Photo Gallery

ImageGrateful to visit the new Oasis Fresh Market in North Tulsa to meet the staff, see all the fresh produce, and tour a great addition to the community.













ImageThe future of America’s brightest orange is definitely bright with new Oklahoma State University President and Cowgirl-in-chief Dr. Kayse Shrum. I look forward to working with her as OSU continues to do great things for our state and nation.












ImageVisited the Ardmore Airpark to learn how we could work together to modernize and dramatically increase the number of great jobs in southern Oklahoma.












ImageEnjoyed a great roundtable discussion at Perry’s Kumback Café (Oklahoma’s oldest café) to talk through some of the issues facing our neighbors in north central Oklahoma.












ImageIt was nice to hear from some of the Ponca City businesses leaders to understand what we can do together to help our state.












ImageCindy and I were glad to visit NEO and connect with NEO President, Dr. Kyle Stafford, to learn about the exciting opportunities available to students in Miami. NEO is truly a jewel in our state.












ImageI was humbled to receive the annual “Coburn Statesman Award” in July from the Family Policy Foundation. Dr. Coburn left a legacy of commitment to his faith, to our country, and to our families. I pray we can all work to solve the hard problems of our nation but still treat each other with respect.



Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors: 

It is back to school time. Give those kids a hug and take a picture of them as they prepare to leave for the first day of class. After the past year of COVID 19, I pray we all understand that every day is a gift, even the days filled with hurried schedules, breakfast in the car, and late-night homework.

In Washington, DC, T is for trillion.

Just this week, I opposed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which included over $500 billion in new debt, and the $3.5 trillion budget proposal from Senator Bernie Sanders. That is a $4.7 trillion week. 

In a typical year, the federal government spends a total of $4 trillion for everything from Social Security, to national defense, to education. That is a lot of money. To show the difference between million, billion, and trillion: one million seconds is 11 and a half days; one billion seconds is 31 and a half years; and one trillion seconds is 31,709 years. Then Biden Administration has already proposed or passed $2 trillion beyond the normal $4 trillion in spending just this year. 

The infrastructure bill was a 2,700-page bill with multiple, random, non-infrastructure sections, parts of the Green New Deal, and new federal tax giveaways to favored programs. The infrastructure bill was focused on being historic in size, not on what we can afford. After trillions in emergency COVID spending last year, we should not overspend this year for items that are not an emergency. We should have done an infrastructure bill within our budget and not added all the extra policy changes.

Within hours of passing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, Democrats brought Senator Bernie Sanders’s $3.5 trillion tax-and-entitlement bill to the floor for debate. This bill adds new federal entitlements, tries to legalize millions of people in the country illegally, creates the largest tax increase in history, and redistributes money from one American to another in the name of “equity.” Unfortunately, it passed the Senate on a straight party-line vote, but it is only the first step in a months’ long fight against this radical proposal. 

I helped push many amendments to stop this giant entitlement bill, but I wanted to highlight one of them because it was not about dollars, but life. Democrats wanted to start using tax dollars to pay for abortions. Since 1976, every appropriations bill has included the “Hyde Amendment,” which prohibits taxpayer funded abortions. I brought an amendment to protect the Hyde Amendment and the “Weldon Amendment,” which protects health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion from discrimination. I am proud to say that I won my argument for Hyde and Weldon legal protections, but the fight will continue in the months ahead to protect life. 

CLICK HERE to read more about why I opposed the “infrastructure” bill.

CLICK HERE to read more about why I opposed Bernie Sanders’s bloated $3.5 trillion federal “budget.” 

CLICK HERE to get more information on my amendment to the “budget” that would reinstate the Hyde protections against taxpayer dollars being used for abortions.

CLICK HERE to watch my speech on the Senate floor about the reckless spending of the Biden Administration.

CLICK HERE to watch my remarks at a press conference about the inflation issues associated with these reckless spending proposals.

UPDATE: Border Security

The June Customs and Border Protection report on apprehensions at the southern border was released almost halfway into July, and the news was all bad. The report included an astounding 20-year high 188,829 total interactions with people attempting to illegally cross our border. Just when some thought it could not get worse, in July more than 210,000 people illegally crossed our southern border, a new record. DHS now states that this year could be the highest number of illegal crossings in history. In one month this spring, Customs and Border Protection seized 508 pounds of fentanyl. Additionally, over 100,000 unaccompanied children, roughly the total population of the city of Lawton, have been found at the border this fiscal year after being trafficked across Mexico with dangerous “coyote” human smugglers.

