I am deeply honored that my neighbors, my fellow Oklahomans, the voters of the Third District overwhelmingly voted for me to continue to be their voice in Washington, D.C. Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, I serve as your voice in Congress- representing all of those who call Oklahoma’s Third District home.

Moving forward, I’ll continue to stand up for Oklahoma’s agriculture producers, ensuring they have the resources and support they need in order to continue to feed and clothe the world. With more than 28,000 family farms in Oklahoma’s Third District, farming is a way of life and it’s critical we work to make sure more family farms are thriving- not declining.

I’ll continue to ensure that every school child is provided the best opportunities and resources in order to be successful in life. Whether our communities’ school children go to a higher education institution or a vocational school, it’s important they’re provided a high-quality, diverse elementary and secondary education led by our steadfast, hard-working teachers.

Finally, as we continue to take the necessary, personal precautions to fight the spread of the coronavirus, we must ensure our hospitals, rural health clinics, and Main Street small businesses remain the backbone and economic engines of our communities. We all must take the appropriate action to protect our neighbors and elders from this deadly virus. I’m confident that with those responsible actions, and the delivery of a vaccine, we will return to normalcy and once again see our communities’ small businesses and economies thrive.

Again, I am deeply honored to have been elected to represent the Third District Congressional District of Oklahoma. As your Congressman, I work to ensure that Congress is accountable to all Oklahomans. Thank you to everyone who made a plan to vote and voted. I look forward to continuing to work for the great people of Oklahoma’s Third District.

Growing up in Oklahoma, you learn pretty quickly how important your neighbors are. Whether they’re there to lend a helping hand when times are tough or there to celebrate your family’s life milestones, your neighbors are the folks you look out for.

I was raised to believe that the government should be doing things for people, not doing things to people. And that’s the mindset I take to Washington, D.C. as your Congressman.

As a fifth-generation Oklahoman, whose family has farmed in western Oklahoma for more than 120 years, I know the issues that are affecting our farmers and ranchers. As wheat farmers and cattle ranchers, my wife and I know the work that is necessary to raise a quality crop and prime beef- and we’re proud of our Oklahoma roots.

Oftentimes Washington thinks of rural America as fly-over country. But I serve in Congress to make sure rural America isn’t forgotten. I stand up for rural Oklahoma.

For years, agriculture producers have been battered by commodity prices that often don’t cover the costs of production. My work in Congress is focused on bringing new markets and ensuring a strong safety net for these hard-working men and women. I wrote the 2014 Farm Bill and I helped pass the 2018 Farm Bill signed into law by President Trump.

In this current Congress, I’ve introduced legislation to further support Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers, and I’ve worked to expand the number of small and medium-sized meat processors in Oklahoma. But my work in Congress goes far beyond the ag sector.

In every Oklahoma town there’s a Main Street that’s lined with small businesses- everything from our favorite family-owned spot to eat to the corner hardware store. These small businesses are the backbone of our communities, creating jobs, and spurring local economic development throughout our towns.

During COVID-19, we’ve seen a number of small businesses face hard times. The coronavirus pandemic left many of our small businesses near-permanent closure, and many of them had to make tough decisions just to keep their doors open. But as we battle COVID-19, and safely and responsibly reopen our local economies, we must make sure our communities’ small businesses thrive once again.

In order for small businesses to remain open, create jobs, and grow, we need laws that promote growth- not stifle it. I believe Oklahoma’s economy is strongest when taxes are low, businesses are able to thrive, and the government gets out of the way.

In 2017, I voted for President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which brought historic tax reform to America’s economy and cut taxes for my fellow neighbors- guaranteeing more take-home pay for Oklahomans at the end of a long day’s work. I know at the end of the day all my fellow Oklahomans want is for their business to grow- and that’s why I’ll continue to support our Main Street businesses.

Last but not least, the future of Oklahoma lies in the future of our children. I’ve been blessed with three children and five grandchildren, and there’s nothing in this world that I want more than to give them the best future I can. One building block of success for our children is education.

No matter their zip code, no matter their upbringing, we must provide our children with a high-quality education. And in today’s 21st-century society, a quality education relies heavily on access to high-speed broadband.

Access to broadband gives our educators new teaching opportunities and it allows our school children to expand their knowledge beyond the walls of the classroom. I’ve been proud to join the United States Department of Agriculture in announcing more than $117.5 million in rural broadband funding for rural Oklahoma, and as your Congressman, I’ll continue to make sure more families have access to this critical infrastructure. Cause when our children are given the tools they need to grow, we provide Oklahoma with a better future.

As the Congressman for Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District, I’m proud to call everyone who lives in the Third District, my neighbor. As my father taught me, I’ll look out for those who call Oklahoma home.

My principles of family and hard work run deep, and I’ll always stand up for Oklahoma’s values and be a conservative voice of reason. So, whether you’re a family farmer, small business owner, educator, public servant, or anything in between, I hope I can count on your vote on Election Day.

