Border battles: Unsurprisingly, Oklahoma’s all-Republican House of Representatives delegation cheered passage of the Republican border security bill last week. The bill is not expected to become law as written, but Senate Republicans and Democrats said they think it might lead to bipartisan agreement on some issues.
Oklahoma’s House members used Thursday’s vote to attack what they described as a failure by the Biden administration to stem the tidal wave immigrants — up to 10,000 a day — arriving at the U.S. border with Mexico.
“Today,” said 1st District Congressman Kevin Hern, “we passed the strongest border security measure the House of Representatives has ever seen. It couldn’t be more timely with the expiration of Title 42 tonight. This bill is a promise fulfilled to the American people.”
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“Congress has a duty to put an end to this crisis. Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees states protection against invasion. And make no mistake — we have an invasion on our Southern border,” said 2nd District Congressman Josh Brecheen.
“I will be the first to admit, this bill is not perfect,” said 3rd District Congressman Frank Lucas. “I share the concerns of many about stabilizing our agricultural workforce and ensuring those who come to our country legally have the opportunity to build their own ‘American Dream.’ But given the importance of ending this crisis, I cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
This bill is a complete rejection of President Biden’s border policies and purposeful inaction,” said 4th District Congressman Tom Cole, “and I was certainly proud to support its passage to uphold our constitutional obligation to keep Americans safe.”
Fifth District Congresswoman Stephanie Bice said the bill would “deploy advanced technology, provide increased resources for CBP officers, and strengthen current law to combat human trafficking.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, who has spent a large share of his time on the issue, told Roll Call: “Our hope is to try to move on something as quickly as we possibly can … . I think the Senate will pull together multiple good ideas from different bills and to be able to combine a bill. It can’t be so big that it doesn’t get done.”
Pills by mail: Lankford was among the Republican senators threatening the country’s largest pharmacy chains with legal action if they begin selling abortion drugs through the mail.
The senators maintain that such distribution violates federal law, while the Biden administration’s Justice Department says it does not.
“As United States Senators with the constitutional power of advice and consent, we will insist that the next President appoints an Attorney General and U.S. Attorneys who will enforce Federal law … and prosecut(e) the criminal mailing and interstate shipment of abortion drugs and abortion-related paraphernalia … the abortion industry and pharmaceutical companies,” the Republican senators wrote.
Voter access: Lankford was also among Republicans who questioned the administration’s use of federal agencies to promote “access to voting.”
“While we all agree that increased voter participation is a good thing, the job of federal agencies is to perform their defined missions in a nonpartisan way, not use their taxpayer funds for clandestine voter mobilization and election-turnout operations,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden.
It should be said that no evidence of “clandestine” activities has been presented and that the use of federal agencies to promote voter registration has been publicized by the administration and voting rights organizations, but there is some question as to whether voter registration is a best or even correct use of federal resources, since it is generally a function of state governments.
The initiatives include making sure veterans and social services clients understand voter registration laws and explaining the often complex state laws regarding registration for felons released from prison.
No Nazis: Two Nazi sympathizers were dropped from Tulsan Clay Clark’s ReAwaken America tour stop at former President Donald Trump’s Doral Resort in Miami, Florida, according to liberal watchdog Media Matters.
The two were anti-Semitic Rumble commentators Scott McKay, who blames Jews for the assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and William McKinley, not to mention the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; and Charlie Ward, who has praised Adolf Hitler and claimed viruses are made by Jews.
Eric Trump was also on the schedule but dropped out.
Dots and dashes: First District Congressman Kevin Hern used Twitter to call for the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. … Mullin said every recent committee meeting in the Democrat-controlled Senate begins with a tirade against the House Republicans’ debt limit and spending cut bill. … With neither Hern nor 2nd District Congressman Josh Brecheen requesting appropriations, it fell to Bice (D5) to put in one for $32 million to maintain the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which is entirely within the 2nd District, The Oklahoman reported. … Lankford, during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” refused to endorse former President Donald Trump or anyone else for president in 2024. … Mullin and Arizona independent Krysten Sinema urged better security for the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which was shut down by hackers for a day in December. … Bice resumed efforts to get domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking added to the list of qualifying conditions for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. … Third District Congressman Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, and other Republicans including Bice complained to the administration that the Department of Energy is spending too much on renewable energy and not enough on basic science. … Brecheen and Lankford were among Republicans demanding more information about a National Institutes of Health transgender study during which two minors reportedly died from suicide. … Fourth District Congressman Tom Cole introduced legislation to provide economic support to allies subjected to Chinese “economic coercion.” … Lankford and Mullin helped pass resolutions to repeal two administration environmental rules, including the listing of the northern long-eared bat as endangered.
— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World
Video: Biden’s debt ceiling meeting with McCarthy is delayed