Clearly the number one root cause of the huge surge of illegal crossings on our southern border is the Biden “catch and release” policy that gives people a “notice to appear” document for a future court and allows them to travel anywhere in the country. The United States of America is the greatest country in the world, everyone across the planet would like to live here. Our freedom and job opportunity is the “root cause” of people trying to cross into our country illegally from over 100 nations just this year. 

Even worse than the catch-and-release policy is the fact that more than 55,000 people have been released at the border and given no court date. They were given a card telling them to turn themselves in at any ICE office in the country when they arrive at their destination because the line was too long at the border when they arrived. In a shock to no one other than the Administration, more than 80 percent of those individuals have not turned themselves in, and we have no idea where they are in the country. 

The wall “study” was supposed to take 60 days, but now more than 200 days into it, the contractors, who are standing by ready to finish the work, have instead been paid $2 billion—20 percent of the $10 billion allocated—to literally guard the metal sitting on the ground at locations along the border that is waiting to be installed. The rest of the wall is already there; the gates are open or still on the ground because the Biden Administration is still studying the wall. Even border technology, which has in the past been a common area of agreement, was purchased last year, but not installed this year. 

In July, I issued a formal report on the $2 billion in wasted taxpayer money to pay defense construction contractors to babysit metal in the desert. I will continue to pursue the wasted billions of dollars and plan to stop all Homeland Security nominees from being confirmed until Secretary Mayorkas delivers to our committee the plan for solving this growing border crisis. 

I also found out that the Biden Administration had plans to move migrants to the Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton, and after I addressed the proposal on the Senate floor last Thursday, I successfully halted the move to bring the migrants to Oklahoma. 

CLICK HERE to read more about my work to stop the Biden Administration from bringing migrants from the southern border to Oklahoma.

CLICK HERE to read more about the report about $2 billion in wasted taxpayer money at the border.

CLICK HERE to watch my press conference with Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado to discuss enforcing the law at our southern border and what that means for Oklahomans.

UPDATE: Passport Processing

During the pandemic in 2020, I contacted then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to ask why passport applications had completely stopped for several months despite many Americans teleworking and still getting work done. Once I brought that to light, Secretary Pompeo made Passport Services “Mission Critical,” which helped ease some of the backlog and enabled people to get passports much more efficiently. However, once the Biden Administration took over, processing times have been far worse because the State Department staff is not operating at 100 percent capacity and some passport offices are still not open to the public. 

I have called, written, and spoken out to get the State Department moving again. I contacted Secretary of State Antony Blinken directly to demand action from the Department of State after I heard from more and more Oklahomans about the tremendous delays to process their passport applications, some of whom paid for expedited processing and delivery for upcoming travel. The backlog of passports has grown to 2.2 million with expected delays of four to six months. Some Oklahomans are waiting four to six hours on the phone with the State Department and the still can’t get answers. That is completely unacceptable. 

My letter outlines eight specific changes the Administration can put in place to address this problem and meet the needs of the American people. I look forward to an immediate response from the State Department so Oklahomans can travel abroad for weddings, funerals, vacations, work, or any other reason. I am working on how to solve the agency delays and get federal customer service back on track.

CLICK HERE to read more about what I’m doing to get passports moving again for Oklahomans. 

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Freezes Out Israel

You may have seen the popular Vermont-based ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s, in the news. The reason for that is Ben & Jerry’s announced they would no longer sell their products in “disputed territories’ in Israel, clearly pushing the Palestinian boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, against Israel. This movement hurts economic development for Palestinians and falsely accuses Israel of being an unjust aggressor instead of recognizing Israel as our ally and partner for peace and Democracy in the Middle East. The United States should stand with Israel. 

The Palestinian people are not our enemy, but the Palestinian government continues to foster and empower terrorists, including Hamas, which threaten our ally, Israel, and encourages terrorist activity that destabilizes the region and raises US national security concerns. 

Our state has made it clear in our law that if any company works to destabilize Israel, we will not sign any state contracts with that company. Within hours of Ben and Jerry’s anti-Israel announcement, I publicly encouraged our state to make sure no state facilities do business with Ben and Jerry’s. Private citizens in Oklahoma should be able to purchase whatever ice cream they want with their own money, but state tax dollars should not be used to support companies that are anti-Israel.

UPDATE: Pro-life Case in the Supreme Court This Fall

During its upcoming fall term, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a case involving a Mississippi law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks, which could overturn the landmark pro-abortion case, Roe v. Wade

I signed on to a “friend of the court” brief (known as an amicus brief) to the Supreme Court which has now been publicly supported by national pro-life leaders like the Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life, National Right to Life, March for Life, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Students for Life, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, and Heritage Action. 

Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade 48 years ago, abortion was only legal in a few states. But the arbitrary ruling in Roe compelled all states to make abortion legal, which mandated elective abortion in our nation. Our nation has not accepted the Supreme Court ruling from almost 50 years ago, and people around our state and the nation continue to speak out for the value of every child. 

Some states, including Oklahoma, have laws to charge an individual who murders a pregnant woman with two counts of homicide, one count for the mother and the other for her unborn child. Clearly there is already legal ground for affirming that a baby in the womb is a child who has value and worth, and deserves to be protected.

Babies in the womb have a heartbeat, fingers, toes and unique DNA that is different than their mom or dad. These children deserve protection, no matter how small. If the Court agrees to overturn Roe and reject their arbitrary viability standard, it would allow Oklahoma to make a decision on what we’re going to do on abortion, just like each state did for 200 years before Roe v. Wade. The responsibility of the state is to value and protect the life of every citizen, starting with every vulnerable child.

I will watch this case carefully when the Supreme Court considers the Dobbs case this fall and will continue to speak up for every life, especially the lives of the unborn. The Court’s decision should be released in June of 2022. 

CLICK HERE to read more on our amicus brief in support of children in the womb.

Keeping You in the Loop

  • OU Softball - While the Oklahoma sports community debates Big XII versus SEC in the future, I want to take a moment to congratulate and celebrate the distinguished women of OU Softball for their record-shattering season and their fifth national title win this summer. Boomer Sooner! CLICK HERE to read more from Senator Inhofe and me on this huge accomplishment for the Sooner softball champs.
  • Fighting Government Waste - I recently joined Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz for a conversation about government waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement and my bill that is being implemented in law now, the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act. Soon, for the first time ever, we will have a searchable list of every federal program from every agency so we can track how our tax dollars are spent. CLICK HERE to watch a video of our conversation on the CAGW Facebook page. Additionally, I was humbled last year to be named a “Taxpayer Super Hero” by Citizens Against Government Waste for my work to end government wasteful spending, debt, and duplication.
  • Conservative Values - For the latest episode of my podcast, The Breakdown with James Lankford, I was joined by the president of the Heritage Foundation, Kay Coles James, to discuss the history and future of conservatism; the role federal, state, and local governments should play in government; and the impact fiscal decisions made today will have for the future of the country. CLICK HERE to listen to the episode, and don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly podcast.
  • Cuba - I joined Senator Marco Rubio to introduce a resolution in support of the courageous Cuban people as they lead historic protests throughout the island against six decades of communist oppression and tyranny from the Castro and Díaz-Canel regimes. CLICK HERE to read more about our resolution.
  • International Religious Freedom - I spoke at this year’s International Religious Freedom Summit to talk through some of our work to combat antisemitism on the Senate Task Force for Combatting Antisemitism, which I co-chair, and our work to promote international religious freedom around the world. Former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, also honored me with the inaugural International Religious Freedom (IRF) Champion Award. It is never a bad time to speak out for the right of people around the world to have the freedom to live the faith of their choosing. CLICK HERE to learn more about some of the areas we’re making progress in international religious liberty.
  • Protecting Life - I joined my colleagues this month to introduce the Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act to help end taxpayer support for the abortion industry. Most Americans do not want to pay for the destruction of a child’s life with their tax dollars. Biden and his team have shown they are the most pro-abortion administration in the history of our nation. I will continue to stand for the life of every child, no matter how small. CLICK HERE to read more about our bill.
  • Opposing Activist Nominees - After hearing and reading her testimony before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I opposed the controversial nomination of Ms. Tracy Stone-Manning to be Director of the Bureau of Land Management. She gave false and/or misleading testimony to the Committee about her former environmental extremism, including her involvement in an incident where a group “spiked” trees with huge metal nails in a national forest in Idaho which would threaten loggers and saw mill operators with serious injury or death. She also once wrote that children are an environmental “hazard” and Americans should stop “breeding.” I think children are a blessing, not an environmental hazard. CLICK HERE to read more about my opposition to this highly controversial nominee from the Biden Administration.
  • Critical Race Theory - After hearing from several Oklahomans about their concerns that service members are being taught critical race theory and are targeted for personal beliefs, I requested the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee prohibit funding for training on critical race theory for US service members in its Fiscal Year 2022 bill. I oppose any forced critical race theory training because I believe people should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. CLICK HERE to read the letter I sent in strong opposition to Critical Race Theory in our military. 

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

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