On June 12th, a terrorist walked into The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Because of his radicalized ideology, he massacred 49 people and wounded 53 more. The only thing that stopped him from taking more lives was the response by law enforcement officers on the scene.
This week, House Democrats led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tried to use this tragic terror attack as a way to further their liberal agenda and take away our Second Amendment right. They would like people to believe that more gun laws would have stopped this attack from happening.
When liberals try to compare my ability to own a gun to the acts of a terrorist, it makes me angry. In Oklahoma, firearms are passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms. They are used for sport and providing food for families. Guns can be found in households across the district. I have one hanging in my office in Washington D.C. That is our right guaranteed by the Constitution.
From 2005 to 2014, there were over 43,000 murders committed in the United States using something other than a firearm. Of those, 688 were in Oklahoma. You never hear outrage from these tragedies. You never hear about Democrats staging a sit-in to demand stricter laws against hammers or pocket knives. You only hear about it when it involves a gun. People tend to fear what they don’t understand, and that is especially true when it comes to guns. Democrats try to target those fears.
It is time to call a spade a spade. This was an act of terror carried out by someone who pledged allegiance to ISIS. The 911 transcripts released by the Department of Justice clearly show that the shooter pledged his life to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State. This isn’t a time for more gun laws. This is a time for all of us to come together to stop Islamic terrorists from being able to harm more Americans.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) voted Thursday to approve H.R. 5293, The Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The bill will fund the U.S. military through September 2017.
“This legislation ensures that we maintain our military readiness,” said Mullin. “It gives us the ability to keep the men and women on the front lines equipped and it puts a little extra money in their pocket that I think they more than deserve.”
This year’s bill includes a 2.1% pay increase for troops. Once passed, this offers troops their largest pay raise since 2010. The legislation also rejects the administration’s reductions in end strength and supports funding for an additional 28,715 active forces and 25,000 Selected Reserve forces.
“In today’s world, the last thing we need to do is cut defense spending,” says Mullin. “America is a target for radical extremists, and we need to make sure that our military is ready to go to war against our enemies.”
This year’s budget also allows for an increase in equipment for the warfighter. Included is $120.8 billion for weapons and equipment procurement that will include 15 new ships for the Navy and more than 100 additional aircraft across the services. It also allows for $70.8 billion to be spent on research and development to develop the weapons of the future.
Another key point in the bill is that it prohibits the closure of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It also prevents funding for construction of any facility that could be used to house detainees within the U.S. in the future, as well as stops any transfer of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay back to the Cuban government.
“The detainees left in Guantanamo Bay are the worst of the worst,” Mullin said. “These men are true monsters. I cannot allow them to be moved onto U.S. soil.”
H.R. 5293 passed in the House by a vote of 282-138.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I grew up in a small town in eastern Oklahoma, and I grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Every day, I would stand with my hand over my heart and recite these words. And every day I felt proud.
Our flag has been through a lot in its life. It has been carried in conflicts around the world, from Bunker Hill to Baghdad. It was there when George Washington took the oath of office as our first president. It stood proudly when we put the first man on the moon. It has witnessed this country’s growth from 13 colonies to 50 great states.
It’s draped over the caskets of brave men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion and laid down their lives for our country. It can be seen placed in front of the white tombstones in national cemeteries around the world. It has been, and continues to be, a beacon of hope and freedom. I love our flag.
On June 14, we celebrated Flag Day. It can be easy to forget that we all serve the same flag. I don’t think any one of us ever stands up and pledges allegiance to a political party, but too often we get so caught up in partisan politics that we lose sight of what’s important. No matter what side of the aisle we stand on, we’re all on the same team. In Congress, I serve all Oklahomans and I make decisions that impact all Americans.
Over the next few weeks, I hope that you take a moment and honor our flag. Tell your children of its proud history. I also hope you will take a moment and join me in saying our Pledge of Allegiance.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) voted as a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Wednesday to support H.R. 2646, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. The bill, introduced by Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18), focuses on repairing the broken mental health system in America.
