Photo Gallery

I took questions and joined in the conversation with Seiling residents earlier this month.










Made a quick pit stop at the McDonald’s in Stilwell to catch up with neighbors while I was in town.









The kids, faculty, and staff of Thelma Parks Elementary in NE OKC were very welcoming as I toured the school and learned about the ways the Restore Volunteer Program is helping students with reading, urban farming, and other areas of development.







I got a chance to hold a Q&A with the students at Stroud High School and get a tour from the principal when the students went back to class. Thanks for letting me see this remarkable new Oklahoma school.








I am always honored to give a legislative update with hundreds of business and civic leaders in the Tulsa community at the Tulsa Chamber luncheon. 








ImageIt was a great day in SE OK to get a chance to catch up with Carrie Underwood’s hometown of Checotah and talk through some of their questions about issues affecting in Congress. 








ImageMy office remains engaged with the areas affected by the spring flooding in NE OK. I got a chance to stop by for an update from the Army Corps of Engineers. 








ImageGlad to officially welcome Tim Downing as our newest US Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma!








I try to connect with students as often as possible to hear their perspectives and answer questions. The kids at William Bradford Christian School in Pryor had great questions about the direction of our nation.








I was honored to share these giant scissors with Senator Inhofe as we celebrated the beginning of the KC-46A tanker maintenance program at Tinker AFB. This is the first new hanger of 14 in construction on the south end of Tinker AFB. Congratulations on this new mission!







I had the opportunity to stop and pray with my fellow Oklahomans at the OKC Prayerfest on a sunny Sunday afternoon earlier this month.

Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors:
I spent the first part of October traveling around Oklahoma, holding Community Conversations, and meeting with constituents, businesses, educators, and students to listen and talk through the issues important to you. In the past few weeks, I made stops in Checotah, Cushing, Edmond, Mooreland, Muskogee, Oklahoma City, Sallisaw, Seiling, Shawnee, Stilwell, Stroud, Tahlequah, Tecumseh, Tulsa, Stillwater, Webbers Falls, and Woodward. This was valuable time for me to hear from Oklahomans so I can bring our perspectives to DC.
UPDATE: US relations with Turkey and Syria
The situation in Syria between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds continues to move and change. The region is much more complicated than some in the national media describe. The Turks and Syrian Kurds have opposed each other for years. In fact, the Kurdish Workers Party is a communist organization that has carried out multiple terror attacks and car bombings in Turkey for decades. Everyone knew after the war slowed down in Syria that the Turks would turn its attention back to fighting the Kurds on their southern border. The Russians have continued to expand their operation in Syria from their permanent naval and air bases that they have maintained since the 1980s. The roughly 2,000 American troops in Syria have been in temporary facilities to fight alongside the Kurds against ISIS, not the Russians or the Turks.
Two weeks ago, President Trump announced his decision to move US troops deployed in North Central Syria to protect them from an incoming Turkish incursion against Syrian Kurds. The President is responsible for the security of US troops anywhere in the world, so it is reasonable for the President to pull our men and women out of the line of friendly. However, the rapid withdrawal was not well coordinated, so some detained ISIS fighters were able to escape in the chaos. That is a problem for the whole region and our mission against ISIS. 
Over the past two weeks, the President, Vice President, and the Secretary of State have worked to stop the Turkish army from shelling civilians in Northern Syria and to encourage the Kurdish Worker’s Party's military elements away from the Turkish border. The negotiated ceasefire has held as of the writing of this newsletter, but President Trump has the difficult task of continuing the War on Terror, while balancing age-old international and intercultural strife between all the groups in the region.
Since I have traveled to Syria, Iraq, and Turkey in the past few years, I have worked to bring any insight I could to the national conversation on the challenges in this region. Pray for peace in the region. The refugees and the families caught in the middle of this decades-long fight desperately want the ceasefire to hold.
CLICK HERE to listen to the most recent episode of my podcast, the Breakdown with James Lankford for an in-depth discussion about the history of the US presence in the Middle East.

CLICK HERE to watch my recent speech on the Senate floor discussing the history and present-day concerns with the conflict in the area. 
UPDATE: Impeachment Inquiry in the House
On Wednesday, September 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced that the House would begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. House Democrats believe President Trump tried to get campaign assistance from a foreign government and that the President implied that he would not help Ukraine with military assistance unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to help him get information about former-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and his business dealings in Ukraine. The accusation is that former-VP Biden pressured the former government of Ukraine to fire the investigator who was looking into the company his son was involved in. 
Since the inquiry began, the House Intelligence Committee, along with other House investigative committees, has begun to subpoena witnesses, hold closed-door hearings, and gain testimony from current and former members of President Trump’s team and national security personnel. 
Unfortunately, the impeachment hearings and information-gathering sessions have been held largely behind closed doors, so there is very little information available to the public about the evidence or content of the investigation. The only two documents available to review were released by the White House. 

