McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 6, 2013

Freshman rep. urges bipartisanship

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — District 2 U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, has delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives urging a spirit of bipartisanship in the nation’s Capitol.

While speaking at town hall meetings in McAlester and other cities and towns in the Second District, Mullin has said he would work toward a bipatisanship effort to helping solve the nation’s problems while in Congress.

During his House speech in Washington D.C. on Monday, Mullin directly addressed House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Republican, and told  Boehner how his constituents are tired of the gridlock in Washington.

Mullin’s office released a text of the speech, in which Mullin invoked the Founding Fathers and George Washington in contrast to the situation today.

“Mr. Speaker, I come before you today not as a Republican or a Democrat but an American committed to the U.S. Constitution,” Mullin said, following an introduction as the “gentleman from Oklahoma.”

“I regularly hear from constituents — regardless of party affiliation — who are fed up with the partisan fighting.

“We pledge allegiance to the United States of America, not our political parties,” Mullin said.

“In President George Washington’s Farewell Address, he said, ‘With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together. The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.’”

Washington was right, Mullin said.

“We are all united by common bonds — although we have our differences, we are more alike than we are different.

“In his Address, Washington was not speaking to one party alone, but to all people of the young Republic. If we don’t start putting the country first and partisanship last, we are going to ruin the country our fathers founded,”Mullin said.

“It is no secret that we are facing difficult decisions, but I am committed to working with any member regardless of party to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” Mullin said, ending his speech.

The speech was recorded and can be seen on YouTube where it’s titled  “Markwayne Mullin Bipartisan floor Speech March 4th 2013.”

Mullin has been a strong proponent of getting the nation’s deficit under control, but said the automatic across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, required by Congress’ failure to find cuts of its own, is the wrong way to go about it.

In a statement made Friday, Mullin said “It is unfortunate that in Washington, nobody can agree to make the spending cuts needed to replace the sequester.”

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.