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.

Cyber Security Protection Resources

Cyberattacks remain significant and credible threats for systems, computers, networks, and devices in the US and around the world, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your information from hacking, cyber terrorism, and other cyber threats.
  • Cyberattacks on your personal and business devices and computers can come in many forms, and 21st century hackers are always working on new and crafty ways to trick users into false senses of security or catch them when their guards are down.
  • According to information gathered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):
    • 1.3 million homes with computers are infected with malicious software.
    • 65 percent of Americans who are online receive at least one scam offer.
    • 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked every, single day.
    • 31 percent of millennials share their passwords. The most of any group.
  • Senator Lankford encourages all Oklahomans and all Americans to take a moment to assess the security measures in place for their personal and business information and encourages Americans to remain vigilant of malicious attempts to gain access to personal or business data.
  • DHS has provided a number of valuable resources on proactive steps you can take to prevent a cyberattack and protect your personal or business data and information. Here are a few recommended steps to take from DHS as well as links to DHS information:
    • Enabling Multi-factor Authentication: Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. CLICK HERE to learn more.
    • Practicing Wi-Fi Safety: Practice safe web surfing wherever you are by checking for the “green lock” or padlock icon in your browser bar—this signifies a secure connection. When you find yourself out in the great “wild Wi-Fi West,” avoid free internet access with no encryption. CLICK HERE to learn more.
    • Avoiding oversharing and Geotagging: While it’s tempting to do otherwise, limit your social networks to people you actually know in real life, and set your privacy preferences to the most restrictive settings. CLICK HERE to learn more.
    • Checking App Security: Don’t give apps on your wireless or wired devices an all-access pass to your personal information. Say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted sources. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. CLICK HERE to learn more.
  • DHS has also provided information on identifying and preventing scams, including phishing, imposters and impersonators, “you’ve won” announcements, healthcare-related information requests, tech support fraud, and identify theft scams. Please CLICK HERE to take a moment and familiarize yourself with these prevalent scams and how to protect yourself and your business from being victims of these malicious attacks.
  • This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to protect yourself, your family, and/or your business from cyberattacks. Your email provider, internet service provider, device manufacturer, and others will also have resources to help protect you and your devices, so please continue to work with sources you trust to keep your information safe.
  • To securely report cyber-related security incidents to DHS Cybersecurity Information Security Agency (CISA), please CLICK HERE.
  • To securely report a phishing attempt or vulnerability to CISA, please CLICK HERE

Impeachment

Senate Impeachment Trial

  • Four weeks after the House approved articles of impeachment, on January 14, the House formally voted to appoint “managers” for the Senate impeachment articles and trial, which effectively set in motion the Senate’s impeachment trial.
  • On January 16, the Senate formally received articles of impeachment, and the Chief Justice of the United States took the Chair in the Senate Chamber and administered the oath of trial to all senators.
  • On January 21, the Senate, sitting as a court of impeachment, met to consider substantially similar rules that were used in the Clinton trial with the exception that both the President’s team and the House managers will have 24 hours over the course of three days to present their cases.
    • CLICK HERE to read the Senate’s “organizing resolution,” which proposes the rules the Senate will follow in the impeachment trial.
    • CLICK HERE to read the White House’s response to the Senate’s summons.
    • CLICK HERE to read the House Managers’ response
    • CLICK HERE to read the White House’s brief in advance of oral arguments in the case.
    • CLICK HERE to read the House Managers' brief in advance of oral arguments in the case.
    • CLICK HERE to read the House Managers' reply brief.
  • DOES SENATOR LANKFORD SUPPORT CALLING WITNESSES?  The House managers and the President’s defense team have had opportunities to make their cases. Senators have the ability to ask and receive answers to their questions.
    • CLICK HERE to listen to Senator Lankford’s January 30h question, joined by Senators Ernst and Crapo.
    • CLICK HERE to listen to Senator Lankford’s January 29th question, joined by Senator Sullivan.
    • CLICK HERE to listen to Senator Lankford’s January 29th question, joined by Senators Daines and Hawley.
    • CLICK HERE to listen to Senator Lankford’s January 29th question, joined by Senators Blunt, McSally, Gardner, Wicker, and Capito.
    • Following the allotted 16 hours for questions, it would be in order to ask whether or not the Senate needs more information (including witnesses, depositions, or subpoenas for information) before moving to closing arguments.
    • On January 31, the Senate voted 51-49 not to call additinoal witnesses in the impeachment trial.
      • CLICK HERE to read the rules governing the consideratio nfo the articles of impeachment.
  • Senator Lankford and his team will keep this section updated with the latest documents and will also give updates on social media @SenatorLankford. He will also give daily updates on Facebook live videos at the conclusion of each day.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 1.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 2.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 3.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 4.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 5.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 6.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 7.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 8.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s Facebook Live for Day 9.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford's Facebook Live for Day 10.
    • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford's Facebook Live for Day 11.