“This bill is one that has support on both sides of the aisle,” says Mullin. “We all realize we need to do more to help the people in our country that suffer from mental health issues.”
Under the current mental health system, there are numerous problems. Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from some form of serious mental illness. Many have difficulty receiving care due to the lack of communication between programs.
Federal funding for mental health is currently $130 billion and it is dispersed to 112 federal programs. Many times these programs do not communicate to ensure the funds and assistance go to the right place. H.R. 2646 will establish an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use with mental health credentials. They will develop and carry out a strategic plan that is to be updated every five years.
“Communication between all these programs is key,” Mullin says. “It will allow the government to maximize our ability to help those who really need it in Oklahoma and around the country, as well as cut down on unnecessary spending.”
H.R. 2646 passed through committee by a vote of 53-0.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) voted Tuesday in favor of H.R. 5053, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act. The bill prohibits the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from requiring non-profit organizations to disclose the personal information of contributors.
“The IRS has no business requiring non-profit organizations to tell them who gave money,” says Mullin. “This is just another way that big government is trying to pry into the lives of Americans.”
Under the current tax law, non-profit organizations are required to submit a form to the IRS listing the names and addresses of their donors. This information potentially allows the IRS to target citizens based on their contributions.
“The IRS under the Obama administration has become extremely political,” said Mullin. “They have admitted to targeting conservative groups in the past, and this bill will cut off one avenue they have to do that.”
One group who supports H.R. 5053 is Americans for Tax Reform. According to an article on their website, “Protecting free speech is an issue that should be supported by members and groups regardless of political affiliation. Refusing to act against IRS abuse opens the door to future administrations doing the same regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican.”
Mullin also added that what people do with their hard earned money should not be any of the governments business.
“If a farmer in south-eastern Oklahoma wants to give money to a charity, they shouldn’t be worried about receiving an audit next year because the IRS doesn’t agree with that group’s politics,” Mullin said.
H.R. 5053 passed in the House by a vote of 240-182.
With the demands of daily life, staying active and being healthy can get moved to the backburner pretty quickly. But living a healthy lifestyle is something that should be on the forefront of our minds. The month of June, Men’s Health Month, is a good time to start the conversation.
As co-chairs of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) and I hope to motivate men to take an active role in their wellbeing, as well as to bring awareness to health issues that affect men every day.
With Father’s Day right around the corner, I am thinking even more about my health – especially when it comes to the example I set for my kids, and the impact they have had on my life. I want to be around to see them grow up, and this is why I try to stay fit and healthy.
My two sons, Andrew and Jim, along with my oldest daughter, Larra, all wrestle. As a former wrestler, I am very proud to pass the tradition of wrestling on to my kids. Hopefully I’ll even be able to cheer for my grandkids on the wrestling mat one day. Working out to get in shape for wrestling season is something that we can do as a family, and it shows my kids that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore.
My kids are smaller versions of myself, so teaching them how to be healthy and giving them access to the tools and resources they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle is vital to their growth and development in adulthood.
This month, I encourage you to make a commitment to your own health. Let’s leave a healthy legacy for the next generations of Oklahomans.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) voted to oppose the Obama administration’s latest attack on the oil and gas industry – a proposed $10 dollar tax on every barrel of oil.
“With oil prices climbing back over $50 a barrel, Oklahoma families are just starting to recover from the plunge in prices,” said Mullin. “But the effects are still being felt. This new tax proposed by the Obama administration will undercut all the efforts made to get Oklahoma’s energy industry back on its feet.”
According to the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. oil and gas industry supports more than 9 million jobs nationwide. An individual who starts-off working in an oil field can make over $50,000 a year. In Oklahoma, the average annual salary across all industries and sectors is $41,768. In the oil and gas industry it is $79,275. With the fall in oil prices, many in the energy sector lost their jobs.
