Immediately after Congress came back to Washington in January, we voted to gut the worst parts of Obamacare: the individual and employer insurance mandates.
Did we think the president would sign this bill into law? We certainly hoped he would put the will of Congress and the American people ahead of his personal agenda, but we didn’t hold our breath. President Obama vetoed the bill soon after we sent it to him.
A lot of people have asked me why we bothered to send this bill to the president’s desk when we knew he would veto it.
Here’s the answer: giving up is not an option.
Over the past few months, I have spent my weekends traveling with my kids to wrestling tournaments across Oklahoma and Texas. Jim, Andrew, and Larra are very talented and athletic kids, but there are still times when each of them will be down a few points towards the end of the period, and it is unlikely they’ll get back on top.
Should we tell our kids to give up when there is little chance of winning? No. Absolutely not.
Should we quit our fight against this president’s harmful, overreaching policies every time a bill gets vetoed? No. Absolutely not.
The example we set for our kids is important. We can’t throw in the towel and just wait for our next president. We must continue to set the stage for repealing or replacing President Obama’s overly burdensome laws and regulatory agenda, regardless of whether the victory will be seen in the immediate or in the long term.
There’s a lot of discussion about the best ways to fight Obamacare and other parts of this administration’s harmful agenda. Congress holds the power of the purse, so we can temporarily block certain programs and regulations by withholding funding. But, it is important to remember that permanent policy change can’t be achieved by withholding funding. Only new legislation can get rid of Obamacare for good.
Getting the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 (H.R. 3762) to the president’s desk was proof that with a Republican-led House and Senate, we will be able to give our next president a bill that permanently gets rid of major parts of Obamacare.
As a business owner, I am frustrated every day by how slowly our government seems to move. Sometimes, our victories in Congress don’t seem very big. But believe me – they are. Getting this repeal bill through both the House and Senate was a huge victory.
Giving up will never be an option. Thank you for your continued support.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) called for more prayer across the country after attending the 64th National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, on Feb. 4, 2016. Mullin was joined at the prayer breakfast by his wife, Christie, and their family friends, Pastor Steve Lee and Mrs. Michele Lee, of Coweta, Okla.
“We are one nation, under God, and we must never forget it,” said Mullin. “Today more than ever, this nation needs God. And it needs more people to ask God to grant our leaders wisdom and bring peace to our world.”
Prior to the breakfast, Mullin asked pastors from the Second Congressional District to share their thoughts on the importance of prayer in America.
Pastor Travis Williams, of New Beginnings Church in Madill, said, “The only hope for our nation is Jesus, therefore it is paramount that we pray for our nation and our leaders.”
Pastor Derek Melton, of Grace Life Church in Pryor, spoke of the importance of God’s blessing over the United States, saying, “God’s masterpiece is His church. His son did not go to the cross for America alone, He went there for His church (Eph. 5:25). When God blesses a nation, it is always within the context of His blood-bought church. Our prayer must be for revival within the church.”
Pastor Joshua Hall, of Zion Hill Church in Oologah, added, “It may often be said that at the end of the day, we have failed to do a lot of things but let it never be said at the end of the day that we have failed to pray. For as long as there are praying saints, souls will be saved and lives transformed … May it forever be said that the United States of America is a Nation of Prayer!”
Mullin has been a fierce protector of prayer and religious freedom in Oklahoma and across the nation. He is an original co-author of the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that prohibits the federal government from discriminating against any individual on the basis of their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
The National Prayer Breakfast has been held annually in Washington, DC, since 1953. The breakfast is organized by the Fellowship Foundation and hosted by members of Congress.
MUSKOGEE -- A popular government financing program could help provide you with a home, or the funds you need to repair your home. It could also provide you with safety and protection in the form of your own storm shelter.
U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) said the program, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 504 Home Repair program for low-income individuals, has been so popular that there’s a waiting list for applicants.
Ryan McMullen, Oklahoma state director of the USDA, said, “Right now we continually have a backlog. It’s not normal that we get an application funded in the year that we receive it in.”
McMullen explained that the program’s popularity cannot keep up with the requests for funds, so it could take applicants some time before they receive approval. For those who do eventually receive approval, it can mean either a grant with no payback, or a loan with lower interest rates than those available through conventional means, and lower payments for longer terms.
McMullen said the 504 Loan and Grant program provides qualifying individuals with a low-interest loan for up to $20,000. These loans can be used for cosmetic needs on a home owned by the applicant. McMullen also said the loan applicants can be of any age as long as they are of legal age, and are very low-income.
