Steve Russell

Updated at 1:15 a.m. ET Thursday

An Amtrak train carrying House and Senate Republicans to their annual retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck Wednesday morning near Charlottesville, Va.

At least one person was killed, according to a statement released by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about pending cuts to health and mental health agencies with the stalemate over a $215M shortfall in the budget, lawsuits against drug rehabilitation centers accused of forcing clients to work at chicken farms without pay and in dangerous conditions and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes to the state to give the keynote address at the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the announcement by University of Oklahoma President David Boren that he is stepping down from the job at the end of the school year, the state legislature gears up to start a special session to fix the budget on Monday and Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz says he is considering the position of executive director of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

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A debate has broken out at the Pentagon and in Congress over a proposal to dismantle an 8-year-old program that gives fast-track citizenship to immigrant soldiers who were recruited because they have critical skills in languages and medicine.

More than 4,000 immigrant soldiers recruited through the program — mostly from China and South Korea — are serving in uniform, including on overseas tours. Another 4,000 recruits have enlisted and are awaiting training.

With a vote scheduled for Thursday in the U.S. House, it's down to the wire for the American Health Care Act, the Republican-authored bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Congressman Steve Russell / Facebook

Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation have largely been supportive of President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel of certain foreign nationals to the United States.

Under the order, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would not be allowed to enter the United States for 90 days. Over the weekend, permanent resident visa holders were detained at airports, which led to protests across the country. The White House later said permanent resident visa holders are from those 7 countries will be allowed.

Navy pilot Jim Bridenstine pulled off a congressional upset four years ago when he ousted a five-term GOP incumbent from his Tulsa-area seat. The same year, Markwayne Mullin, a Republican plumber, won over thousands of Little Dixie voters in his southeastern Oklahoma district when Democrat Dan Boren left office.

And two years ago, Republican Steve Russell, a war hero whose unit helped capture Saddam Hussein, became central Oklahoma's third different congressman since 2007, replacing James Lankford, who sought and won the Senate seat when Tom Coburn retired.

Constance Favorite looks over a table filled with mementos in the living room of her bungalow in New Orleans — shoes, a tattered combat boot, an American flag and three photos, each of a smiling young woman. It's her daughter, Airman 1st Class Lakesha Levy.

"If our day didn't look bright, she would brighten it up with her little jokes she would tell. I'd say, 'Lakesha, you really should be a comedian,' " Favorite says.

Headlines for Wednesday, April 8, 2015:

  • Bills keeping cities and towns from banning oil and gas exploration advance in the state House. (Tulsa World)

  • Edmond voters ban the use of electronic signs in their city. (NewsOK)

  • A north Tulsa State Representative is moving on to the Senate. (Tulsa World)

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