Photo Gallery

ImageI was directly involved in protecting the future of the Harmon Memorial Hospital in Hollis. We were able to keep their worthy designation as a Critical Access Hospital in this rural part of our state, so the 100 workers there can keep caring for the community.













ImageIt was an honor to help welcome OU’s new President Joseph Harroz in his postponed inauguration ceremony. I look forward to even greater things from our Sooners under his leadership in the years to come.













ImageThis great group of Bethany business leaders came together to let me know the challenges they're facing in hiring and in doing business during the pandemic. Talking about it over Swadley’s BBQ was pretty great too.












ImageIt was a joy to stand for life with so many Oklahomans at the Pregnancy Resource Network event in Oklahoma City.












ImageIt was great to catch up with nonprofit leaders in Enid to see how they’re doing after this chaotic past 18 months and see how we can be sure they can continue to feed, clothe, and serve our communities. Thank you to everyone who supports your local nonprofits with your volunteer time and money.












ImageI was honored to join the National Debt Event in Oklahoma City to share some of my ideas and some of the obstacles to helping future generations face less national debt.












ImageThank you to Norman’s finest for their service to the community and for keeping us safe. We had a good conversation about some of the issues facing law enforcement today.












ImageJay community members had great questions about our nation’s future when I stopped in to talk a few weeks ago.












ImageIt’s always great to visit with folks in Guymon and the panhandle. Cindy and I had a chance to talk about some of the issues facing our agriculture community with the folks at Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma in Guymon as well as take a walk down Main Street to hear what each
business is facing.

Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors:

It’s finally cooling off, and we're getting some rain—fall is headed our way. College and high school football are in full swing, and I hope you and your family were able to get out and enjoy time together at the State Fair in Oklahoma City last weekend or at the Tulsa State Fair this weekend. During August and early September, I was able to travel the state to hear directly from Oklahomans in Bethany, Chouteau, Davis, Enid, Guymon, Hollis, Jay, Norman, Minco, Mustang, Oklahoma City, Pryor, Sulphur, Tulsa, Tuttle, and Woodward. 

In the past few weeks, I have had numerous frank conversations with the Biden Administration face-to-face and on the phone about their vaccine mandates, the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, my ongoing border security fight, energy and agriculture issues, the massive spending bills being proposed, and more. I have sent letters demanding answers, introduced bills, called hearings, and held agencies accountable that are not properly following our laws. Everyday we have worked to protect our freedoms, national security, fiscal future, Second Amendment rights, religious liberty/conscience rights, privacy rights, and many other areas we value.

Government Funding and the Debt Ceiling

Democrats finally decided it might be a good idea to address funding the government, which would have run out just before midnight last night. There are 12 appropriations bills that have to be passed by September 30 every year, but this year they have not even brought one bill to the Senate floor for debate. While Democrats are working on $3.5 trillion in new entitlement spending, they also demanded that we help raise the debt ceiling with them. I said no. 

On Monday, I voted against a bill that combined the continuing resolution to fund the government until December 3, 2021, with an increase in the nation’s borrowing limit. The reason our nation has a debt ceiling vote is to provide a moment for the nation to talk about our deficits and how we can get out of debt. They want to raise the debt ceiling without any reforms to address spending and our debt. In fact, they literally want to add trillions in new debt while they are raising the debt ceiling. 

Yesterday, the Senate voted to pass, without my support, what’s known as a continuing resolution to fund the government with additional emergency spending to the tune of $35 billion. It kept the government open, but it also creates even more problems.

CLICK HERE to read why I opposed the combined continuing resolution/debt ceiling bill.

CLICK HERE to read more on why I opposed the second, temporary funding bill that just kicks the can further down the road without any reforms to the broken spending process. 

CLICK HERE to read my letter on why I would not support a debt ceiling increase just to pay for all the Democrats’ spending I also do not support.