The grant program also provides residents who are age 62 and older, and who have very low income, with up to $7,500, if they own their property. These grants must be used for health and safety items. This can include a storm shelter. Successful applicants must own the property for the next three years, or they will have to repay the grant in full.
Other types of repairs that would qualify include handicap accessibility features, heating and air conditioning units, floor and sub-floor repairs, foundation repairs, roof repairs and replacements, siding, windows and insulation. These 504 loans and grants are only available in rural areas defined generally as under 35,000 population.
“There’s also a no-down payment loan, known as a 502 Loan, that individuals can use for single-family housing,” Mullin said. “The purpose of the loan is for the purchase of either a new or existing home in a rural area, along with any required home improvements that must be made, and closing costs on the home purchase.”
To qualify, an applicant’s household income cannot exceed the low-income level. The mortgage payments on these loans are for 33 years, and are based on the annual household income. The applicant must be unable to qualify for other mortgage financing or for the guaranteed loan program.
Mullin said more information on any of these loan or grant programs can be found by calling the USDA Rural Development State Office at 405-742-1070. All applications should be sent to the Oklahoma Rural Development State Office.
WASHINGTON – The National Johnson-O’Malley Association (NJOMA) has honored Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) with its Congressional Leadership Honors Award. Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation, was recognized for his commitment to Native American students and for advancing the education priorities of native communities.
“As one of two Native Americans currently serving in Congress, I know that native communities have unique educational needs and challenges. It has been one of my top priorities to make sure native voices from Oklahoma and across the country are heard in the conversations Congress has about federal education policy,” Mullin said.
Members of the NJOMA traveled to Washington, DC, for their 2016 Conference from Feb. 1-3, 2016. Mullin was recognized as a Congressional Leader at the association’s recognition ceremony at the Smithsonian Native American Museum. Mullin also hosted the association’s members on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during their visit to Washington.
Carla Mann, president of the National Johnson-O’Malley Association, said it gives the organization great pride to be able to recognize Mullin as a Johnson-O’Malley (JOM) Congressional leader who has been so helpful in working with NJOMA and on behalf of JOM students.
The JOM program is authorized by the Johnson-O’Malley Act of 1934. The law was passed on April 16, 1934, to assist with education, medical attention, and other services provided by states to Native Americans living within their borders. Today, the JOM program supports the unique educational needs of Native American students.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) voted on Tuesday to override the president’s veto of a bill that repeals major parts of Obamacare and stops any group that performs abortions from receiving federal funding through the Medicaid program.
President Obama vetoed the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 (H.R. 3762) on Jan. 8, 2016.
“A lot of people have asked me why we bothered to send this bill to the president’s desk when we knew he would veto it. The answer is that this bill is important because it is proof that with a Republican-led House and Senate we will be able to give our next president a bill that gets rid of the worst parts of Obamacare,” said Mullin.
Mullin explained that H.R. 3762 is the first major Obamacare repeal bill that Congress has been able to pass through both the House and Senate chambers.
“Many people don’t know that this bill is the first repeal bill Congress has been able to send to the president’s desk – ever,” Mullin added. “We were able to use a process called reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes for the bill’s passage in the Senate, to send the president a bill that repeals the individual and employer insurance mandates required by Obamacare.”
H.R. 3762 also blocks abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from being able to receive federal funds through the Medicaid program.
Under federal law, it is illegal for federal funds to be used to perform abortions; however, health care groups that perform abortions are eligible to receive federal funds when they perform non-abortion health care services on patients who get their health insurance from the Medicaid program.
“Ever since I got to Congress, I’ve been working to make sure that no group that performs abortions can get any federal funding, period,” Mullin said.
Mullin has been a strong supporter of bills that prohibit groups that perform abortions from receiving federal funding from Medicaid and public health service grant programs. He has worked to send this funding to community health centers that serve vulnerable women and children but do not perform abortions.
The attempt to override the president’s veto on H.R. 3762 failed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 241-186.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 and the love we share with our families, we also have the opportunity to make that love last a little longer on this earth through good health.
February may be celebrated with the giving of chocolates and flowers, but it is also known as American Heart Month.
This provides the perfect time to work on your heart health through exercise and precautionary measures.
Cardiovascular disease is considered the leading cause of death in the United States. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one in three deaths is from heart disease and stroke.
