Current Issues

This webpage serves as a resource of information for current issues being debated in the United States Senate, as well as information about where Senator James Lankford stands on the issue. This webpage will be updated on a regular basis as the Senate debates important topics.

 

Saudi Arabia:

  • As the Administration continues to take action in response to the alleged murder of Saudi citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, we must remember that Saudi Arabia continues to have many human rights violations against its citizens. It is appropriate for the US to continue to engage with the Saudi government to share America’s values with them and tell them this is not acceptable.
  • Senator Lankford continues to study the facts and information provided to Congress by the CIA, DOD and State Department concerning Saudi Arabia, and currently, he has no reason to doubt the CIA’s report about the events surrounding the death of Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Senator Lankford is weighing further options that could be taken in response to the alleged murder, and he appreciates comments and concerns from Oklahomans about the ongoing developments.

Yemen:

  • The Senate voted at the end of November to advance a joint resolution to cut off US military support to the Saudi-led coalition against the Iranian-backed Houthis who illegitimately overthrew Yemen’s government by force in 2014.
  • This joint resolution, introduced by Senators Lee and Sanders, states that the President is not authorized by Congress or other legal means to involve the US military in the conflict in Yemen. The resolution advanced by a vote of 63-37.
  • This same resolution was considered in the Senate in March of this year. Senator Lankford opposed the resolution then and again recently because the President is not involving US Armed Forces in hostilities against the Iranian-backed Houthis.

Migrant Family Separation at the Border:

  • This is a very complicated matter. It will not be solved quickly. Senator Lankford believes it should be U.S. policy to keep families together as much as possible.
  • A policy known as the Flores Settlement Agreement led to the Departments of Homeland Security or Justice to be unable to keep children in custody with their parents for an extended period of time IF the parents are charged with a crime for crossing the border illegally. This agreement is the result of the 1997 Flores v. Reno court case, and subsequent interpretations by federal courts, about how to handle Unaccompanied Alien Children and family units who have crossed our border illegally.
  • On June 19, Senator Lankford sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for a halt of family separation while Congress works on a legislative fix.
  • On June 20, Senator Lankford co-sponsored a bill (the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act) that would keep families together while ensuring the integrity and enforceability of our immigration laws. I appreciate that the President took action with an Executive Order, but I believe that legislation is still needed to withstand legal criticism, and also codify this policy into permanent law.

Tax Reform:

  • Throughout 2017, the President and the Congress made tax reform a priority. 
  • On November 9, 2017 the Senate Republican leadership also introduced a tax reform proposal (Tax Cuts & Jobs Act). The Senate passed an amended version of this bill on December 2, 2017. CLICK HERE to read Senator Lankford's statement in support of the bill. 
  • On December 15, a joint House-Senate Conference Committee merged the two bills. CLICK HERE to read a summary of the Senate-House tax conference bill. 
  • On December 19, the House passed the Senate-House tax conference bill, and the Senate passed it on December 20. CLICK HERE to read Senator Lankford's statement. CLICK HERE to view a special edition e-newsletter and video about the tax bill from Senator Lankford.