Mom/person: U.S. Sen. James Lankford continued his attacks on the Biden administration last week, this time on subjects ranging from leaks of the wealthiest Americans’ tax information to border security.
He also hammered Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra for a budget entry referring to “birthing persons.” Upon further inquiry, Becerra acknowledged that “birthing person” is bureaucratese for “mother.”
“Just when I think it can’t get weirder around this town, and that terms can’t get stranger, that’s a new one on me,” said Lankford.
Not helpful: Fourth District Congressman Tom Cole called attacks on presidential medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci unwarranted and “not helpful.”
“Anthony Fauci has spent a lifetime as one of the premier experts of infectious diseases,” Cole said during a virtual presentation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “He’s worked for multiple presidents of both parties. He’s a man of outstanding personal character and distinguished academic and institutional achievement. That’s just true.
“Vilifying people that are operating in good faith that have careers that are distinguished is not helpful,” Cole said. “Most of the people I see doing this, quite frankly, are not people who voted for us to have the resources to deal with this in the first place.”
Water, water: Oklahoma’s congressional delegation were dismayed by the Biden administration’s decision to reverse Trump policy on what is known as WOTUS — Waters of the U.S.
Generally speaking, Democratic administrations have been more restrictive on water regulation and Republicans less so.
“I implore the Biden Administration to reconsider the dismantling of the current policy and keep intact the rule that has given clarity to rural communities across the United States,” said 3rd District Congressman Frank Lucas.
Missile mania: U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was upset by news that Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker may cancel the Nuclear Sea Launched Cruise Missile program.
“Reports that an acting secretary of the Navy would cancel a new Nuclear Sea Launched Cruise Missile after submission of the FY22 budget, and before a Nuclear Posture Review has been started — much less completed — is bewildering and short-sighted,” Inhofe said in a joint statement with Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama.
Dots and dashes: Lankford joined other Republicans in calling for sanctions against Chinese officials who block key information about the origins of COVID-19. … Inhofe said the current defense authorization bill has Pacific deterrence “all wrong.” … Second District Congressman Markwayne Mullin is again backing legislation to give tribes full access to public health data. Similar legislation passed the House last Congress but was not heard in the Senate. … Inhofe defended the continued use of some long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS — Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — on the grounds that no suitable replacements for them have been found. … Inhofe and Lankford were among those voting against the Senate’s U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. Lankford said it was too big and unfocused; Inhofe said it didn’t include enough for defense. … Lankford wants $500 million for a U.S.-Israel missile defense program. … Lucas joined several other House members in asking Attorney General Merrick Garland for an update on a year-old Justice Department investigation into the meat industry. … Lankford backed Oklahoma’s House Bill 1775, which limits how controversial subjects are handled in the classroom, on Newsmax.