You can protect yourself and your family members from this deadly duo, according to the CDC, by understanding the risks and taking these steps:
Get up and get active by exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week;
Ask your doctor if you should take an aspirin every day;
Find out if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment;
If you smoke, get help to quit;
Make your calories count by eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat; and
Take control of your heart health by following your doctor’s prescription instructions.
I consider fitness a necessity to a good life, so I’m proud to help lead the Men’s Health Caucus at the U.S. Capitol. I am honored to be able to serve as co-chair along with Donald M. Payne, Jr., of New Jersey.
The caucus works to educate Congress and the general public about important topics in male health. We help to ensure that health issues affecting men and boys have a place in government healthcare priorities. While the caucus may have its focus on men and boys, the importance of health doesn’t stop there.
Our mission is to promote healthy living across the country, and across genders. It’s incredibly important that all of our nation’s youth and adults understand how to exercise and eat right. Good heart health will ensure that youth are able to grow up, and adults will be able to lead healthy, productive lives.
As you ponder on whether to give chocolates or flowers to your family members this Valentine’s Day, remember to also give them the gift of a healthy heart.
There is no better gift someone can give to themselves, or their family members, than the gift of health.
During the middle of winter, that can mean preparing for the possibility of the flu.
If you have not already done so, now is the perfect time to take precautions. It is not too late to develop good health habits.
When one of our children becomes sick, Christie and I feel so helpless. As parents, it seems the best we can offer is the visit to the doctor, any medicine that might be prescribed, and a big hug. But during those times when they are really sick, we place them on our couch in the bedroom in order to keep a closer eye out. You can never be too careful.
The best way to deal with seasonal flu is to head it off before contracting it. By being proactive, you may be able to avoid the flu altogether. Good health habits can also help stop the spread of germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers families these great tips:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too;
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others;
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick;
Wash your hands often as this will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub;
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth; and
Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
As part of my committee work in Congress, I have been involved with hearings on the flu vaccine. Vaccines are prepared annually, but some year’s vaccines are better than others. Last year’s seasonal flu hit Oklahoma hard, because the vaccine that was developed was not a good match for the type of flu that emerged. In my committee, we decided it was important to review the steps the country is taking to deal with the flu, including studying the effectiveness of vaccines and anti-viral drugs.
During one of our hearings, I asked a federal public health official why there was not a public health emergency declared last year once it was determined the flu had reached pandemic levels. Had there been a public emergency declared, certain regulatory barriers would have been removed to expedite the development of more effective vaccines. During a year that a vaccine is not a good match for the seasonal flu, declaring a public health emergency could provide the push for producing a better, or additional, vaccine that could save the lives of those who are especially vulnerable to the flu, like babies and the elderly.
In Congress we will continue working to make sure our federal government uses its resources in better ways to deal with the flu, and keep our families safer.
This year, many of the counties in the Second Congressional District are at either moderate risk, or severe risk, of flu. The Walgreens Flu Index for this week says Oklahoma is the number two state in the U.S. for flu activity, but there’s still time to give your family the gift of health. I know firsthand that no parent wants the worry associated with having a sick child. Help keep your family well by taking the necessary precautions now.
You have often heard that there is power in numbers, but you also have heard that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” To get your voice heard, sometimes you have to gather those who are like-minded, travel to Washington and let your voice be heard.
That is what supporters of the right to life are doing Friday, Jan. 22 in the annual March for Life. Those making the trip will rally on the grounds of the Washington Monument and then make a reflective march on Constitution Avenue to show support for the unborn. They will listen to first-hand accounts of the pain suffered by mothers who underwent an abortion, and hear about the hope these same mothers found in healing.
Those making the trip will also visit with me and other members of Congress to make their voices heard.
During these visits, I will share that we have had a lot of wins recently in Washington, but we have not been able to provide the full protection of life. It is not that we haven’t been working on it.
We sent a bill to the president’s desk that repeals parts of Obamacare and stops abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from being able to receive federal funds through Medicaid and Title X programs. The president vetoed this bill like we expected he would.
Later this month, we will be working to override his veto; however, even if we are not able to get the numbers for the override, the fact that we were able to get this bill to the president’s desk is very important. Americans from all over the country have spent the last six months making sure their elected officials know it is unacceptable for any abortion provider to receive one cent of federal funding, period – no matter what other health services they provide. We made sure their voices were heard by getting a bill to the president’s desk that blocks abortionists from receiving funding from all federal programs.
