Photo Gallery

ImageCindy and I stood with Christian music legend Sandi Patty very early in the morning when I led the opening prayer and she sang our national anthem for the #RuntoRemember, Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I assure you, she’s still got it.
















ImageWe saw some live Bison (OBU students and faculty) in Shawnee recently when I had the opportunity to talk about the importance of living our faith and staying engaged in our communities. Thanks for the warm welcome to campus!














ImageAlways good to get some Oklahoma BBQ at Van’s Pig Stand in Shawnee as we talked through some of the issues facing businesses, manufacturing, and families in Pottawatomie County.















ImageIt was an honor to join OSU President Kayse Shrum at the groundbreaking of the new Tulsa VA Medical Center, which will partner with OSU to serve the more than 100,000 veterans in eastern Oklahoma when it’s ready to go in the days ahead. The Tulsa community really stepped up to help make this new VA Medical Center a reality.















ImageRick Couri from Tulsa’s 1170 AM, The Blitz, brought in armchair sports enthusiast James Lankford to talk college football and a little current news. This picture is a rare opportunity to see “the face” of Rick Couri who is “the voice” of TU football and Tulsa radio for years.

Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors:

It is finally fall - my favorite season. All the kids in costumes this weekend, the fall weather, the homecoming events, it’s a great time of the year. I pray you enjoy in the days ahead as we prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas when so many families look forward to being together again.

Watching the news these days (if you are still watching the news), you might think that the only thing happening in DC is a long fight between the left and the far left. Democrats are arguing over how many trillions of dollars they want to spend and how many taxes they want to raise while they are still in control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. While they argue, there’s a growing list that still needs to get done like the annual authorization for our military and the 12 annual government funding bills that have not even gone through committee. 

Oklahoma families and Oklahoma small business owners are concerned about inflation, the ongoing supply chain issues, energy costs, vaccine mandates, the crisis at the southern border, and the impending national security threat posed by our skyrocketing national debt. Every week our nation faces a new crisis created by the Biden Administration that is hurting our economy, our international standing, and our freedoms. 

Biden Is Forcing Oklahomans to Choose between Their Job and the Vaccine

As I travel the state, Oklahomans tell me over and over about their strong opposition to Biden’s vaccine mandate because he “lost his patience” with the American people. Most people who have had the vaccine (like me and my family) still want other people to have the right to make their own choice. Federal employees, federal contractors, members of our Oklahoma National Guard, and anyone who works at a business that employs 100 or more people all face termination from their job, even if they are front line workers, essential workers, or emergency responders. 

Biden has been clear: if you disagree with him, you will be fired from your job. Millions of people have already recovered from COVID-19 and have some level of natural immunity. Many others have a particular medical issue, and their doctor has recommended that they not take the vaccine at this time. Some have a religious objection to this vaccine, and others just don’t like the federal government telling them what to do. I completely get that. Everyone in our state knows someone who has died from COVID. In fact, we have lost more than 11,000 Oklahomans to COVID so far. But forcing someone to choose to get a vaccine against their doctor’s advice, their religious belief, or their own conscience is wrong.

Our military members and Guard face less-than-honorable discharge if they choose not to be vaccinated, which will affect their employment possibilities and other areas of their life for the rest of their life. That’s not a real choice for our military and Guard who have otherwise served with distinction.

CLICK HERE to read more about my bill to prevent the less-than-honorable discharge of members of the military who do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Yesterday, I called out Secretary Austin for not responding to my letter, which you can read HERE, in September calling on him to protect service members from being forced to choose between their sincerely held religious beliefs and serving in our nation’s military. He responded today, and I will hold him to his word that he will protect the religious liberty of every service man and women. 

I recently called up my bill, the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act, to the floor for a vote, but the Democrats blocked it. My bill would override the President’s executive order and give American’s their choice back. My fight isn’t over. I remain focused on stopping the mandate in every way possible to keep people employed. 

CLICK HERE to watch my floor speech when I brought the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act to the Senate floor, which was ultimately blocked by Democrats.

We Need to Secure Our Nation...Now!

US Customs and Border Protection announced last Friday that the US saw 1.7 million border crossers in last fiscal year—the vast majority of them since President Biden took office. That is alarmingly the highest number of people attempting to enter our country in recorded American history. CLICK HERE to read more on my serious concerns with our crisis at the border.

This year alone, CBP set 20-year records for encountering the highest number of people attempting to enter our country illegally in recorded history. We also have a record low number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests in the interior of the country. Just when you thought it could not get worse, news reports this week came out that Biden is considering a plan to pay some people who illegally crossed the border during the Trump Administration $450,000 each to compensate them for the trauma of their arrest at the border. I will do everything in my power to stop this madness.

