Current Issues

Border Security

We have a crisis at the US-Mexico border that President Biden and his team refuse to acknowledge. After Senator Lankford toured the unfinished fencing at the Arizona border that was halted by the Biden Administration and the unfinished fencing and levy walls in South Texas, it is clear there is only one reason not to finish the border wall system under construction: because Biden wants an open border.

  • Senator Lankford serves as the lead Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, which has oversight of our border security and immigration federal personnel and operations.
  • Lankford continues to lead the Senate on holding the Biden Administration accountable for its failures to enforce the law and preserve national security at our southern border. Earlier this month, Lankford participated in a press conference to discuss the ongoing crisis at the southern border that Biden continues to ignore. Lankford traveled to the Arizona border earlier this year to see first-hand the unfinished southern border wall that was halted by the Biden Administration. He was the first to expose the crisis at the border through Facebook so Oklahomans could see firsthand the crisis at the southern border in Texas.
  • In July, Lankford released a report that exposed billions in waste to pay contractors to babysit the border wall materials while the Biden Administration “studies” it, even though Congress already allocated the money to build the wall. Lankford grilled DHS Secretary Mayorkas on his ongoing delay to finish the wall.
  • Lankford successfully blocked President Biden’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office from opening a “surge overflow temporary facility” at the Great Plains Correctional Institution in Hinton, Oklahoma, that would have been used to process migrants who crossed the border illegally and release them into Western Oklahoma. Lankford expressed support for border law enforcement personnel who have told him they feel they are “handcuffed” by DHS leadership who tells them what immigration laws they can and can’t enforce. Lankford held a press conference with Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado to discuss Lankford’s blistering report of the $2 billion Biden has wasted to not build the wall, the ongoing national security threat at our southern border.
  • Senator Lankford introduced a bill to stop the ongoing settlements between the US government and illegal migrants who were separated from their families at the border, some of which will be reportedly awarded as much as $450,000 per person and more than  $1 million per family.
  • Earlier this year, Senator Lankford traveled to south Texas to see the issues near McAllen, TX. In the Rio Grande Valley region, our border law enforcement interdicts massive amounts of illegal drugs, and just this year they have encountered people crossing illegally from 56 different countries in that one narrow section of our border.
  • After reports that the Biden Administration was proposing to settle with migrants who illegally crossed our border under President Trump and offer them payments of up to $450,000, Lankford introduced a bill to stop the ongoing settlements between the US government and illegal migrants who were separated from their families at the border, some of which will be reportedly awarded as much as $450,000 per person and more than $1 million per family.
  • Lankford introduced the Upholding the Law at Our Border Act. This legislation would require the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the vetting and processing of migrants apprehended along the southwest border and to ensure that all laws are being upheld. 
  • Illegal crossings have skyrocketed under the Biden Administration.
  • As of the start of this Administration, when someone crosses the border illegally, they are often released into the US within two hours and told to show up at a court hearing two to three years from now to request asylum. Once people started being released into the country, within hours people all over the world starting coming.
  • Lankford sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas after evidence surfaced that contradicted the testimony Mayorkas gave while Lankford questioned him during a Senate Homeland Security hearing in September 2021. Mayorkas testified that ICE would enforce the law and deport individuals who received a “Notice to Report” but did not report to ICE. Recent reporting on a new DHS initiative called Operation Horizon shows that ICE is not enforcing the law against the illegal border crossers who have not followed instructions and reported to ICE within 60-days.
  • We are a nation of legal immigration, but we are also a nation of laws. Securing the parts of the border that need a physical barrier is the first step to ensuring we can prevent illegal crossings and prevent coyotes from trafficking people over the border. The border and operations to control the flow of people crossing has been an issue for decades, and President Biden needs to close the border now. We are the greatest country in the world, of course people want to come here to live and work, but they should come legally.
  • The great people who patrol our border have families and children of their own, they do not want to see this humanitarian crisis brought on by bad policy.
  • Senator Lankford will continue to expose and demand Executive Branch action to stop the ongoing humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border. We should finish the technology and infrastructure along the southern border and put policies in place that discourage, rather than encourage, illegal activity.