 House Impeachment Inquiry

  • On Wednesday, September 24, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced that the House would begin an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, focused on President Trump and his Administration’s engagement with Ukraine.
  • The House Intelligence Committee, Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Committee on Oversight and Reform subpoenaed witnesses, held closed-door depositions, and gathered testimony from current and former members of President Trump’s team and national security personnel.
  • After a month of closed-door hearings, on October 24, Senator Lankford cosponsored a Senate resolution, led by Majority Leader McConnell and Senator Graham of South Carolina, to urge the House to conduct a transparent impeachment inquiry process—consistent with past impeachment inquiries.
  • The committees of jurisdiction then held multiple open hearings in the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee over several months that included several days of testimony, and before Christmas 2019, the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump.
US/Iran Tensions
  • No one, including Senator Lankford, wants a war with Iran or with the millions of peaceful Iranian people.
  • Iran has become increasingly aggressive in the Middle East region and beyond over the past decade, and the ill-conceived Iran Nuclear Deal only emboldened Iran to affect the region somewhat “under the radar” and with little international impunity.
  • The US has worked to curtail Iran’s influence, and we remain committed to ensure Iran’s influence of terrorism and disruption is as minimal as possible.
  • As Iran increased its aggressive posture, General Soleimani played a key role in Iran’s aggression and was personally responsible for killing US military and allied forces in Iraq, including a US contractor recently.
  • President Trump sent multiple, clear signals that there would be consequences if General Soleimani and his Iranian Quds Force killed another US citizen and continued his pursuit of aggression in Iraq and the Middle East.
  • After years of targeting the US and our allies in terror attacks, on January 2, 2020, Iranian General and Quds Force leader Soleimani was killed by US forces in Iraq.
  • The Secretary of Defense indicated the US does not plan to remove US forces from Iraq, despite the Iraqi parliament voting to remove Americans from the country after the bombing that killed General Soleimani.
  • CLICK HERE to read Senator Lankford’s statement on the death of General Soleimani.
  • CLICK HERE to watch Senator Lankford’s interview with KOCO’s Maggie Carlo about the General’s death.
  • On Tuesday, January 7, Iranian missiles struck two Iraqi air bases that also housed American troops. The president told the American people on January 8th that no Americans were killed in the attacks.
  • Both the US Government and Tehran recognize that Iran was the source of the attack, and the attack appears to be in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Quds Force General Soleimani.
  • Senator Lankford said immediately following the attack, “Iran’s aggression against the US clearly indicates that they continue to want to do harm to Americans and our nation. I am monitoring the situation  tonight, and I pray for all the service women and men who are defending our nation.”
  • On Wednesday, January 8, President Trump provided remarks from the White House regarding the attack at Iraqi bases. CLICK HERE to read his remarks.
  • Following the President’s speech, Senator Lankford remarked, “I'm grateful there was no loss of life from the airstrike & our military was in a position to protect our troops on the ground. President Trump made it clear he does not want a war with Iran, but we are not going to allow the Iranians to take American lives.”
  • Senator Lankford plans to continue reviewing the relevant intelligence and continue to assess the ongoing threat from Iran (and its partner terrorist groups in other nations) about whether further diplomatic or national defense legislation may be needed to protect Americans at home and abroad as our military and national security personnel work to keep us safe.
  • To hear the latest episode of Senator Lankford’s podcast, The Breakdown with James Lankford, in which he breaks down US tensions with Iran, please CLICK HERE.
REAL-ID
  • The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety recently announced that the state received an extension from the US Department of Homeland Security through September 18, 2020, for Oklahoma to comply with the federal REAL ID requirements for our state-issued IDs, i.e. driver’s license.
