just a couple of the programs designed to help those less fortunate during the holidays.
You don’t have to give from your wallet to make a difference. You can give your time as a gift this holiday season. Spend time with the people you care about. Stop and visit with a loved one that you haven’t seen in a while. Grab a cup of coffee with a friend. You can spend time at a local nursing home or retirement community with those who can’t be with family for Christmas. Time spent with friends, family, and even strangers can be a gift more precious than anything you can buy in a store.
I hope that this holiday season you are able to make memories with those you care about. Please remember that there are people who can’t be with their friends and family this holiday season. Our men and women in uniform are stationed around the world standing watch so that we can enjoy Christmas at home. Please keep them in your prayers.
Merry Christmas, and I wish all of you have a safe and prosperous New Year.
This month, the 114th Congress concludes, and we are gearing up for the 115th Congress. With the incoming Republican president and a majority in the House and Senate, we are in a position to make major changes to benefit the country.
I believe that we can and we should pass the 12 appropriations bills before the September 30th deadline each year. However, President-elect Trump asked Congress to pass a continuing resolution, or CR, so that his administration could work with the Senate to pass a funding bill after properly vetting the administration’s cabinet nominations. So last week, Congress approved a CR to keep the government running through April 28, 2017. Passing a CR allows Congressional leadership time to piece together a budget that funds the important items like repealing and replacing Obamacare, and cuts down on the unnecessary and excessive spending we have seen during the Obama administration.
Another key piece of legislation we passed this month is the National Defense Authorization Act, or the NDAA. This bill provides the funding for our military and this year included a well-deserved raise for our troops. Our men and women in uniform sacrifice so much for our freedoms, and I am happy that we were able to give them a 2.1% pay increase they deserve.
The 114th Congress was able to do good work for the country. We passed legislation that strengthens our national defense. We worked to improve a broken healthcare system. We passed laws that help the men and women who have served this great nation. We took steps to reign in the overreach by the executive branch of our government and reaffirmed that it is Congress who makes law, not the President.
During the 115th Congress, we have an enormous opportunity ahead of us, and I am excited that I will be able to be a part of it. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate, and with President-elect Trump. I truly think that we are going to accomplish great things in the next Congress.
Congress has already started working with the incoming administration on many issues. President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence told members of Congress to be ready to get to work in January and have a plan for the first 200 days of the new administration. In the past, most presidents focus on the first 100 days, but this administration has the tough task of undoing eight years of federal overreach. This year’s elections proved that the American people are ready for meaningful change in Washington, and I am proud to be a part of that change.
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement regarding the nomination of Congressman Ryan Zinke (MT- At Large) to the Secretary of the Interior by President-elect Donald Trump:
“During his time in the House, Congressman Ryan Zinke served the people of Montana admirably,” Mullin said. “With Congressman Zinke as Secretary of the Interior, I am certain that our public lands, natural resources, and those who seek to enjoy them, will benefit greatly.”
“Much like Oklahoma, Montana has a deep Native American culture and focus on tribal sovereignty. Congressman Zinke understands the importance of tribal land and the protections extended to those who live on it,” Mullin added. “His successful track record of managing and conserving public land during his service on the House Committee on Natural Resources, his time in the Montana Senate, and his more than 20 years of experience as a Navy Seal make Congressman Zinke particularly qualified to continue his service to our nation as the next U.S. Secretary of the Interior.”
WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement upon learning of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Governor Rick Perry as the next Secretary of Energy:
“Governor Rick Perry is an excellent choice as the incoming Secretary of Energy for our nation. As the governor of Texas, Governor Perry has experience building and running one of the country’s largest states,” Mullin said.
“Governor Perry has extensive experience building and sustaining Texas’ economy by way of one their largest industries: the energy sector,” Mullin added. “In developing energy resources and building infrastructure to support the energy industry, Governor Perry knows what it means to have successful energy policies that benefit the people of Texas and the entire country, while still protecting and conserving our nation’s natural resources.”
“I am confident that as the Secretary of Energy, Governor Perry will make decisions that continue to put our nation and its citizens first. He will work to remove current barriers to energy production and will fight to make America energy independent while creating new jobs, lower fuel prices, and increased economic activity. Oklahoma would benefit tremendously with Governor Perry at the helm of the Department of Energy, and I fully support his nomination.”
My line-by-line assessment of the pros and cons contained inside of the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017, often referred to as a Continuing Resolution (CR), can be found below.
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.
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.