U.S. senator reflects on service during Yukon visit

Mullin waiting to make his ‘maiden’ speech on Senate floor

U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) speaks with constituents during an Aug. 31st community coffee at Trinity Baptist Church Yukon: from left, Mustang Mayor Brian Grider, Sen. Mullin, Paulette Statler, Terry Martin, and Pastor Brian Mills. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Associate Editor

A first-year United States senator who represents Oklahoma believes developing strong relationships is how best to have his voice heard through all the “clutter and noise” of D.C. politics.

“If you’re the one screaming the loudest, trying to get all the attention, you’re going to be ignored,” U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin said during a recent stop in Yukon. “The only time people listen to you is when you’re asked.

“Learn how to take a deep breath. Stop. Listen. Watch. You’ll start figuring out how to maneuver through that cesspool.”

Sen. Mullin, who joined the 100-member U.S. Senate in January, knows he’s not going to achieve success by forcing his opinion or thinking he’s the “smartest person in the room”.

A Tulsa native and businessman, Mullin is the junior U.S. senator from Oklahoma having been elected in 2022 to succeed Jim Inhofe.

Mullin previously served Oklahoma’s second congressional district for 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sen. Mullin discussed a myriad of issues and current events during a 55-minute talk at an Aug. 31st community coffee hosted by Trinity Baptist Church Yukon, 620 N Cemetery Road.

The freshman U.S. senator told the Yukon audience that he still hasn’t presented his “maiden” speech on the Senate floor.

And that’s on purpose.

He wants to first earn the respect of his experienced colleagues before sharing his message in the Senate Chamber – whether it’s for two minutes or 20 minutes. He’d rather have credibility and be impactful instead of being loud.

“I don’t want to be just a talking piece that’s going to throw out a thousand ideas – and not one of them comes to fruition,” Mullin said. “That’s just wasting my time and it’s wasting your time. If you have an idea but don’t have people that will agree with you, then all it is, is an idea.”

That’s because politics is a number – no different than a football game, wrestling match or money in a wallet.



Mullin’s pace has picked up since joining the 100-member U.S. Senate eight months ago. The demand for his time has noticeably increased.

With his great legislative responsibilities and frequent travel, Mullin has been challenged with finding enough time to spend with his wife, children and the Lord.

“I’m trying to stay grounded at the same time,” he said. “Everybody has what I call a foundation. What happens to a lot of elected officials is they start losing their way.”

Mullin believes everyone’s foundation – their “core” – should not change.

“I never understood how people lost it until I got into this particular seat,” he said.

The freshman U.S. senator took his family on a 10-day trip this summer to the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Jordan.

“It’s been a challenge, but I enjoy it,” he said of his U.S. Senate service. “Now, my family is on the journey with me.”

The fighting and division in Washington, D.C. is real, and Mullin must work alongside Senate leaders he often disagrees with – like Chuck Schumer of New York and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“Our government is designed to be dysfunctional,” Mullin said. “Our Founding Fathers never designed it for us to get along. They didn’t want us to get along. They wanted us to move slow. They wanted us to not have a ruling class.

“You read the Federalist Papers. They set it up for us to actually bicker, fight and move slow. … They wanted to have everybody with different opinions.”

Having the two chambers – House and Senate – provides a “checks-and-balances” system.

Among other subjects covered during Sen. Mullin’s recent visit were:


President Joe Biden and his administration are “totally and completely” ignoring a U.S. border security crisis, Mullin opined.

“The Administration does not recognize there’s a problem,” he said. “Congress cannot force them – cannot work past them – on this particular issue.

“The Executive Branch has a tremendous amount of authority when it comes to that. We are appropriators (of funds).”

Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said the border crisis is real as the Chinese Mafia, Mexican cartels and people from 170 other countries enter the U.S. illegally.

Mullin compared the situation to a ticking time bomb as more people on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List – who want to destroy western society – enter this country.