  • The extension ensures Oklahomans can continue to fly domestically using their OK driver’s licenses and enter federal buildings that require IDs. However, the final deadline for state-issued driver’s licenses to be REAL ID compliant is October 1, 2020. On that date, you will not be able to fly domestically with a non-compliant license.
  • To avoid the impending rush of Oklahomans who choose to get the REAL ID compliant state-issued ID in advance of that October 2020 deadline, it is recommended that Oklahomans get or renew a passport. You can go to Travel.State.Gov for instructions on how to apply for a passport.
  • Having a passport book (passport cards only provide for domestic travel or to Canada/Mexico by car) will ensure that regardless of a person’s Oklahoma ID status, he or she can fly (domestically or internationally), enter federal properties that require an ID, and travel internationally. All alternative forms of identification for the purpose of travel can be found here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification
  • Oklahomans who have a valid state driver’s license that expires sometime after October 2020, may still use that license combined with a US Passport to meet the REAL ID requirements (and obtain an Oklahoma REAL ID at their regular renewal time).
  • If you have questions going forward go to: https://www.ok.gov/dps/REAL_ID_Enforcement.html for more details.
Trade
  • Senator Lankford serves on the Senate Finance Committee, whose primary areas of jurisdiction includes reciprocal trade agreements and tariffs;
  • Senator Lankford joined the committee in January 2019 but has always been engaged on trade and how the negotiations affect Oklahomans.
  • Senator Lankford supports strong trade agreements with other countries that give the United States and Oklahoma a fair playing ground for international trade. If a current trade agreement is unfair to the United States, it is appropriate to reengage, create fair trading partnerships, and resolve them quickly.
  • Fair trading partnerships include a low- or no-tariff situation without any trade quotas.
  • Once existing trade agreements are updated, we should seek new markets to get American products around the world. It is good for the US and good for Oklahoma.
  • On May 22, 2018, Senator Lankford joined a letter to US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to urge him to consult with Congress as he worked to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which would later become the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  • On July 25, 2018, Senator Lankford met with President Trump at the White House to discuss the then-ongoing negotiations for the USMCA and to encourage the Administration to finalize negotiations to provide certainty to Oklahoma agriculture producers.
  • On July 26, 2018, Senator Lankford questioned USTR Lighthizer during an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the USTR’s goal to resolve existing trade negotiations and the continued work to open new trade markets.
  • On August 3, 2018, Senator Lankford released his first podcast on trade. This episode focused on trade as a whole and how the ongoing trade negotiations between America and other nations impact Oklahoma.
  • On October 3, 2018, Senator Lankford spoke on the Senate floor about the positive effects of the USMCA on Oklahoma agriculture producers.
  • On February 28, 2019, Senator Lankford introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Import Tax Relief Act to require the Executive Branch to create an exclusion process for List 3 (and any future list) of Chinese imports subject to Section 301 tariff imposition.
  • On March 13, 2019, Senator Lankford spoke on the Senate floor about international trade with China, including Section 301 tariffs.
  • On May 10, 2019, Senator Lankford issued a statement after the Trump Administration’s unproductive trade talks with China stalled.
  • On May 17, 2019, Senator Lankford recorded his second podcast on ongoing trade negotiations and the tariff situation with China.
  • Because of our state’s role in agricultural production and energy development, Oklahomans understand the importance of free trade.
  • Senator Lankford supports strong trade agreements with other countries that enable US exporters greater access to overseas markets. This supports high-paying jobs while helping bring wealth to our state’s economy.
  • Senator Lankford continues to meet directly with the White House and with USTR Robert Lighthizer to provide an Oklahoma perspective in trade talks.