Let’s End Government Shutdowns

These last-minute shutdown showdowns are unnecessary and rarely accomplish any changes to policies or major spending reforms. Shutdowns cost the taxpayers more money and hurt the families of federal workers who have nothing to do with missing the funding deadline. 

Earlier this month, I introduced the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act of 2021, which would take government shutdowns off the table by setting up an automatic continuing resolution, if the government is not funded on time, and require Congress to stay in Washington, DC, until all funding bills are passed and signed into law.

CLICK HERE to read more about my bill to end government shutdowns.

$3.5 Trillion in New Entitlements?

As our nation struggles to pay our bills, Democrats are trying to spend as many of your tax dollars—and your children’s tax dollars and their children’s tax dollars—as possible; no matter the cost financially or the harm to future generations. Even though they have promised that the bill would cost “zero," it will raise taxes, increase entitlements, and add trillions to the debt. That’s all on top of the $4.5 trillion in annual government spending and our nearly $29 trillion total debt. But the biggest problem with the bill is not the cost; it is the content. 

The bill includes elements of the Green New Deal, 40 different tax increases, new cash welfare programs, new IRS authorities to look into your bank account, massive new fines, punishment for all oil and gas companies, federal money for abortion, the next step toward “Medicare for All,” and over 2,000 pages of changes to our economy. 

They have also tried multiple times to include a provision for amnesty, which I adamantly oppose. 

The bill will hurt job creators by increasing the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which is higher than rest of the industrialized world and will put every US company at a disadvantage to compete globally. For those who say they want to “tax the rich,” and “tax corporations,” this bill does not just change the tax structure for huge mega-corporations. It also hits the 1.4 million small businesses who employ 13 million workers in our nation that are known as “C-corps.” In fact, 85 percent of those businesses have 20 or fewer employees across the nation.

One of the worst features of the bill is its reversal of decades of progress in getting people out of welfare and into work. This bill takes us back to cash benefits and “welfare as we knew it” and will continue to make it hard to hire more people and encourage people to work.

CLICK HERE to watch my remarks on the Senate floor about the value of work and how this bill takes that way from people to keep them in generational poverty.

Senate Democrats know these are radical proposals, so they are also trying to ram them through Congress with the budget reconciliation process, which means the bill would only require 51 votes, rather than the usual process that requires 60 votes and includes committee hearings and input from the other side of the aisle. I introduced legislation to require that bills like this receive a full hearing before votes can occur, so massive tax changes and spending bills can be vetted by lawmakers and the American people.

CLICK HERE to read more on our No Hearing, No Vote bill.

UPDATE: Fighting Biden’s Vaccine Mandates

President Biden has made it clear that he wants to try to be the nation’s Dad-in-Chief and force everyone to “do what he says” and get the COVID-19 vaccine whether they want it or not, all because he says he’s lost his patience. He made a speech demanding federal employees and federal contractors, members of our Armed Forces, and companies that employ 100 employees or more must force employees to be vaccinated or face huge fines or possibly a "less-than-honorable" discharge for military members.

I have been very open that I received a COVID-19 vaccine, so did my wife. We are grateful for the vaccine, and I encourage anyone to get it, if they want to. But I am entirely and vocally opposed to vaccine mandates for anyone in our nation. Many in our nation have natural immunity or have religious or moral objections, personal medical issues, or other needs that might discourage them from taking the COVID-19 vaccine. We cannot and should not ignore their rights. 

CLICK HERE to read my column on why I completely oppose Biden’s vaccine mandates. 

For the private sector, this is still just a speech. The Department of Labor has not put out a rule yet on the vaccine mandate to define how and when it will be imposed, which is why we have not seen more lawsuits to oppose the mandate. You can’t sue a speech. However, if and when the Department of Labor does issue a mandate rule, I will push for a vote in the Senate to overturn it. 

If the vaccine mandates stand, businesses will not be able to run because they’ll lose employees or face tremendous fines. Employers across Oklahoma have reached out to me to express their frustration with the possible mandate and what that will mean for their company and employees.