As the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, I know for certain that Biden is responsible for this national security and humanitarian crisis. 

Migrants from more than 145 countries—yes, not just Central America and Mexico as the national news implies—have crossed the southern border this year alone, which is obviously not a random or seasonal surge. Everyone, including the international drug cartels and human traffickers can see that our border is wide open and our laws are not being enforced—everyone, that is, except Biden. 

We need to finish the wall, install technology to deter people from walking across the border, enforce our laws, stop catch-and-release, and restore the international agreements for asylum that President Trump put in place. All of these policies made a huge difference in our illegal border crossings over the past four years. 

Legal immigration should be celebrated and illegal immigration should be stopped. 

CLICK HERE to watch my latest questions to the potential leadership of Customs and Border Protection about the crisis at the southern border with the highest amount of drugs, including methamphetamine and fentanyl, ever seen crossing our border.

CLICK HERE to read more on the crisis at the border.

Trillions in new entitlements, spending and taxes

After months of closed door meetings in Washington, DC, Democrats have released their first draft of a $2 trillion spending and taxing spree, on top of the $2 trillion they spent in March of this year that created our rapid inflation. 

If you would like to read through the more than 2,500 page bill, you can CLICK HERE.

We just got the draft yesterday, so I am still going through it, but it includes things like tax increases on families and businesses, terms and phrases like “pregnant and postpartum individuals” and “individuals seeking to become pregnant," $100 billion for immigration, with no details for what that really means, and more than $500 billion for their climate change agenda.

And those are only a few examples of what we have discovered in the past few hours of reading the bill. 

I am sure the media will talk about free day care, free Pre-K, free money for childless adults, and more. But as the old saying goes, if you think things are expensive now, just wait until they are “free." As you read through the bill, feel free to contact our office to share your thoughts on what you find in its more than 2,500 pages.

Even higher energy prices?

This week the Homeland Security Subcommittee of which I am the lead Republican, held a hearing to learn more about the best strategies for improving our critical energy infrastructure to prepare for at-capacity energy needs like those we faced in the Southwest Power Pool with subzero temperatures and a snow and ice storm last February. Because of rapidly increasing inflation and the assault on traditional energy, Oklahomans are already paying more for gasoline, diesel, and natural gas. Experts predict, particularly this winter, Oklahomans are likely to pay skyrocketing prices for electricity and natural gas to heat their homes. Higher prices for oil and natural gas mean more jobs in Oklahoma, but it also means higher prices at the pump, for utilities and for everything else that needs energy to manufacture and transport.

Meanwhile, President Biden is touting his plans to join US celebrities and climate-activist elites from around the world to make new pledges at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (known as COP26) in Scotland next week. Every American wants clean air, clean water and a healthy environment. I am personally committed to being a good steward of the planet that God gave us. But the problem with international climate change conferences like this is that progressives come back with bold ideas for how the US can “lead” in climate change and emissions cutting, which ends up meaning higher costs on American families and small businesses and very limited changes in the actual environment. 

China and India continue to aggressively increase pollution, while Biden proposes new green corporate giveaways and climate penalties. The United States energy use has stayed flat for decades, even with more people and electric devices, because we have dramatically increased our energy efficiency. 

Oklahoma is a national leader in energy diversity. But there is a technological and economic limit. We cannot get ahead of the innovation. Europe faces real energy challenges right now because of their over-reliance on certain energy sources. Their even higher energy prices and frequent blackouts are the “ghost of Christmas future” for the United States

CLICK HERE to watch my Q&A with energy infrastructure leaders on Oklahoma’s demand for traditional energy as part of our portfolio and how we cannot have another winter fiasco like the one last February.

CLICK HERE to watch our press conference this week on Biden's radical energy agenda that’s continuing to increase energy costs nationwide.

