Dear Oklahoma Friends and Neighbors, 

Thank you, again, to all the veterans who have kept our nation free. During this Veterans Day week, we appreciate the men, women and families who sacrifice so much for our nation.

As we approach the end of the year, there are still major issues to discuss in Congress before the end of December. In the weeks ahead, the Senate will authorize funding for highways and a measure to repeal the heart of Obamacare. Congress will also need to complete funding for the federal government before December 11, the date the current funding expires. 

I hope you had a terrific Veterans Day, and I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your family. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent Oklahoma as your Senator.

President Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline:

Last Friday, President Obama rejected the application from TransCanada to build the northern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline, an application that has been stalled by the Obama Administration for six years. Americans have always known President Obama’s opposition to oil, gas and coal, but few thought he would delay a pipeline permit for over 2,600 days only to reject it with no fact-based, data driven conclusions. 

Following Friday’s announcement, I provided a closer look into the President’s excuse. The rejection of the application demonstrates how much this administration thinks the American people will only listen to platitudes, not check the facts. This decision paints a clear picture of what happens when the federal government gets to choose projects based on the preference of a few elites in Washington, DC, rather than the free market, data or the preferences of the American people.

To review my fact-check of the President’s Keystone decision, CLICK HERE. 

On Tuesday, I spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Keystone Pipeline decision and the need to lift the ban on American exports of crude oil. CLICK HERE to watch the speech. 

Medicare Open Enrollment

On Monday, November 9, I held a state-wide tele-town hall for senior adults in Oklahoma regarding open enrollment for Medicare. On the call with me were special guests Ray Walker, Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program Director for the Oklahoma Insurance Department; and Sylvia Garcia, Health Insurance Specialist for CMS’s Division of Medicare Health Plans Operations. During the call we talked to more than 23,000 senior adult Oklahomans and we were able to answer a number of major questions about Medicare and Social Security.

Open enrollment for Medicare started on October 15, 2015 and will run through December 7, 2015. If you have questions about Medicare options or open enrollment, please feel free to reach out to Ray from the Oklahoma Insurance Department or my office. We are glad to help.

Ray Walker, Oklahoma SHIP Director, Oklahoma Insurance Department- Phone: 1-800-764-2828, Email: 

For additional information, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit

Bipartisan Budget Act – It’s a Bad Deal

Two weeks ago, the Senate voted on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. I was, and still am, very opposed to the bill. Oklahomans want to see the national debt reduced and efficiencies in the federal government increase. The budget that passed does neither. Our debt still stands at $18.6 trillion and the budget deal does nothing to move our nation toward a balanced budget.

Congress also had the opportunity to make true reforms to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, but instead used funding gimmicks to kick the can down the road. During debate, I offered a solution that would fix the problems in Social Security Disability Insurance. But all amendments to the budget bill were blocked, so our commonsense Social Security solution was not addressed.

I cannot support a budget that does not address our national debt.

To hear directly from me on the reasons behind my opposition to the bill, CLICK HERE

Federal Fumbles – 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball

Last week, I announced my office will release a federal government waste and solutions report later this fall. The report will highlight examples of wasteful or duplicative spending, burdensome regulations and will also offer a policy solution to each of the problems addressed in the book. I released the following video as an example of what you’ll see in the Fumble Book. With a $18.6 trillion federal debt and half-a-trillion-dollar deficit, it is past time for practical ideas to balance our budget.  

To watch the video, CLICK HERE

We Need a Regulatory Process of the People and By the People

It’s no secret that regulatory reform is a top priority for me. As chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, I have focused my time on reforms and solutions that will improve our federal regulatory system. As the cost of basic items such as food, insurance, banking and consumer goods continue to rise, some might not realize that many of the cost increases are directly attributed to new regulatory costs passed on to the consumers.

No one wants a nation with no regulations, but all federal regulations should consider the cost, benefits, and be as simple as possible, and consider all affected people.

Bad regulations make it harder for American’s to achieve their dreams. Too many regulations make it harder to start a business, expand a company or employ more people. To return to a better economy, regulations must be of the people, for the people, and by the people.

