In the News


Senator Lankford in The Daily Signal: Obama Raided $500M for Zika to Finance UN’s Green Climate Fund

by Senator James Lankford

Last week, the Senate passed legislation to address and prevent the spread of the Zika virus. However, the Senate failed to pay for it, and instead approved a $1.1 billion "emergency" spending supplemental bill that is not subject to the budgetary caps that were agreed to last year. While congressional inattention to the budget crisis is inexcusable, it is even more disturbing that the Obama administration already has the authority to pay for a Zika response from existing agency budgets, but cho… Continue Reading


Sens. Cotton and Lankford on Fox News Online: Why the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is still a bad idea

by Senator James Lankford and Senator Tom Cotton

The Obama administration has recently started to pitch the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to the American people. As they begin yet another politically motivated public relations campaign, it's important to remember the Senate rejected this deeply defective treaty in 1999, and the case against ratification today is stronger than it was then. In the shadow of another North Korean nuclear test, illicit rocket launch, and the catastrophic Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration advocat… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in The Hill: Emergency spending not needed for international crises

by Senator James Lankford

What started as a peaceful Syrian uprising has grown into a global proxy war, with the United States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey opposing the Assad regime, Iran and Russia trying to support it, and everyone randomly fighting the terrorist forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). At the same time, world governments continue to scramble for resources to stem the flow of migrants and provide aid for the victims. For five years, Syria has gradually collapsed into chaos, with no fo… Continue Reading


The Oklahoman Editorial Board: Federal officials disregard their land management failures

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board

In the private sector, if someone allows a home to become dilapidated because he lacks the funds to properly maintain it, no one argues the situation will improve if that person buys another home. Yet that's the model recently embraced by federal lawmakers. The federal government owns more than 600 million acres of land in the United States, which is roughly 30 percent of the entire country and as much as half of some Western states. That number is likely to increase, thanks in part to the fed… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in Tulsa World: Holding Iran accountable for the nuclear deal

by Senator James Lankford

As we confront threats of terrorism all over the word, national security and Middle East stability are more important than ever for Americans. In addition to border security, strong defense and capable intelligence services, any homeland security strategy must address nuclear threats and accountability measures for Iran and its nuclear program. Many of my colleagues in the Senate and I were exceedingly skeptical last July when the Obama administration signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Acti… Continue Reading


Tulsa World Editorial Board: Lankford seeks reasonable rules change in Senate

by The Tulsa World

Every important piece of legislation that makes its way to the U.S. Senate deserves deliberate consideration. Deliberation and recalcitrance, however, are not the same. Over the last few decades, a rule in the U.S. Senate, originally intended to encourage constructive debate and deflect unnecessary bills, has morphed into a stalling tactic that too often leaves the Senate knotted. Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford fully understands the pros and cons of the current Senate rule; and, rather than en… Continue Reading


The Oklahoman Editorial Board: Lankford offers straight talk on dealing with U.S. budget

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board

In remarks on the U.S. Senate floor last week where he criticized the final budget of Barack Obama's presidency, Sen. James Lankford also took some time to explore just how troubling and serious are the nation's finances, and offered proposals he would like to see considered. They merit further mention. Obama's $4.1 trillion budget, Lankford noted, includes about $3.4 trillion in new taxes over the next decade and would increase spending by $2.5 trillion in that time. The U.S. had $10.6 trillio… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in The Washington Post: Change Senate rules on votes to open debate

by Senator James Lankford

Here is something you can count on: at one time or another, House members and senators will blame Senate rules for the lack of progress in Congress. People across the fruited plain agree. Most people do not understand the complex rules of the Senate, but they do understand that very little is moving in Congress because of the upper body. The American people see the glacial pace of the Senate as out-of-touch with a 21st century era of instant communication and a fast-moving 24/7 news cycle. The g… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in Tulsa World: Parents and local decisions can improve education

by Senator James Lankford

No matter where I travel in the state, people want to talk about education. We are all concerned about our state budget deficit, but many Oklahomans are just as concerned about our state's education deficit. As a parent of a child in our public schools, this is also a big deal to me. Fortunately, the first step to real education reform already has happened, transitioning more education control away from Washington, D.C. For more than a decade, Oklahoma schools have been forced to operate under … Continue Reading


Joint Op-Ed in Tulsa World: Lifting ban on crude oil exports starts new chapter for Oklahoma

by U.S. Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, and U.S. Representatives Frank Lucas, Tom Cole, Markwayne Mullin and Steve Russell Sunday

Revenue in Oklahoma is down by 12 percent. We face a $900.8 million shortfall going into 2016. Our state Secretary of Finance has said we are facing the biggest fiscal challenge since the 2008 recession, and our state education agencies have been told to prepare for large, across-the-board budget cuts midway through the school year. On top of all of this, a report from Oklahoma State University shows our state could lose more than 20,000 jobs through 2016 as a result of our unstable energy mark… Continue Reading