So what did we learn? Two things: First, we know that this president will never budge on his pro-abortion stance. Second, we now have proof that if Republicans maintain control of the House and Senate, there is no reason why we would not be able to pass this bill through Congress under a Republican president.
This is why November matters. As the March for Life gets underway this week in Washington, a similar march will get underway that evening in Tulsa with the theme: Every Life is Sacred. As our friends and neighbors gather at both locations to make a public stand for their beliefs, we must do all that we can to join in the fight for those shared values and beliefs and ensure that every life is sacred.
The March for Life is a call for an end to abortion. It is held annually to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, with the hope that someday it will be overturned.
I will join those who are making this march by continuing the fight. I promise to continue working to protect the unborn by ensuring that no health care group that also performs abortions receives federal dollars. My fight for the unborn will never end.
WASHINGTON – Congress sent a resolution to the president’s desk this week to permanently block implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, which gives the federal government more control over the nation’s waterways.
The resolution, S.J.Res. 22 exercises the power Congress has under the Congressional Review Act to stop a federal regulation from taking effect.
Under the Clean Water Act, the WOTUS rule redefines “navigable waterways,” their attached tributaries, the erosion areas of those tributaries, and the ditches that feed them. The rule has been opposed by landowners, farmers and ranchers. More than 30 states, including Oklahoma, have sued over the rule saying it tramples their rights. As well, a federal court has issued a stay saying the rule cannot be enforced nationwide.
Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) said, “In Congress, I have worked to block the president’s WOTUS rule every way I can. States united in the federal court system to sue the administration and block WOTUS, and the federal courts have already put a nationwide halt to the rule until its legality can be reviewed further.”
The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed the rule in 2014 as an effort to keep waterways clean, calling it a “clarification” of what constitutes a “navigable waterway,” Mullin said. “Unfortunately, this rule takes control of waterways away from states and puts it into the hands of the federal government. It is an unprecedented federal land grab.”
The final WOTUS rule was issued in June 2015.
Mullin said the final rule is an over-reach by the EPA. The Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OFB) agrees with the congressman.
OFB President Tom Buchanan said, “Farm Bureau has long been concerned about the EPA’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule as we consider this a huge overreach by a federal agency. WOTUS will have a serious impact on how we manage land and use modern farming and ranching methods to produce food and fiber. We applaud Congressman Mullin for his efforts to stop the EPA from enacting unnecessary and burdensome regulations.”
Under the WOTUS rule, farmers and ranchers reportedly would have to obtain permits in order to use their own land, spending more money and more time to work on their own properties, Mullin said.
A report from the Government Accountability Office found that an EPA social media campaign violated laws that stop agencies from lobbying and spreading propaganda to the public. Mullin joined 100 other members of Congress in asking the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General to open a formal investigation into the agency’s unprecedented, grassroots-lobbying efforts to generate pro-WOTUS rule comments during the public comment period in 2014.
According to a report in the “New York Times,” the EPA conducted an all-out campaign to generate favorable public comments, including a variety of grassroots social media campaigns. The report goes on to say that the agency used the made-up show of support as proof that the WOTUS rule was popular with Americans.
An editorial in the “Oklahoman” attributes Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy as saying that only two-percent of the total public comments were unique. Furthermore, Mullin said, the majority of those comments were only in support of clean water, not the water rule itself.
Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay against the rule, saying it appears that the law is illegal, and may exceed guidelines established in the Clean Water Act.
“The courts will continue to review WOTUS to determine whether or not the administration has overstepped the boundaries set by Congress in the Clean Water Act,” Mullin added.
S.J.Res. 22 has already passed the U.S. Senate. It will now be sent to the president’s desk. Mullin said he expects the president to veto the measure.
“A veto of this resolution will make it clear the president has zero respect for the checks and balances in our three branches of government.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.J. Res. 22, a resolution providing for congressional disapproval of a rule submitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relating to the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act:
“Today, we have challenged President Obama to respect the will of Congress, American farmers, ranchers, and private landowners. He must now make a decision. Will he continue the pattern of executive overreach we have seen from him and his administration over the past seven years?
“Two federal judges are questioning the constitutionality of the final Waters of the U.S. rule and have issued stays to halt its implementation. The independent Government Accountability Office has determined that the EPA broke the law when it attempted to build public support for the rule during the public comment period. A veto of this resolution will make it clear the president has zero respect for the checks and balances in our three branches of government.”
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.