To read more about my thoughts on regulatory reform and the solutions, CLICK HERE.

Free Exercise of Religion in America

Since 2008, Assistant football Coach Joe Kennedy from Bermerton, Washington has practiced a tradition of private prayer at the fifty-yard line after the conclusion of every game. At times, students have voluntarily joined Coach Kennedy in silent prayer. However, after seven years, the Bremerton School District ordered Coach Kennedy to stop praying where people could see him.

On October 23, the district told the coach if he repeated his tradition of prayer, his actions would be “grounds for discipline, up to and including discharge from district employment.” As of today, Coach Kennedy has been placed on administrative paid leave—all because he exercised his freedom of religion in America.

In America, you have the right to have faith, the right to live it and the right to have no faith at all. Every individual retains their Constitutional right to the free exercise of their religion. I stand by Coach Kennedy and his freedom to exercise his religion. People of all faiths cannot be restrained from personal acts of faith, even if they are a government employee.

To watch my floor speech on Coach Kennedy, CLICK HERE. To read an opinion piece I wrote with the co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, CLICK HERE. As co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, I led a Member of Congress letter to Bremerton, Washington School District officials to defend the first Amendment right of Coach Kennedy. To read the letter, CLICK HERE.

We Salute You

A hero is someone who has devoted their life for something greater than themselves. On this Veterans Day, and every day, we honor the men and women who serve our nation, past and present. You are our heroes. We are grateful to you and your families for the sacrifices you make for our nation in defense of our freedoms. 

To watch a special Veterans Day video, CLICK HERE.

Keeping You In The Loop

  • On Tuesday, the Senate voted 91-3 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)…again. President Obama vetoed the first version of NDAA, even though it passed the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support. The NDAA will now go back to President Obama again for signature. I delivered a floor speech in support of the NDAA on October 7, and I also wrote an op-ed on October 13 on why we need to have a clear national security strategy.
  • This week, I voted for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, and it passed the Senate with a vote of 93-0. This is a critical piece of legislation that provides physical support for our military bases and posts, and support for Veterans—in Oklahoma and across the nation. I am thankful to all the Veterans who reside in Oklahoma—all  312,492 of them. 
  • Last Monday, I launched a new website. The URL address is the same:, but the design, functionality and information are all new. The website acts as a virtual office for Oklahomans to stay connected with me and what’s happening in the US Senate. The website will be your portal to request meetings, watch videos, seek help with a federal agency, learn more about current issues or read legislation under consideration. I am here to serve you, and technology allows me to do that faster.
  • Last week, the Senate voted on a resolution of disapproval of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ‘Waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) rule. As you’ll recall, the EPA issued a final WOTUS rule that drastically expands their authority for regulated navigable waters, well beyond the intent of the 1972 Clear Water Act. The resolution passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 54-44. In August, Sen. Inhofe and I sent a letter to the EPA to seek further clarification on compliance for the WOTUS rule. Currently, the federal courts have stopped the EPA from implementing their overreach, but it is important to also stop this rule with legislation. 
  • Last week, the Supreme Court granted a petition to four Oklahoma colleges who challenged the Obamacare mandate. The four schools will join with five other petitions, including the Little Sisters of the Poor. The oral arguments are tentatively set for March 2016. 
  • On October 27, the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (S. 754). Cybersecurity is quickly becoming one of the most pressing concerns for every American and family. This bill is an important piece of legislation to protect your personal privacy by taking steps to combat cyber-attacks before they happen. To read my full statement on the passage of the bill, CLICK HERE.
  • November is National Adoption Month, and this week, Governor Mary Fallin launched the Oklahoma Fosters Initiative, a campaign to recruit more foster and adoptive families for Oklahoma foster children. Families interested in becoming adoptive parents can visit You can also call the foster parent hotline at 1-800-376-9729.


Stay Connected! 

If you would like more information on these topics or any other legislation currently before the U.S. Senate, please do not hesitate to call my D.C. office at (202) 224-5754. My Oklahoma City office can be reached at (405) 231-4941 and my Tulsa office at (918) 581-7651. You can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram for updates on my work in Congress.

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