Photo Gallery

ImageI was honored to welcome the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Jim Carroll to eastern and central OK to discuss the opioid crisis and other drug-related issues with those communities. 










This week, long-time OKC Police Chief Bill Citty “finally” got the chance to retire. I am honored to know him and hope he will continue to serve the OKC community in retirement as well. I had the honor of speaking at his last prayer breakfast as Chief.










I was glad to get a chance to head to Blackwell for a Community Conversation Q&A event.










I try to stop in to see as many first responders as I can while back in OK to thank them for their service and hear their concerns for our communities. Thank you to the men and women who serve Tonkawa!










I held a Community Conversation at the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives and took numerous questions from the audience about federal issues.










I was in multiple public and private schools in April since I really enjoy discussing government and civics with kids throughout our state. I was honored to take questions from the bright kids at Western Oklahoma Christian School.










It is always nice to stop in to provide a legislative update to the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce. See you next time!











The Run to Remember is a beautiful event every year, and although it’s early on a Sunday morning, I encourage Oklahomans to remain involved and remember why we run.

Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors:

I hope you enjoyed a joyous Easter and/or Passover holiday with your family and friends. In April, Congress had a two-week state work period, which gave me time to travel the state to host community conversations (some call these “town halls”). Over the last two weeks, I visited Blackwell, Perry, Tonkawa, Poteau, Henryetta, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Bartlesville, Guthrie, Clinton, Broken Arrow, Edmond, Yukon, Cordell, and Corn to participate in Q&As with Oklahoma students, engage in small business discussions, and hear concerns and insight from folks around the state. 

One of the most important facets of that two-week period in Oklahoma was having the opportunity to welcome the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Jim Carroll, to eastern and central Oklahoma to meet with Oklahomans and see firsthand the ways our state is working to address the drug crisis and the mental and physical health issues of addiction. Director Carroll and I had the opportunity to hear from law enforcement personnel, community members, medical providers, and brave survivors of addiction who are now helping others overcome. Meth continues to be the biggest threat to our Oklahoma families along with opioids, heroin, and illegal marijuana use. 

During the past week in DC, the Senate has been busy confirming judges and executive nominees. There is a long backlog of nominees that we are working to complete. 


This week, the Mexican legislature adopted labor reforms that are the first step to Mexico’s passage of the new version of NAFTA proposed by President Trump, the US Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). I have met and spoken with US Trade Representative (USTR) Lighthizer several times since he assumed the role to bring Oklahomans' trade concerns directly to the person who can best help address them. On April 25, 2019, the office of the USTR issued its annual “Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection and Review of Notorious Markets for Piracy and Counterfeiting,” which identifies the Priority Watch List and Watch List of nations that routinely abuse American intellectual property or ones to watch. The nations and in which categories they are listed include: 

  • Priority Watch List: Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and Venezuela
  • Watch List: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam

CLICK HERE to read the full trade report. 

The Iranian regime continues its long and tragic history of human rights abuses and sponsorship of terrorism around the world. So the US continues to put pressure on the Iran regime to denuclearize and stop international terrorism. On April 4, 2019, I joined a letter to President Trump urging him to end what are called “Significant Reduction Exemptions (SREs) to cut off Iran’s economic lifeblood of oil and remove sanctions waivers for countries who buy Iranian oil. Cutting off the sale of Iranian oil will increase pressure on the Iranian regime. I am glad to say that on April 22, 2019, the Trump Administration announced it would not reissue SREs when they expire in May 2019. For the benefit of the people of Iran, the stability of the region, and the peace of our own nation, I hope diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran ends its nuclear aspirations and human rights atrocities.

CLICK HERE to read our letter to President Trump.


Everyone hates unwanted robocalls, and I thought you might want to know that both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with appropriate congressional oversight are working on drastically reducing or stopping robocalls. The Do Not Call Registry, both nationally and in Oklahoma, has not been effective at completely ending robocalls. However, I encourage you to register your number on the Do Not Call Registry to slow the number of calls to your number. (You can call 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY). You must call from the phone number you wish to register. You can also add your personal wireless phone number to the national Do Not Call Registry at 

I recently cosponsored S. 151, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, in the US Senate to provide regulators and law enforcement additional tools to prevent illegal robocalls, punish illegal robocallers, and would provide consumers with additional means of avoiding spoofed calls. 

CLICK HERE to read more.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that the FCC received more than 1.9 million complaints filed in early 2017 and about 5.3 million in 2016. The FCC has stated that it gets in excess of 200,000 complaints per year regarding unwanted telemarketing calls. Though not a federal entity, the YouMail Robocall Index is one of the most accurate estimates available of monthly robocall statistics.

YouMail provided CRS the following staggering statistics on robocalls:

  • 2016: 2.4 billion robocalls on average each month.
  • August 2017: 2.9 billion in just that month
  • May 2018: 4.1 billion robocalls (an all-time high that represents about 12 to 13 calls per person in the US)

The FCC continues to aggressively work to end robocalls. The FCC has developed a consumer guide page with links to resources like the Do Not Call list, call-blocking resources, and directions to file a complaint with the Commission. The FTC has also developed the Blocking Unwanted Calls page for consumer options within the Commission’s jurisdiction. You can also call: 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). I encourage you to use these resources to help you reduce robocalls. The FTC also recently successfully cracked down on the providers of billions of robocalls. 

CLICK HERE to read more about the FTC’s efforts to bring down four of the biggest offenders. 

CLICK HERE to view the FCC’s 2019 report on robocalls. 