I am in contact with the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management on the mandate for federal workers and federal contractors. Federal agencies, local union members, and contractors still have not received details on the legal justification, exceptions, or consequences. Right now, agencies have different policies, and contractors have no guidance.

I introduced the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act to repeal President Biden’s Executive Order that requires vaccines for federal employees and federal contractors. CLICK HERE to read more about the bill.

To ensure service members seeking a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine can get one, I directly called on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to protect the First Amendment rights of our Armed Forces who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to their sincerely held religious beliefs in accordance with the Constitution, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and existing Department policy.

CLICK HERE to read more about my push to ensure religious freedom for service members.

I introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act to prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from giving service members a less-than-honorable discharge for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the bill.

Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal and Afghan Evacuees Coming to the US 

In August, the Biden Administration rushed to pull our remaining troops out of Afghanistan, a botched removal that left 13 service members unable to come home to their families. Many Oklahomans opposed the withdrawal that led to the rapid return of the Taliban in Afghanistan as we hurriedly withdrew our American forces. President Biden set arbitrary deadlines that led to the chaotic collapse of the nation and the disorderly exit of American forces and contractors. Thousands fled in terror. Many American citizens or lawful permanent residents were left behind. My staff and I worked closely to get all Americans home as quickly and safely as possible.

Thousands of evacuees were Afghans trying to get out before the Taliban took back the country. Some of these individuals were Afghans we know well because they fought alongside us as interpreters or guides, but thousands of people were evacuated that we do not know. All of these individuals should have vetting and clear guidelines for the transition. Our nation has welcomed Afghans before, in the 1980s when the Afghans were fighting the Soviet Union. We also welcomed thousands of Vietnamese in the 1970s after the fall of Saigon. In Oklahoma, our churches, nonprofits, and communities know how to help people in need.

I questioned Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the lack of basic information on the vetting process for Afghan evacuees coming to the US including who they are, where they’re going, and what their status is with the State Department and immigration offices. CLICK HERE to watch as I pressed for answers from Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas.

Meanwhile, I also asked Secretary Mayorkas about the White House’s very curious funding request in the continuing resolution sent to Congress that contained a provision to allow the Department of Homeland Security Secretary to adjust the status of Afghan evacuees on a case-by-case basis and waive grounds of inadmissibility, including terrorism. After I publicly pressed Secretary Mayorkas, the Administration dropped their waiver request.

CLICK HERE to read more about our letter to the Office of Management and Budget about their huge oversight.

CLICK HERE to read the Fox News exclusive coverage of the letter.

I sat down with President Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to talk about our withdrawal from Afghanistan and several other foreign policy moves by this Administration. CLICK HERE to listen to our podcast episode for The Breakdown with James Lankford.

UPDATE: Border Security

People continue to ask me, “Is the southern border getting any better?” My simple answer is, "Not much.” 

Our nation continues to have record numbers of people illegally crossing our southern border, now over a million people have been interdicted this year from over 100 countries around the world. I stay in regular contact with the leadership of Homeland Security to confront the obvious problems on our southern border that they continue to ignore. I have demanded the border wall construction re-start, the asylum process return to its previous policies and that they enforce the laws of our nation. 

Recently, federal courts have required the reinstatement of what is known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, put in place by President Trump and rescinded by President Biden. This common-sense policy requires those coming to our southern border seeking asylum in the US must remain in Mexico to await their day in court. This important policy helps prevent individuals from coming into the US with a promised court date to consider their asylum claim two to three years from now—then never show up and remain here illegally. 

I have also pushed the Administration to give Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents more flexibility in the field to arrest or detain people not legally present in the United States. They finally updated their restrictive policy yesterday. But, the new arrest policy still has significant problems, so I will keep pushing to make the policy even stronger.

CLICK HERE to read more about my concerns with the new guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security this week.