Protecting Second Amendment Rights

Senator Lankford strongly believes in protecting our Second Amendment rights for law-abiding Americans.  

Gun owners must meet numerous stipulations and requirements when exercising their basic constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Federal legislators and regulators should not restrict law-abiding hunters, responsible gun owners, and gun or ammunition manufactures, but the violation of firearms laws and multiple criminal statutes should lead to punishment for violent criminals.

We should identify real and meaningful solutions to address the issues of broken families, drug use, and violent crime.  We must work together to support healthy families, enhance access to mental health services, and continue respectful national dialogues about the harm that hatred and violence cause.

  • President Biden's nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
    • Oklahomans have shared concerns about this nomination because they believe Chipman will take action to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Senator Lankford share these concerns. 
    • On May 26, the Senate Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on Chipman's nomination. Senator Lankford was alarmed by Chipman's answers regarding gun control and his open support of an AR-15 ban. 
    • In early September, the White House pulled his nomination from consideration. Senator Lankford did not support the nomination of David Chipman.
    • Rumors about the possibility of universal background checks. 
      • Senator Lankford is opposed to universal background checks. But he does support the need to be able to consistently monitor and update the National Instant Background Check System (NICS).
      • It is imperative that the necessary records are uploaded to the NICS system so individuals who are not authorized to purchase a firearm are prevented from doing so. 
      • Rumors about the possibility of federal incentives for states that enact red flag laws. 
        • Red flag laws, both federal proposals and current state laws, withdraw a constitutional right first, then force individuals to go to court to get their rights back or get due process. 
        • Decades ago, federal law was changed to not allow a person who had been treated in-patient for mental illness or adjudicated by a court as “mentally deficient” to own, possess, or purchase a firearm of any type.  We should consistently enforce our existing law to protect people with mental illness from doing harm to themselves or others.  Our existing law allows for the removal of firearms from someone who is a threat, but it also prioritizes getting them treatment.  I will continue to look very carefully at any federal legislation that could curtail law-abiding citizens' right to keep and bear arms.

Work to Protect Life

Lankford remains a leader for defending life at all stages—whether born or unborn—in Washington, DC, and especially in the Senate. 

  • Senator Lankford joined Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) to release a new memo detailing how the Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar tax-and-spending bill would violate the Hyde Amendment and radically expand taxpayer funding for abortions. Lankford is the chairman of the Values Action Team and member of the Pro-Life Caucus Senate Pro-Life Caucus.
  • Senator Lankford introduced an amendment that saved the long-standing Hyde and Weldon Amendments, which prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions and abortion-related discrimination against health care workers, including insurers.
  • Senator Lankford applauded that the US Supreme Court allowed Texas’ abortion ban after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected to take effect, which is a promising sign to defending life at all stages. Lankford joined an amicus brief signed by more than 220 Members of Congress supporting the state of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which presents the Supreme Court with the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood
  • Senator Lankford introduced his Conscience Protection Act to protect health care providers and health insurers from government discrimination if they decline to participate in medical procedures, like abortion, that violate their consciences. This bill would also give health care providers a private right of action so that victims of abortion discrimination, like the entities who are compelled to include abortion coverage under California’s mandate and the nurse at UVMMC, can have their day in court even when the Obama and now Biden Administrations abandon their obligation to enforce the law.

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Check @SenatorLankford on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for additional information. 

Solving Problems

Senator Lankford, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and their Senate Republican colleagues to raise serious questions and concerns with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) announcement of a major expansion of its collaboration with ID.me that will require taxpayers to have an ID.me account to access key IRS online resources. In order to register with ID.me, taxpayers will need to submit to ID.me a trove of personal information, including sensitive biometric data, starting in the summer of 2022. Folloing Lankford and his colleagues' probe into their plans, the IRS announced they would transition away from using a third-party service for facial recognition to help authenticate people creating new online accounts. 