Keeping You in the Loop

  • Blocking Federalizing our Elections - I once again opposed Senator Schumer's third failed attempt to push for a federal election takeover. Democrats’ attempt to federalize our elections comes with significant negative consequences n our nation’s free and fair elections. Luckily this attempt failed again. I am amazed every time I hear a Democratic Senator say that there were no problems with the last election, but they want a major overhaul of all election procedures nationwide to avoid any problems. They cannot have it both ways. We should increase election integrity and transparency, but it should be done in each state, not with a federal takeover. CLICK HERE to read more about some of the negative aspects of the failed bill.
  • Cutting Funding to the Wuhan Lab - I led a group of senators to introduce the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act, which would end all federal research grants to universities and other organizations conducting viral “gain-of-function” research and other risky research like the research suspected at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. CLICK HERE to read more about our bill to stop this research from continuing.
  • Protecting the Right to Pray - I recently co-led an amicus brief signed by 12 Senators and 14 Members of Congress in support of Coach Joe Kennedy in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District to ask the Supreme Court to review and reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision that made it possible for Coach Kennedy to be fired for silently kneeling and praying after school football games in Washington state. I stood up for Coach Kennedy’s right to freely practice his faith in 2015, and I’m standing up for him now. CLICK HERE to learn more about our “friend of the court” brief to the US Supreme Court as they prepare to take this case soon. This case will affect the rights of teachers to privately pray over their meals in the cafeteria, wear a cross or Star of David necklace, wear a hijab or turban, or thousands of other ways that people quietly live their private faith in public ways.
  • Sunshine Protection - On November 7th, our nation “falls back” again. We feel the sudden joy
    of "getting an extra hour of sleep” once a year. But in reality children and adults will lose sleep, feel strange, risk more car accidents, and just generally not know what time it is for what seems like weeks. Let’s stop the insanity and just stick with Daylight Saving Time from now on so we get more time throwing the football in the yard and playing with our dogs in the evening sunlight. My bill, the Sunshine Protection Act, would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country. CLICK HERE to learn more about my bill to #locktheclock, why we need it, why switching the clock is bad, and why we started doing it in the first place (and no, it’s not because of farmers, most of them hate changing the clocks back too).
  • Protecting Rural Hospitals -This week I joined Oklahoma Senator Inhofe and Representative Lucas to introduce the HARMON Act to ensure Harmon Memorial Hospital, a rural hospital in Hollis, can remain open. The extension for the hospital in June to remain a “Critical Access Hospital” under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services prolonged the life of this vital facility and the 100 jobs for rural Oklahomans, but we need to be sure southwest Oklahoma has the confidence our bill would provide: that Harmon Hospital can continue to take care of them. CLICK HERE to learn more about our bill.
  • The Geneva Consensus Declaration - Last year President Trump led more than 35 countries, with more than 1.6 billion people from every region of the world, to sign the historic Geneva Consensus Declaration to recognize the basic human rights of women and reaffirm the inherent right to life for all. Sadly, Biden is determined to be the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history, as demonstrated by his decision to remove the United States from the declaration and promote abortion in other countries. I joined Republican senators to introduce a resolution that celebrates the historic Geneva Consensus Declaration and affirms the commitments we made with our like-minded friends a year ago. CLICK HERE to read more about our resolution.
  • Federal Hiring Reforms - To turn Oklahomans’ voices into practical solutions, I recently introduced the Department of Defense Improved Hiring Act and the Service Contract Modernization Act. These bills, derived from Oklahoman service members’ recommendations, update and modernize federal hiring and contracting practices. These straightforward, practical solutions for our military and federal agencies ensure we address inadequacies in our laws that hold them back from completing their missions or serving Americans. CLICK HERE to read more about these bills and what they do to solve some of these hiring and workforce problems.
  • Lower Prescription Prices - I worked with my colleagues recently to send a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide solutions for how we think they can help lower prescription drug prices for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and/or how they can take action in the agency on their own to address the problem. Even though you aren’t hearing a lot about it in the news right now, I’m still working on the Finance Committee on the huge prices Oklahoma’s senior adults on a fixed income pay for the prescription drugs they need. CLICK HERE to read our letter urging CMS to act and bring down skyrocketing drug prices.
  • Immigration Enforcement - I co-led a group of 38 senators asking Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas to address reports that thousands of migrants in Del Rio, Texas, were released into the US instead of facing removal as the Administration had previously pledged. This is just one of many failures by the Biden Administration to enforce our laws at the border and properly address the almost two million people who have flooded our border, including the migrants from Haiti. CLICK HERE to read the letter of our concerns that demands action.
  • Standing for Life - President Biden recently took yet another action to demonstrate that he is the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history. Biden and his pro-abortion Secretary of Health and Human Services, former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, have redirected federal tax dollars under Title X to abortion providers, which President Trump rightly stopped under his Administration. CLICK HERE to read more about my strong opposition to using any taxpayer dollars to take the lives of the unborn. I will continue to stand for life, no matter how small.
  • Let’s Cure Alzheimer’s - I helped lead a bipartisan group of senators to send a letter to Secretary Becerra, urging him to establish an ambitious national goal to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and to develop a plan to achieve this goal. My family and I sadly said the “long goodbye” to my grandmother, like so many other Oklahoma families. We are the United States of America, and we can beat this tragic disease if we get a plan for success in place. CLICK HERE to learn more about our important work to push for a cohesive national plan to fight Alzheimer’s and dementia-related diseases to help keep our loved ones closer for longer.

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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