Throughout the entire emergency, state and local officials led with great skill, strength and compassion. I am thankful for Gov. Mary Fallin, Civil Emergency Director Albert Ashwood, Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis, Moore City Manager Steve Eddy, Newcastle Mayor Karl Nail and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, whose tireless work pulled us through a nightmare.
As a member of the Chickasaw Nation, I was especially proud to support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) earlier this year. This legislation, which passed through both chambers and was signed into law by the president, preserves the existing authority of tribal courts and allows them to have jurisdiction over non-Indian sex offenders on Indian lands. I am pleased that VAWA helps tribal women see justice served more quickly.
Since the beginning of the year, problems with Obamacare have been numerous, causing even more Americans to doubt the president’s so-called plan for affordable healthcare. Not one House or Senate Republican voted in favor of the law, and since its passage, House Republicans have voted more than 40 times to repeal the law partially or completely. In fact, seven of these bills passed the Senate and were signed into law by the president. Unfortunately, as long as the law’s namesake is in the White House, full repeal of the Obamacare is unlikely.
I’ve never been supportive of Obamacare and have remained a constant critic of the law, and as we’ve noticed especially in the last few months with its website failures, it was and is not ready for primetime. Even the Obama Administration has admitted that the law is unworkable by choosing to delay key portions of it.
Earlier this fall, in a worthy effort to help Americans, some Senate and House Republicans proposed we refuse to pass a government funding bill if it included funding for Obamacare. While I supported the desire to stop the unworkable and unfair law, I warned against this doomed tactic that would surely lead to a government shutdown and still not solve anything. Unfortunately, due to the expiration of appropriated dollars, government shutdown occurred on Oct. 1. While I wish shutdown would’ve been avoided in the first place, I was relieved when both sides eventually agreed on a short-term funding measure to reopen the government and protect the full faith and credit of the United States.