BLOG: Why I Voted For The Omnibus Spending & Tax Relief Bill

by Senator James Lankford

Last week, Congress passed a spending bill that funds the federal government for the Fiscal Year, which ends September 30, 2016. The total cost of the omnibus bill was $1.1 trillion. For context, the entire annual federal budget is almost $4 trillion. The Omnibus was a collection of 13 bills, all compiled into one giant bill. The House of Representatives had the luxury of voting separately on several of the appropriations bills, But in the Senate, most of the bills were filibustered by the Democ… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford, Jonathan Small in The Oklahoman: Plan, commitment needed to tackle nation's debt

by Senator James Lankford & Jonathan Small

Question: How do you burn down your house? Answer: Get distracted and forget about the pan on the stove top. Our nation is focused on very real concerns with terrorism, education, immigration, energy, our economy and much more. But in the middle of the chaos, if we forget about our national debt, the most vulnerable among us will suffer the most. The federal government overspends (deficit) around $450 billion annually, putting our nation $19 trillion in total debt. To put it in plain terms, un… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: Social Security: A Promise that Isn’t Being Kept

by Senator James Lankford

When I took the oath of office in January to be the next U.S. senator for Oklahoma, I made a commitment to represent our great state and our values in Washington, D.C. While Oklahomans do not agree on many issues, most Oklahomans are very protective and very skeptical of Social Security. We know years ago the federal government made a promise to America's seniors. We also know that, for decades, individuals have paid taxes into the trust fund to support their own retirement and to provide an eme… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in The Washington Times: The freedom to bow our heads and pray in public

by Senator James Lankford

Telling grieving families that our thoughts and prayers are with them in times of tragedy or hearing people say "God bless the United States of America" at the end of a speech are common. They are part of our American tradition. Culturally, it is acceptable to talk about prayer, and even ask God for his blessings in public settings, but what if it goes a step further? What if we actually pray in public - closing our eyes and bowing our heads where others can see? Is that still free in America? … Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in The Oklahoman: Fact-checking the president's Keystone decision

by Senator James Lankford

President Obama on Friday announced his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Since the beginning of this debate, seven years ago, everyone generally knew of the president's opposition to oil, gas and coal, but no one dreamed he would hold a pipeline permit for over 2,000 days, then reject it with no data-based conclusions. When any president can hold a private construction permit for years, after it has been approved by every affected state, then reject the permit for political reasons… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in Tulsa World: We need a regulatory process of the people and by the people

by Senator James Lankford

Many Oklahomans know the cost of basic items such as food, insurance, banking and consumer goods continue to rise, but some might not realize many of the cost increases are directly connected to new regulatory costs passed on to consumers. The federal government is eager to regulate every action of our lives, but the result of this accelerating federal regulatory activity is not good for our collective bottom line. The recent national Gross Domestic Product announcement of a measly 1.5 percent … Continue Reading


CRFB: Senator Lankford’s SSDI Amendment Continues Progress on Improving the Program

Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget Sen. Lankford's SSDI Amendment Continues Progress On Improving The Program During last week's debate on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) offered up an amendment making many further changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program beyond the ones already included in the law. Sen. Lankford's amendment contained a number of well-known ideas for improving the program, including some presented by the McCrery-… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford on Let Coach Kennedy remain free to pray, as we are in Congress

by Sen. James Lankford and Rep. Randy Forbes

As members of the House and Senate, we open each daily legislative session with prayer-a tradition which dates back to a prayer given before the First Continental Congress on September 7, 1774. Often, these prayers are given by the House or Senate chaplain, but at times members themselves have also offered the prayer. Were these prayers a violation of the Establishment Clause because they were offered by elected representatives? No - they are free expressions of personal faith that are consti… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in The Norman Transcript: NDAA Would Help Strengthen Security

by Senator James Lankford

When I'm home, Oklahoma moms tell me over and over that they are worried about our nation's security. They are concerned for their kids; they are concerned about terrorism; they are concerned that the world is spinning out of control. Oklahoma moms are right to be concerned. The world has become a very chaotic place. The challenges need a clear strategy and the commitment to act on the strategy. Each year, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes the budget authority of the Depa… Continue Reading


Senator Lankford in Stillwater News Press: We Must Trust Farmers and Ranchers

by Senator James Lankford

It's always surprising to me how often bureaucrats in Washington, DC, who spend most of their life on concrete, want to control everyday Americans thousands of miles away who spend most of their life on dirt. They think they know better than hard-working Americans, and nowhere is this philosophy more evident than in the agricultural industry. Over the last few years, federal government overreach has reached new highs. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Waters of the U.S. rule is a perf… Continue Reading

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