Prison Cell Phone Jamming

For two years I have met with leaders of the FCC and other members of Congress to talk about how to block the use of contraband cell phones in state prisons. This week, I spoke on the Senate floor on the issue of prison contraband cell phone use. In 2018, Oklahoma state prisons confiscated 7,518 cell phones from inmates. Those cell phones pose a threat to people both in and outside prison as incarcerated individuals are using them to commit or aid in criminal activities like gang violence, drug sales, or convicted sex offenders continuing to prey on children while still in prison. I am pushing for a change in federal law that will allow states to use “jamming” technology to prevent the use of contraband cell phones in prisons.

After years of cell phone companies lobbying Congress and offering to “study” this obvious problem, it’s time to actually do something. There have been legislative proposals offered to address this issue, but I am not convinced those currently available will adequately address the issue, so I will offer my own proposal to finally help fix the problem. 

CLICK HERE to watch my recent floor speech on jamming contraband cell phones in prison.

UPDATE: Finance Committee

The Senate Finance Committee, on which I serve, has continued its work to assess solutions to increasing drug prices, provide alternatives to opioids to those with chronic pain, and address Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and pricing issues for local pharmacies. As prices rise, it is clear that some of the pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers are eager to take advantage of patients who need lifesaving drugs. 

We must also continue to press our local and federal public health agencies to help those suffering from dependence on drugs have successful and effective treatment options. I know many Oklahomans with chronic pain are grateful for the relief opioids provide, but we can ensure people have effective treatment options and reduce dependence and addiction in our nation. 

On April 11, 2019, I had the opportunity to question NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. about the status of opioid alternatives, and he stated that the NIH is  currently moving forward to provide clinical testing of about 60 to 70 alternative non-addictive pain management options.

CLICK HERE to watch a clip of my Q&A with the NIH Director on the progress of offering successful alternatives to opioids. 

On April 30, 2019, Finance Committee Chairman Grassley and I introduced a bill to require FTC to investigate the recent mergers of several of our nation’s largest PBMs that now have even more consolidated control over local pharmacies and drug pricing. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about my bill to address PBM pricing concerns.

First Amendment Protections

As you may know, the 2019 National Day of Prayer was yesterday (May 2), and I was delighted to have the opportunity to cosponsor with Senator Angus King from Maine the resolution declaring this year’s important day of prayer. I am always honored when people let me know that they pray for me and the other leaders from our state and nation. Prayer has been a private and public practice in America for our entire history. I think it is an honorable habit. 

CLICK HERE for more information on the 2019 National Day of Prayer and to hear my prayer for our nation on the Senate floor.

On April 25, 2019, I joined Senators Blunt (MO) and Scott (SC) to introduce the Campus Equal Access Act, which would ensure that religious student organizations can operate in accordance with their faith-based principles. The bill prohibits funding for public institutions of higher education if they deny rights, benefits, or privileges to student organizations because of their beliefs, practices, speech, leadership standards, or codes of conduct. Debate on the value of the freedom of faith, the press, speech and association has become an issue for some universities around the country, so this kind of bill is unfortunately necessary. I am proud that several of the universities in Oklahoma proactively celebrate our First Amendment freedom and encourage open debate. 

I come from a Christian worldview, and I choose to exercise my First Amendment right to have a faith and to live that faith publicly. I understand many in our nation choose to have a different faith, have no faith, and/or choose to not exercise their faith publicly; all of those are completely within their rights as Americans. I will protect Americans’ First Amendment religious freedom rights whether at houses of worship, on college campuses, in business or anywhere else in our nation. Our commitment to honor our diverse opinions on faith is one of our strengths as a nation. 

CLICK HERE for more information on the Campus Equal Access Act.

I believe the right to have a faith or change your faith is a basic human right. On April 29, 2019, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report highlighting religious freedom abuses around the world. 

CLICK HERE to read the USCRF report on violations of religious freedom internationally.

Keeping You in the Loop

  • On April 26, 2019, a West Coast judge blocked for the entire nation an HHS rule that restricts Title X health care funding from being used to refer or advise on abortions. The Trump Administration required any facility that uses federal funds to not also use that same facility to provide or promote abortions because of the federal prohibition on abortion funding with taxpayer dollars. As this case works through the courts, I will continue to speak out for children and for quality women’s health care, without subsidizing abortions with taxpayer dollars.
  • As you may have heard, on April 11, 2019, President Trump issued two new executive orders to help ensure our nation can continue to utilize our safe pipeline infrastructure. Pipelines are essential for our economy and our energy future. CLICK HERE to learn more about President Trump’s executive orders. 
  • On March 20, 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Office of the Inspector General began an aggressive public service announcement campaign to help spread the word about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be Social Security employees but who are actually just scammers. They even “spoof” the SSA’s phone number so the call appears to come from the Social Security office on your caller ID but is actually just a trick. In the announcement SSA reminds consumers that “Social Security employees do occasionally contact people—generally those who have ongoing business with the agency—by telephone for business purposes. However, Social Security employees will never threaten a person or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase in exchange for information.” CLICK HERE for more information on how to prevent fraud in our Social Security system.
  • Please keep the people of Venezuela in your prayers as they endure intense riots and bloodshed over hostilities caused in large part by the former Maduro socialist regime. In January 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the US intention to support interim President Juan Guaido and affirmed the US commitment to attempt to maintain diplomatic relations with Venezuela. CLICK HERE to read Secretary Pompeo’s January statement. This week Secretary Pompeo told several news outlets he believed former President Maduro was planning to flee Venezuela for Cuba but was asked not to leave by the Russians. These are very concerning times in Venezuela, and I am grateful for Secretary Pompeo’s work. If Venezuela falls apart, it could cause millions of people to flee as refugees all over our hemisphere. We should encourage the peaceful transition of power and economic stability in Venezuela for our own benefit and for theirs.

In God We Trust,
James Lankford
United States Senator for Oklahoma

Stay Connected! 

If you would like more information on these topics or any other legislation currently before the US Senate, please do not hesitate to call my DC 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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