“It is a huge national security issue, and they’re (the Administration) is going to ‘own it’ when it happens,” the U.S. senator said. “We see it. We’re working on it. We’ve done everything we could, but Congress can only go so far without the support of the White House.

“The Democrats want an open border, not amnesty. … What they’re for is a complete open border. You can’t even do immigration reform until you have a secure border.”

About 7 million have crossed the U.S. border illegally.

Some have become legal citizens through a program that allows them to stay – and receive federal benefits – after receiving a date to appear in immigration court. However, many have no incentive to appear for their hearing.

“If we’re going to do this ‘catch and release’, why don’t we at least give them a work visa that expires the exact same day as their court date?” Mullin suggested. “That way, at least they’ll show up.

“We’ve created a whole society of criminals if we don’t do this.”


Many refugees have come to live in the United States after the U.S. final military withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan two years ago.

Some refugees are prevented from bringing their families here to join them because the U.S. has no immigration relationship with Afghanistan.

Sen. Mullin stopped working with refugees seeking special immigrant visas soon after watching Afghan fathers leaving their wives and children behind to get slaughtered by the Taliban.

“The mentality of some Afghans – not all of them – is the man is the most important person,” Mullin related. “And they can always get another wife and another kid. They’re the foundation.

“If you were the Afghan father, is there any chance in the world you would be here – (having) left your wife and kids back there? There’s no way in the world I would have ever left my wife and kids behind. You couldn’t have paid me. I couldn’t have done it. I couldn’t sleep with myself.”

Sen. Mullin believes his responsibility is to the refugees already in the U.S. that he considers constituents – so they will find work and be able to travel overseas. He said it’s up to the refugees to get their wives and children out of Afghanistan.

“We don’t have any relationships in Afghanistan anymore,” Mullin added. “We have no way to influence the Taliban. We have no formal relationships.

“I hate to sound callous. I hope you understand my perspective.”


A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mullin talked about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – laying blame on the Biden Administration.

“If President Trump was in office, this would have never, ever have taken place,” he said. “This would not have happened if we didn’t have such a weak president.

“There’s no way (Russian President Vladimir) Putin would be as aggressive to do this.”

The United States agreed in the early 2000s to defend Ukraine in case of a Russian invasion. In exchange, Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons.

“We’re actually obligated to defend them,” Mullin noted. “And that defense isn’t just monetary.

“We can’t afford to allow (Russia) to win. It’s just as scary if Ukraine actually wins.”

That’s because if the Russians begins to lose the fight to the point Putin is unable to negotiate, Sen. Mullin believes he will use a nuclear weapon powerful enough to destroy a city.

Russia fights wars differently than the United States, sending waves after waves of soldiers to battle.

“We believe in ‘leaving no man behind’,” Mullin said. “They don’t even pick up the dead. … They bury officers, and that’s about it.

“The death toll – which the American media focuses on – doesn’t mean anything to them. Their economy’s surviving, and that’s all they care about.”

The U.S. is spending billions of dollars on the Ukraine-Russia fight, but Mullin doesn’t know how the country will get out of the situation.

“Not a lot has changed, but everybody’s looking for an exit – that would keep Putin in place,” Mullin said. “We’re not going to try removing him (but) keep him at bay and still fulfill some of our promise.

“If they were to use a nuclear weapon, we will be forced at that point to have an all-out war with troops. That’s what we’re trying to prevent now.”


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will always have its issues, Sen. Mullin told Yukon coffee attendees.

Mullin previously recommended passing legislation to make all 535 members of Congress – the elected U.S. senators and representatives – eligible to use the VA healthcare system.

He thinks will would be the “perfect solution” to help resolve issues with VA services, facilities, doctors’ pay, and long wait lines.

But veterans’ organizations opposed his proposal, “fuming mad” that this would negatively impact veterans.

That killed the idea.

“Someone, give me a better solution,” Mullin said. “Throwing money at it without having some type of oversight isn’t going to fix it. Ignoring the issue isn’t going to fix it.”