Senator Lankford Praises Oklahoma’s Beauty Ahead of August Work Period

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s floor speech. 

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today spoke on the Senate floor about his plans for the upcoming August work period while the Senate is not in regular session. To encourage others to visit Oklahoma, he praised a number of specific locations he has been and will go in the state during his travels to connect with constituents and hear perspectives on the work before the Senate. Lankford plans to engage in a number of public events throughout the state during the upcoming state work period, and details will be made public for those events when they are finalized.


Mr. President, August is coming quickly, and it’s a time that we have a gap in the legislative calendar. Congress is in session 11 months of the year as this body knows well. We have one month that we’re not in Washington, DC, and it gives us the opportunity to be able to be home, quite frankly catch up with family, and be able to travel around our state and to be able to see what’s going on in the state and be able to just talk to folks.

Now I happen to live in an unbelievably beautiful state. And in Oklahoma in August, it’s crazy hot and humid, but it’s a great time to get a chance to be able to see people and to see what’s going on. In just the few weeks around this time period, I’ve already been to Ada and Durant and Calera, and I’ll be heading quickly to Chickasha, Lindsay, Lawton, Vinita, Miami, that’s not Miami, that’s the correct pronunciation, Miami, Afton, Grove, Jay, Chelsea, Hennessy, Enid, up to Kaw Lake, of course all around the Oklahoma City area, all around Tulsa, to spend as much time as I can with as many different people as I can to be able to find out what’s going on in Oklahoma. And in my one precious month that I get a year to be able to make sure I get focused time in the state to get to see as many people as I can.

But I got to thinking about this and the privilege that I’ve really had to be able to travel around my state and to be able to see so many people and to be able to see so many places. To be able to get on Route 66, and be able to travel the state east to west, and to be able to exactly see what’s gone on.

I’ve had the opportunity to be at Marland Mansion in Ponca City, I’ve had the opportunity to be at Roman Nose State Park in Watonga. I’ve climbed up to the top of Black Mesa in Kenton and I’ve been to the lowest point by sea level in far southeast Oklahoma in Broken Bow. I’ve been out to a Mount Scott in Lawton and been able to climb on its tumbled rocks. I’ve been to the Blue Whale in Catoosa and I’ve had the great privilege of getting a chance to walk around through the Gathering Place in Tulsa, an absolutely spectacular park and gathering place. In fact, USA Today just named the number one new attraction in America being the Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And for folks that have not been to Tulsa or for folks that have been to Tulsa before, you need to come back and just get a chance to enjoy the Gathering Place.

I’ve had the opportunity to be able to walk the streets around Black Wall Street and to visit with the fine folks that are there. To be in Davis at Turner Falls and Arbuckle Mountain, and of course, Falls Creek. I’ve had the opportunity to be able to be in Hochatown down near Broken Bow Lake and  get the chance just to enjoy the time there in beautiful southeast Oklahoma and the tall trees.

I’ve had the opportunity to be at Lake Murray State Park in Ardmore, Ole’ Red restaurant in Tishomingo. I’ve driven the Talimena National Scenic Byway in the fall. And I’ve seen the spectacular scenery in those mountains. I’ve been to Robbers Cave in Wilburton in the Ouachita National Forest in McCurtain County. I’ve had the opportunity be able to walk around through the Heavener Runestone area and to be able to see the Viking carved stones that are there in eastern Oklahoma in the scene was definitely in those high trees and in those rolling hills, I wasn’t the first person to get there by far. Been to the Round Barn in Route 66 in Arcadia and stopped to get a great hamburger at Pops there on Route 66. I have quietly stood at the National Bombing Memorial in downtown Oklahoma City and I’ve seen the amazing Western Art at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and walked through the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame both.

You can’t come through Oklahoma without stopping in Cattleman’s Steakhouse, enjoying a great steak or to be able to drive out west and to be able to see the Stafford Museum. People that come to Washington, DC, go to the Air and Space Museum, and I will often smile at them and say, ‘Do not miss the Air and Space Museum that is in Weatherford, Oklahoma, because the Stafford Museum there is a remarkable collection from a fantastic Oklahoma astronaut.’ Great Salt Plains in Jet or the Oklahoma Territorial Museum in Guthrie are really remarkable places. But I do have to brag on a spot, because on my 50th birthday, my wife surprised me by us taking a trip to go out to Little Sahara State Park in the sand dunes in northern Oklahoma and to rent dune buggies, and to be able to drive them just as hard and fast as we wanted to that day. It’s a great day to just be able to enjoy Oklahoma. Just like the day that I was able to drive up to Pawhuska to eat at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile restaurant and just enjoy the downtown area around Pawhuska. It’s really fantastic state and the people and the places that I miss being here in Washington, DC, 11 months of the year.

I look forward to getting a chance to see when I get back home in August. So as much work as we have to get done here and we still have a lot of good work to get done, we’ll spend some time on the phone, we’ll walk through legislation, and we’ll continue to do writing. But thankfully, I’ll be able to do writing and time on the phone, looking out my windshield, enjoying some Oklahoma scenery while I do it at the same time. With that, Mr. President, I yield back the floor.