After visiting the Arizona border in March 2021 and after months of holding the Biden Administration accountable for its failures to enforce the law and preserve national security at the southern border, Lankford announced that the Department of Homeland Security would finish several gaps in the border wall located in San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and Del Rio. This announcement comes after Lankford released a report that exposed billions in waste to pay contractors to babysit the border wall materials at these sites while the Biden Administration “studied” it, even though Congress already allocated the money to build the wall.

Senator Lankford secured a provision in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authoirzation Act (NDAA) to prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from dishonorably discharging service members and instead requires an honorable or general discharge under honorable conditions, which will retroactively apply to the date of the DOD COVID-19 vaccine order and be in place for at least two years

After hearing from an Oklahoma veteran who wanted an easier process for getting his prescription drugs paid for at the pharmacy, Senator James Lankford announced a major victory for veterans’ health care after CVS stated they will rejoin the TRICARE network for prescription drugs, which will make processing claims for prescription drugs simpler and more efficient for Oklahoma veterans. 

The lead Republican on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on the border, Senator Lankford was first to expose the crisis at the southern border through his first-hand pictures and video from the Arizona-Mexican border and the Texas-Mexico border.

Senator Lankford uncovered $2 billion in wasted taxpayer money paid to Defense contractors to babysit the steel ready to be put up for the southern border wall because the Biden Administration is still “studying” it.

A leader in the Senate to stand for life, Senator Lankford introduced a bipartisan-supported amendment, which passed, to the Democrats’ partisan budget resolution to stop taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortions and abortion-related discrimination. His amendment ensures that the budget will comply with the long-standing Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal dollars to pay for abortion, and the Weldon amendment, which protects health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion from discrimination. This was a major victory for life!

Within a few hours of hearing the rumor about it, Senator Lankford successfully blocked President Biden’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office from opening a “surge overflow temporary facility” at the Great Plains Correctional Institution in Hinton that would have been used to process migrants who crossed the border illegally and release them into Western Oklahoma.

After months of work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Senator Lankford ensured Harmon Memorial Hospital in Hollis received an extension of their designation to continue to serve the community as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), which saved 100 jobs for this small Oklahoma community

Before Senator Lankford voted to oppose the massive $1.2 trillion tax-and-spend spree masquerading as an “infrastructure” bill, he raised a budget point of order before its final passage to make sure his colleagues and the American people knew publicly that the bill will add billions to the debt and was paid for with budget gimmicks.

Senator Lankford continues to work for free and fair elections for all legal voters. He recently praised a letter from nationally trusted Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax regarding the dangers he sees posed by S. 1 and H.R. 1, the For the People Act, to Oklahoma’s free and fair election process. Lankford has worked for years to ensure elections are secure, reliable, and remain state run. Senator Lankford opposes H.R. 1/S.1 and any similar legislation. Senator Lankford recently penned a column about the importance of state-run elections that can be verified as well as ensuring all Americans can vote and vote efficiently. Oklahoma stands as a great example of good voting laws. Senator Lankford would like to see our states implement our process or a similarly successful process around the country.

Earlier this year, Senator Lankford introduced his Conscience Protection Act, which protects healthcare providers, including health insurance plans from government discrimination if they decline to participate in abortions and also provides a private right of action for victims of discrimination. Since then, 

Senator Lankford’s office was able to more efficiently get access to veterans DD-214s and other military records at the National Personnel Records Center. This ensures veterans and their families who call the office can get the service they deserve to help their veteran loved ones. Lankford also introduced the Record of Military Service for Members of the Armed Forces Ac, which helps reserve component members of the US Armed Forces, including members of the Reserves and National Guard, to receive the benefits they have earned following their retirement or completion of service by ensuring they receive the same DD-214 form as other members of the military. 

Senator Lankford introduced the bipartisan Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act to expand and extend the current deduction for charitable giving. The bill would ensure that Americans who donate to charities, houses of worship, religious organizations, and other nonprofits are able to deduct that donation from their federal taxes at a higher level than the current $300 deduction. The COVID-19 relief package passed in December 2020 included an extension of the $300 charitable deduction was included for 2021. 

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