The most serious check and balance in our system of government is impeachment, which is why previous inquiries have been conducted through public hearings in which all sides can participate and the President can sit in on all depositions and hearings to hear the evidence being presented. That foundational due process was given to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton during their impeachment proceedings. But that is not true this time. Certainly people have a right to their own opinions about the President, but the American people deserve to at least make up their mind based on all the facts, not just the details leaked by the investigative committee staff.
As the House continues its inquiry and investigation, the Senate cannot act until the House votes on impeachment. But I have cosponsored a Senate resolution to urge the House to make the investigation a fair and transparent process.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the resolution.
A new trade agreement has been finalized with Japan that opens up the Japanese market to American beef, pork, chicken, wheat, sorghum, and much more. The White House is also in final negotiations with China that will finally bring down tariffs and provide protections for American intellectual property rights. We should know before Christmas if the trade deal with China is going to come together or fall apart.
October 1 marked the one-year anniversary since Presidents Trump, Trudeau, and Obrador signed the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). But it needs to be ratified by all three governments before it takes effect. Mexico has fully ratified the replacement for the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and Canada is ready to move on the agreement as soon as the United States ratifies it. Our Constitution requires trade agreements to begin in the House of Representatives, but the USMCA has not had a vote in more than a year of waiting in the House. 
If you have watched the news at all lately, you have seen the palpable rift between President Trump and Speaker Pelosi. Though the two of them have obvious differences, I continue to urge Speaker Pelosi and the House to take up the USMCA because it benefits American agriculture, manufacturing, and jobs in Oklahoma. I believe there are more than enough votes already in the House to pass the new USMCA trade agreement, if it can get a vote. We should continue to work toward trade agreements that serve our interests and help expand our economy. When we have fair trade agreements, US workers, products, and commodities win every time. 
CLICK HERE to learn more about my push to pass the USMCA.
UPDATE: Federal Funding
The federal government is currently funded by a continuing resolution (CR) through November 21, 2019. The Senate worked this week to pass four of the twelve appropriations bills to fund the government by the November 21 deadline. In the meantime Senator Maggie Hassan, a Democrat from New Hampshire, and I are working diligently to get the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act passed in order to avoid another costly and unnecessary government shutdown in case the bills do not get passed by November 21. We have worked together for months to finalize a solution that ends costly government shutdowns and keeps Congress working until the budget is resolved. On a recent telephone town hall I hosted, 82 percent of Oklahomans on the phone supported finding a way to stop government shutdowns. 
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act.

Iron Horse Industrial Park


Last week, I had the opportunity to welcome the first business at the Iron Horse Industrial Park, just outside Shawnee, owned by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN). Canada-based Pro-Pipe USA, LLC, officially broke ground on construction of its new facility to manufacture plastic piping at the Park. This is an important investment for both the CPN and for SE Oklahoma, since it provides an opportunity to activate new rail traffic on the old dormant rail line that runs from McAlester to Oklahoma City. We have worked for years to increase economic development and job opportunities for the thousands of people who live in SE Oklahoma by getting a new rail bridge and new life for the old rail line.

My staff and I are proud of the innovation, forward-thinking, and international partnerships the CPN have cultivated over the years to bring this project to reality. The first step to providing even more job opportunities from Shawnee to McAlester has begun.

Keeping You in the Loop

  • Last week, the Senate passed my bill, the Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bipartisan bill seeks to provide justice for US victims of international terrorism while promoting the important security cooperation among US, Israeli, and Palestinian security forces. This bill is vital for American victims of international terrorism as well as US security interests in the Middle East. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill to give victims of terrorism their day in court. CLICK HERE for more information.
  • Oklahoma’s 3.2 percent unemployment rate for September 2019 is great news for our state. We still have a number of areas that need skilled workers, and our state’s manufacturers have told me they need tradesmen and women constantly – especially welders. As our high school students think through career possibilities, please continue to encourage them to learn a skilled trade as they consider their career options. Oklahoma still rewards hard work. 
  • Preventing contraband cell phones in Oklahoma prisons is a priority for me, especially as OK prisons endure week after week of lockdowns due to gang violence. We have coordinated with Governor Stitt, the FCC, Bureau of Prisons, and the cell phone companies to prevent the use of cell phones in our state prisons. CLICK HERE for more information. 
  • On Wednesday, I voted to oppose a Democrat resolution that would allow individuals to deduct an unlimited amount of state and local taxes from their federal taxes. This tax change would have significantly reduced federal taxes on the highest-earning taxpayers in the country who live in high tax states like California, New York, or Illinois (in fact, more than 50 percent of the tax benefit would go to people who make more than $1 million a year), but it would shift the tax burden to middle class families in Oklahoma. After the tax reform passed in late 2017, the US economy has grown at a much stronger pace, workers in the lowest-income bracket have seen the fastest growth in wages, the unemployment rate has dropped to a 50-year low and federal tax revenue to the US Treasury has grown. We should not reverse course on our economy by reversing our tax code. CLICK HERE to read my full statement. 
  • Last week, the Senate voted down an attempt to return to Obama-era power generation regulations known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which have been replaced with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. We absolutely should work together to clean our air, water, and land, since we are all stewards of our environment. The ACE Rule continues our momentum toward cleaner and cleaner air, while protecting our economy and our cost of living. CLICK HERE for more information. 
  • On October 18, I led a bipartisan group of Senators to urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct an outreach campaign to educate clinicians, people with cognitive impairment, and their families on the services currently available to them in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. My family said the “long goodbye” to my grandmother, so I am well aware of the tragic repercussions of Alzheimer’s disease. I am grateful for the bipartisan work to get families the support they need. CLICK HERE to read the letter.
  • The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to be alert to scam groups masquerading as charitable organizations. Using a tax deduction as bait, these fake charities often lure victims into making ineligible donations, ultimately leaving the unsuspecting donor on the hook. CLICK HERE for more details from the IRS on how to protect yourself from scammers. 
  • A few weeks ago, I had the distinguished honor to speak at Vernon AME Church in North Tulsa. The basement survived the 1921 Race Massacre that razed the Greenwood District to the ground. I encourage you to take the time to read about the history of the 1921 Race Massacre and make sure we learn from that awful day in Oklahoma history. We should work to bring “triumph out of tragedy” and ensure future generations never see such racial violence and hatred. CLICK HERE to read the Tulsa World article. 

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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