December 5, 2022

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Sen. James Lankford (left), R-Okla., helped hold up the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the National Archives last week. Here, Lankford talks to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio (center), and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., during the Sept. 21 Senate nomination hearing of Colleen Shogan to be archivist of the United States.
Greenback dollar: Responding to concerns that the U.S. Treasury might switch to digital currency, U.S. Sen. James Lankford filed legislation last week to keep the Bureau of Printing and Engraving in business for the foreseeable future.
“While some Oklahomans are open to digital currencies, many still prefer hard currency or at least the option of hard currency. There are still questions, cyber concerns, and security risks for digital money,” Lankford said in a press release.
Lankford also said some constituents are concerned that they might be tracked through digital transactions or that their money might be “deleted.”
Study up: First District Congressman Kevin Hern appears to have the chairmanship of the Republican Study Committee wrapped up for the coming Congress after his remaining opponent, Kat Cammack of Florida, dropped out and endorsed him, according to The Hill.
The Republican Study Committee is the ideological caucus in Congress, with a membership of about 150 conservative House Republicans. Other current Oklahoma members are 2nd District Congressman Markwayne Mullin and 4th District Congressman Tom Cole.
The RSC regularly issues policy statements, especially on taxes and spending, and Hern has been in charge of its last two budget proposals.
“It’s important that we continue with our conservative ideas and principles as we try to return this country to some sanity and get our inflation under control,” Hern said. “I’ve been in leadership roles my entire life, in business before coming here four years ago. And I think it’s no different here.
“You have to listen, and you have to assimilate the ideas. You have to move the conference forward, and that’s what we’re going to be doing.”
Wealth distribution: A report by the Congressional Budget Office says the share of total wealth held by families in the top 10% of the distribution increased from 63% in 1989 to 72% in 2019.
The share of total wealth held by families in the top 1% percent increased from 27% to 34%.
During the same 30-year period, the share of total wealth held by families in the bottom half declined from 4% to 2%.
Dots and dashes: All seven members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted against the continuing resolution that kept the federal government fully operational for another two months while also appropriating $12 billion for Ukraine and $18 billion for disaster relief. … Lankford helped hold up the confirmation of Biden’s nominee to head the National Archives, apparently in response to that agency’s role in alerting federal authorities to the documents held by former President Donald Trump. … In more bad news for Oklahoma’s oil and gas producers and their political allies, a paper published in Science says flaring is not nearly as successful as long believed at burning off methane emissions. … Third District Congressman Frank Lucas filed legislation to exempt agriculture from proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rules requiring publicly traded companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions.
— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World 
Featured video:
Oklahoma has 33,000 teachers who are certified, but choose not to teach. Ginnie Graham and Bob Doucette talk about the state’s teacher shortage forcing districts to rely on emergency certifications and more. Plus, why are extremists harassing our county election board workers?
randy.krehbiel@tulsaworld.com
Stay up-to-date on the latest in local and national government and political topics with our newsletter.
Staff Writer
I have been with the Tulsa World since 1979. I’m a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. I primarily cover government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365
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Officials, though, say another $35 million-$40 million is needed to finish out the interior, including installation of the pop culture exhibits.

The bill appropriates $39.4 million to the University Hospitals Authority “to expand the capacity of behavioral health care for the children of this state,” but only on the condition that no facility owned by the authority or its associated trust perform “gender reassignment medical treatment” for children under 18.

“Sometimes we didn’t exactly agree on everything, but we do now,” Trump said in a written statement announcing the endorsement. 

“The vague nature of the law has created anxiety among Oklahoma educators,” reads the Osage Nation resolution. #oklaed #okleg

Public schools and the public health emergency are where their differences become most apparent. Both candidates made separate visits to the Tulsa World last week.

The debate over gender reassignment was the only real speed bump in the way of more than $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act appropriations approved in special session Thursday. 

Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, said the bill, which alters the state’s Open Records Act, was designed to balance public transparency with the protection the dignity of slain law enforcement officers and their families. 

Officials, though, say another $35 million-$40 million is needed to finish out the interior, including installation of the pop culture exhibits.

Oklahoma lawmakers also plan to dole out more than $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds during this week’s special session, but some Republicans want to send the ARPA funds back to the federal government.

Hunter gatherers: Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe and James Lankford jumped aboard the Senate Republicans’ bandwagon of the week, Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s call for the U.S. attorney investigating Hunter Biden be designated a special counsel.
Sen. James Lankford (left), R-Okla., helped hold up the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the National Archives last week. Here, Lankford talks to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio (center), and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., during the Sept. 21 Senate nomination hearing of Colleen Shogan to be archivist of the United States.
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