Keeping You in the Loop

  • I asked the Archivist for the United States to remove the use of a “Harmful Language Alert” on all searchable government documents on its website. This includes the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. There should not be a warning label on the Constitution. CLICK HERE for more information on my work to fix this. 
  • I continue to defend Oklahomans’ and Americans’ rights to conscience protections and to defend the right to life of all Americans. Harvesting organs from aborted children is especially horrific. I demanded a complete investigation into the University of Pittsburgh’s abortion procedures and research after reports from the National Institutes of Health show the university may have violated federal law for the purpose of obtaining fetal tissue. CLICK HERE to learn more about my work to prevent the use of fetal tissue for research. 
  • I recently asked a Biden Administration nominee for the Department of the Treasury point-blank about his knowledge of potential felonies committed by the IRS, which is within the Treasury, and committed by the ProPublica organization after they have leaked several “wealthy" Americans’ tax records. Both providing tax records and publishing them are felonies. CLICK HERE to read more about my questions to the nominee. CLICK HERE to learn more about my fight to protect Oklahomans from having their bank accounts monitored by the IRS.
  • I introduced the Protecting Our Kids from Harmful Research Act, which prohibits federal funding of gender reassignment research on kids. Our tax dollars should not be used to fund medically unnecessary hormone treatments or puberty blockers that could irreversibly damage the bodies of children, some of whom are younger than 10 years old. No one should have their lives permanently changed based on decisions made when they were 10 years old. It is our responsibility to protect our nation’s children. CLICK HERE to learn more about our bill and to learn the eye-opening reason it is necessary.
  • Following the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan that led to the loss of 13 service members, I introduced a bill to award those 13 brave American service members, who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26th, Congressional Gold Medals. After 20 years in Afghanistan and a chaotic withdrawal, these service members gave their last full measure of devotion trying to get our people out, and they and their families deserve to be honored for their ultimate sacrifice. No one wants to be the last to die in a war. CLICK HERE to read more about our bill.
  • At around this time last year, I stood with President Trump and leaders from Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates as they signed a peace agreement that most said was not possible, known as the Abraham Accords. Two weeks later, Morocco and Sudan were added to the peace agreement. We demonstrated that we are capable of leading other countries away from the hate, misunderstanding, and a lifetime of disagreement that divide them, toward real reconciliation. I will continue to support Israel, encourage the further expansion of the Abraham Accords, and share the benefits of making peace with Israel around the world. Just one week ago, 300 leaders from Iraq proposed joining the Abraham Accords CLICK HERE to read more on the Abraham Accords. 
  • I sent a letter to the US Trade Representative to encourage increased access for Oklahoma producers to the Iraqi market. Iraq is experiencing a shortage of commodities following a smaller than expected harvest season. I made it clear that Oklahoma’s producers are eager to meet the needs of Iraqis, and I called on our US Trade Representative to bring together another meeting of the US-Iraq Trade and Investment Council to boost exports and strengthen international relationships. CLICK HERE to read more about my letter. 
  • I joined my Republican colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to send a letter to President Biden demanding to know why his Administration is favoring foreign sources of oil over American-produced oil. I continue to fight against this cancel culture of traditional energy in the US. CLICK HERE to learn more about my work to ensure we promote our energy development over Europe and the Middle East.
  • Congratulations to the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools from Oklahoma! Hoover Elementary School in Enid, Laverne Elementary School in Laverne, and Pioneer School in Chickasha are truly leading the way in preparing our next generation. CLICK HERE to learn more about the 2021 Blue Ribbon winners as well as other high-performing schools. 
  • I joined my colleagues in a letter to the Department of Justice to request an update on the status of Special Counsel John Durham’s inquiry into Crossfire Hurricane and to ensure the investigation is seen to completion. We need to see that report publicly and find out what went on in this questionable intrusion by the FBI. Everyone is under the law in America, even FBI leadership. CLICK HERE to read our letter.

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

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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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