“I’ve talked with people who lost their jobs in the oil fields in the last year,” Mullin said. “They have made enormous sacrifices to help their families survive.”
In his Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal, President Obama recommended the addition of a $10 per barrel tax on oil.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that crude oil prices will remain relatively low through 2016 and 2017. A $10 per barrel tax on oil would increase the cost for production, and that can translate to higher costs for other goods. Mullin says this is a direct attack on the middle class and working poor of Oklahoma.
“A tax like this means higher gas prices, which then translates into higher prices across the board. That means a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk will cost more, and that takes food out of people’s mouths,” Mullin added. “This administration says it supports an all-of-the-above approach to energy policy, but this proposal is just one more way that they’ve proven that to be a lie.”
Mullin has worked to pass several bills to grow and strengthen energy jobs in Oklahoma. In the House Energy and Commerce Committee he has pushed legislation that reduces red tape in energy development permitting processes, and he championed a measure included in the 2015 year-end spending bill that lifted the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) on Wednesday voted in favor of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act (H.R. 4775) to make sure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not impose a harmful, unworkable regulation on Oklahoma.
In 2008, the EPA revised an air quality regulation and made changes to county-by-county ozone standards. The final regulation wasn’t published until seven years later in March 2015. In October 2015, the EPA again revised the ozone standard. This change requires counties across America to simultaneously implement two separate ozone standards, which would cost taxpayers in Oklahoma billions of dollars.
“The EPA never gave our counties a chance to meet the first ozone standard, and now, Oklahoma will face costly restrictions if our counties can’t meet the agency’s newest standards,” said Mullin. “I voted today to make sure our state is protected from this administration’s expensive, unworkable climate agenda.”
Under the bill, counties in Oklahoma and the rest of the country will be able to phase in the two ozone standards published by the EPA in 2008 and 2015, giving them until 2025 to be in full compliance. This gives Oklahomans a flexible and cost-effective way to meet the requirements set by the EPA. It also keeps the EPA from placing harsh restrictions on counties that were not able to meet the previous standards.
Organizations across the country support H.R. 4775.
A spokesman from the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) said, “We believe this legislation is a common sense approach that will give states the power they need to meet air quality standards. It is important that we are able to use current technology to meet these standards and that is one of the benefits we see in H.R. 4775. The alternative would be regulatory schemes based on technology that is not yet available. That is not a good approach when states are already facing constantly changing regulations without any guidance on implementation and interpretation. H.R. 4775 would give us some stability, as well as the time and the tools we need to meet these standards.”
The National Association of Manufacturers says it will “ensure continued air quality improvements across the country, while better aligning the EPA’s regulatory requirements with the realities of the economy, technology and existing policy”.
Mullin added, “Without this bill, Oklahoma stands to lose over 35,000 jobs and billions of dollars trying to comply. That just doesn’t sit right with me and it’s why I strongly supported this bill in my committee and on the House floor.”
H.R. 4775 passed the House by a vote of 243-177.
The Oklahoma Constitution requires the state legislature to pass a balanced budget every year. While passing a balanced budget forces legislators to make hard choices, it also keeps our state from digging itself into debt.
This year, falling oil prices and other factors led to state legislators facing a $1.3 billion budget shortfall going into 2017. To make up for the shortfall, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority prepared Oklahoma Medicaid providers for the possibility of a 25 percent rate cut.
It doesn’t take a health care expert to understand that a rate cut of this magnitude would be detrimental to Oklahoma’s health care providers. Luckily, our state legislature worked to develop a 2017 state budget that shields Medicaid providers from a large rate cut.
Oklahoma’s potential Medicaid crisis wasn’t just a result of the state’s budget shortfall. The Medicaid program is broken – so broken that it is driving the federal and state governments into bankruptcy.