“From the Panhandle of Western Oklahoma to the woods of Northeast Oklahoma, Oklahoma is Trump Country. I’m excited President Trump and the Trump Campaign will be making a stop in Tulsa- it’s sure to be a campaign rally Oklahomans won’t want to miss,” said Lucas.

President Trump’s re-election campaign announced that Trump 2020 Senior Advisor Lara Trump, Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, and National Chair of Trump Victory Finance Committee and Trump 2020 Senior Advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle will lead a group of over 50 surrogates, including Congressman Frank Lucas, to campaign on behalf of President Trump in Oklahoma on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at the Make America Great Again Rally.

 

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U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) joined 50 Republican colleagues in requesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) immediately allow cattle producers that sold cattle after April 15 to be deemed eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments for those sales.

“Congress has entrusted you with significant resources to support agricultural producers affected by COVID-19,” Rep. Lucas and the members wrote in a May 29 letter sent to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We are disappointed that the current rollout appears to significantly miss the mark for many impacted cattle producers, and we implore you to provide flexibility to address this shortcoming immediately.”

Rep. Lucas and the lawmakers, who represent the nation’s cattle-producing districts, also requested that USDA provide a detailed explanation and the methodology used in the selection of the date to differentiate between CFAP payments for sales and CFAP payments for inventory, according to their letter.

“The details included in the May 19 announcement of CFAP create significant disparities for many cattle producers, particularly those who sold their animals after April 15,” they wrote. “For producers who have marketed cattle since April 15, USDA’s choice of that particular date is potentially devastating to their operations.”

For instance, the spring sale of calves for some cow/calf and stocker producers is the only income from their cattle herd for the year, and any who sold after April 15 are immediately harmed by USDA’s program design, wrote the lawmakers.

Many small farmer-feeders are similarly harmed by USDA’s choice of an April 15 date for CFAP, according to their letter, which noted that the COVID-19 related closures at packing plants already has dramatically reduced U.S. cattle slaughter capacity and forced many small farmer-feeder operations to hold market-ready cattle for an extended time or sell those cattle at lower prices after the April 15 CFAP date as soon as slaughter capacity is available for those animals.

“Producers who sold at prices lowered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should be eligible for USDA’s response in CFAP, regardless of if those sales were before or after an arbitrary April 15 date,” wrote Rep. Lucas and his colleagues.

Congressman Frank Lucas, R-OK, wants answers for his cattlemen constituents. And he’s not alone.

On May 1, Lucas delivered a bipartisan letter, signed by 24 of his House colleagues, to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. The letter “politely and firmly” requests the findings of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Packers and Stockyards investigation into the divergence between live cattle and boxed beef prices that it began in August 2019.

The investigation originally was limited to the price divergence following the fire in the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Holcomb, Kansas, in 2019. Just the past month the scope was broadened to include the recent price divergence that’s occurring in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucas has particular knowledge of the cattle industry. He and his wife, Lynda, are cow-calf operators in Oklahoma, and his constituents are largely cattlemen as well. The price situation as it stands is very critical for cattlemen, he emphasized. From January to April, cattlemen have seen cattle futures falling 29%, all while the price of beef that consumers paid rose.

“It is a life or death economic situation right now for cow-calf producers,” Lucas said. Maintaining the very beginning of the beef chain is key to keeping cattle going into feedlots and then into processing and ultimately on the consumer’s plate. If producers are unable to stay in business, it puts the whole chain in peril.

“The letter I’ve authored and sent to Sec. Perdue, and we’re soliciting signatures from both House Republican and House Democratic colleagues, first thanks USDA for its work up to this point,” Lucas said. “The MFP (Market Facilitation Program) and disaster money that it’s hopefully allocating in May we hope a big chunk will go to the cattle producer.” But, he said, for the second time in just a few years, cattlemen are finding themselves in the same position with this disconnect between cattle prices paid at the plant door for cattle on the hoof, and what that same packer gets for boxed beef sold to retailers.

The situation is complex, to be sure, but there’s added concern over the role of the futures market in the situation. Speculators and investors play a key role in the cattle futures markets. If they pull their money out of the futures, that can have as dramatic of an effect on the price of cattle as when investors pulled their money out of the stock market in the last month.

“As one cattlemen told me, ‘if we don’t have someone willing to buy our hedges, we don’t have the ability to hedge,’” Lucas said. While USDA is working with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to address the situation, there needs to be more insight into the relationship between cattle spot and futures markets. Volatility during a pandemic “has made market participation difficult to manage and capital intensive.”

Without the findings of the investigation, Lucas’s hands and those of his colleagues are tied in being able to make any laws that would fix the situation. The letter is urging the USDA to release its findings as soon as possible, in order for the situation to be addressed by Capitol Hill, and ultimately bring trust back into the markets.

Today I filed for re-election to continue to serve as your Representative of Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District. Serving as the voice for rural Oklahoma has been the honor of a lifetime. As the former Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and the top Republican on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I’ll ensure the conservative values of Oklahoma are not lost upon those in Washington, D.C. Oklahoma’s prosperity has made tremendous bounds since many of our families first settled, but we still have work to do to ensure a better future for our children and their children’s children.

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