Senator Lankford Honors Oklahoma Public Servants on Senate Floor

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s floor speech. 

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today spoke on the Senate floor to honor federal, state, and local public service employees during Public Service Recognition Week. Lankford also remembered the public service victims in the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

Last week, Lankford cosponsored S. Res 180, which designates May 5th through 11th as Public Service Recognition Week. The resolution commends public servants for their service, honors those who gave their last full measure of devotion for our nation, encourages the next generation to consider careers in public service, and encourages efforts to promote public service careers at all levels of government.  

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, which oversees the federal workforce, Lankford leads efforts to make the federal government more efficient and effective through working with and supporting our federal workforce.


00:01-1:05 – Mr. President, typically when we talk about federal employees or federal agency, the story starts something like this. There was a mix-up in paperwork for our constituent who has Social Security Administration retirement benefits. She ended up not having Part B Medicare coverage until later and there was a lapse in coverage. Everyone gets frustrated over the mix-up, the dropped paperwork, the problem, and they never hear the story of Amber Craft, who works in the Tulsa Social Security Office. She chased the whole issue down. She did everything possible with the payment center to get input switched on the Medicare application, ended up getting the constituent’s coverage to begin within the desired month to be able to get them taken care of. They were taken care of on their medical bills because a federal employee saw the gap, ran to the need, and helped somebody in our state.

04:06-4:46 – Bryan Whittle is another FAA Employee and an Oklahoma National Guardsman. He served very faithfully both for the National Guard and the FAA. But it was last year, as he walked into a restaurant in Oklahoma City and heard and saw a gunman that was opening fire in a restaurant. Bryan was one of them that actually ran towards the shots and in a historic work and a heroic act, stopped a shooting at a restaurant in Oklahoma City, because this federal employee and guardsman, actually engaged to be able to serve.

08:05–08:47 – Jim Lyall began his tenure with the Community Service Council in 1980 as a helpline program director and became an associate director in 1991. He created Oklahoma’s first 2-1-1 call center, which allowed Oklahoma to be the first to achieve national accreditation, helping 211 to become the statewide service. At the Community Service Council, his leadership in the creation of Tulsa’s ‘heat emergency action plan’ and ‘Tulsa weather coalition air-conditioner loan program’ has contributed significantly to the health and well-being of many Tulsans. He is another one of those folks serving every single day.

10:25–11:24 – And of all states and of all places, I remind this body often that Oklahomans pause every April 19th and remember a domestic terrorist that parked a truck bomb next to the federal building and killed 168 people out of his hatred for public servants in the federal government. We in Oklahoma remember that public servants get up and go to work every day to be able to serve their neighbors. And we as individuals still push back against those that just blindly hate government and blindly hate people that serve in government and serve each other. We don’t blindly hate. We deeply appreciate. And we’re grateful to what they do. And we as a state will never forget the 168 lives that were lost 24 years ago. Public servants taking care of their neighbors. We’re grateful. And if you are a public servant and you hear this, please accept my thank you. Well done, I’m proud to be your neighbor.