We need to take charge and reform Medicaid to ensure that the program works in states and for people. I’ve proposed a bill to help set us in the right direction: the Preserving Access to Medicaid for Americans (PAMA) Act of 2016.
The PAMA Act targets two flaws in Obamacare that have placed unnecessary burdens on our state: mandated hospital cuts that will kick in starting Fiscal Year 2018, and restrictions on the state’s ability to readjust the eligibility requirements for some Medicaid related programs.
Hospitals that serve a large number of people who are uninsured receive Medicaid funding, called Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, to make up for the cost of caring for these patients.
Obamacare contains a provision that mandates annual cuts to DSH payments to pay for other parts of Obamacare, like state Medicaid expansion. The PAMA Act would protect states, like Oklahoma, that haven’t expanded Medicaid under Obamacare from the DSH cuts.
Oklahoma made a fiscally responsible decision when it refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Why should our state’s hospitals be forced to pay for other states’ Medicaid expansion? The first thing the PAMA Act does is make the states that have chosen to expand Medicaid pay for it themselves.
The second area the PAMA Act focuses on is Oklahoma’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which provides health insurance coverage for children and expecting mothers. Under Obamacare, there is a requirement called Maintenance of Effort (MOE), which prohibits Oklahoma from adjusting the eligibility criteria for the CHIP program until 2019. The PAMA Act strikes the MOE and gives our state the flexibility it needs right now to restructure CHIP in a way that makes the most sense for our communities and to ensure the program is sustainable in the long-term.
Oklahoma will always be required to balance its budget, so the federal government needs to get rid of the burdensome laws that cost states millions of dollars and prevent Medicaid programs from working. Passing the PAMA Act would set us in the right direction.
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer for Oklahomans. Many of us celebrate with cook-outs, trips to the lake or river, and time spent with loved ones. In the middle of all of this fun, I think it’s easy to forget about the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is for remembering the men and women who gave their lives to defend the freedoms that every American has today.
We are the land of the free, because of the brave. The bravest among us are the men and women who wear the uniforms of our armed forces every day and never waiver in their fight against the people and groups who threaten our way of life.
My office is committed to supporting and honoring these brave individuals – individuals like Richard Miller, a WWII veteran from Oklahoma.
Last year, I had the honor of posthumously honoring Richard for his service to our country by presenting his wife, Pheirthine Miller Sanders, with the service medals he had earned – but never received – before his death in 1980.
Pheirthine’s daughter, Janice, attended my Veterans Information Day in Okmulgee last year, where she told one of my veterans caseworkers, William Barnes, that her mother was having trouble getting her husband’s pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
William worked with the VA to get Pheirthine the pension benefit, and during the process, he and Janice uncovered documentation that showed that her father should have been awarded several medals for his service in the U.S. Army. William was able to secure some of those medals, and I was honored to present a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, and other medals to Pheirthine at a ceremony on Veterans Day last year.
Many people don’t know that I have three veterans caseworkers who are dedicated to helping veterans and their families with any problem they experience with the VA. Whether it’s an issue with pension benefits, doctor appointments, or service medals, we are here to help.
I have two veterans caseworkers in Muskogee: William Barnes and Jake Marlin. Both of them can be reached at 918-687-2533. And I have a third veterans caseworker, Jason Self, in McAlester. Jason can be reached at 918-423-5951.
On Memorial Day, we naturally recognize our veterans, and we thank them and their families for their service to our country. But I don’t want us to forget that the day is also about recognizing the families of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
Our 40th President, Ronald Reagan, wisely said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on.”
The men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice did just that. We remember them every day, but especially on Memorial Day.
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.
Retweeted by RepMullin
I got a surprise visit from Miss Cherokee today! Thank you Ja Li Si Pittman for stopping by! https://t.co/WYFtQQH5LF
Took some time in between meetings to talk boots with members of the Oklahoma FFA. I prefer square-toed boots. https://t.co/aCT5tHmUFh