The USDA has approved a disaster declaration this morning for counties in northwest Oklahoma that are suffering from severe drought.
Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, announced the move and said it would provide immediate relief for livestock producers in the stricken area.
From Lucas’ office:
“These counties in Oklahoma are suffering through one of the worst droughts since the Dust Bowl. Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our American economy and USDA has made the right decision to assist them by granting these designations.”
A federal disaster declaration will make farmers and ranchers in these counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency. In addition, farmers and ranchers who are forced to liquidate their livestock will be allowed to postpone payment on the capital gains from the forced sale, with a potential to negate all payment due.…
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Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, came by the Washington Bureau this morning to talk about issues (housing/banking woes, energy, Medicare, global AIDS funding) as well as the presidential race.
Coburn, an early and key supporter of Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said he will hit the road for McCain for a week in August, when Congress is in recess. He said he has pitched former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts to McCain as a possible running mate.
Videos of the interview should be on newsok.com soon.…
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The latest campaign contribution and expenditure reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday. None of the challengers to Oklahoma’s incumbent House members are expected to show much (if any) activity.
But state Sen. Andrew Rice, the Democrat challenging U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, has had some fundraising success so his report could give more of an indication of whether he will be able to mount a serious media campaign this fall.
Now that the FEC has enough commissioners to do its work again _ nominations were stalled by partisan bickering _ the commission may take action on an audit done last year of former Oklahoma Rep.…
Read the rest of New Campaign $ Numbers Coming
Former Oklahoma Congressman (and OU Quarterback) J.C. Watts, a Republican, is trying to get the presidential candidates to focus on education issues. Here’s an Associated Press story:
By MIKE GLOVER
AP Political Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain must be willing to challenge their political bases if real change is to come to the nation’s schools, a leading advocate for education change said Thursday.
In an effort to build pressure on the candidates to lead such efforts, former Oklahoma Republican Rep.…
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After a week of vacation and the better part of a couple of weeks in the other Washington covering the Seattle SuperSonics trial, I’m back in DC, where little has changed in my absence: the Democrats and Republicans are still arguing about oil prices.
The trial over moving the NBA team to Oklahoma City was interesting at times and deadly boring at others. Through most of it, I sat next to a sketch artist (photographers aren’t allowed in federal courtrooms) and, when the testimony was less than scintillating, I watched her work.…
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Steven Farley and Terry Hyman – two men, both in their mid-50s, who died doing what they wanted to do – will be buried tomorrow.
Farley, 57, a U.S. State Department worker from Guthrie, was killed last week by a bomb in Iraq. A Navy reservist, he was helping to build a city government in Sadr City when he and nine others were kiled in the attack.
Hyman, 56, a state legislator, was killed Friday in a farming accident on his farm near Leon.…
Read the rest of Remembering two fallen Oklahomans