Tom Coburn

In This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU Morning Edition Host Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill talk about the controversial bill to protect the practice of gay conversion therapy and a measure which would have allegedly gutted Oklahoma's Open Records Act.

The trio also discusses a push by former US Senator Tom Coburn for a constitutional convention to rein in the federal government and a call by the state Finance Secretary to look into cuts in travel and "swag".

In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Headlines for Friday, December 12, 2014:

  • The football season ends for Douglass High School after a ruling yesterday from a district judge. (NewsOK)

  • Oklahoma economists are revising their outlook for the state with the drop in oil prices. (Journal Record)

  • Influenza in our state kills two people and hospitalizes 94 as health officials see an increase in flu activity. (NewsOK)

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn is wrapping up his tenure in Congress with the release of a "Tax Decoder" report that criticizes hundreds of billions of dollars in federal tax expenditures, often for what he says are wealthy individuals and businesses.

Coburn held a news conference Tuesday in Washington for the release of the 320-page report that highlights tax fraud and the increasingly complicated nature of the federal tax code.

Read the full report here.

For the first time since statehood, voters are picking both of the US Senate seats to represent Oklahoma in Washington, DC.

We already knew incumbent Jim Inhofe was going to seek reelection, but things got exciting a year ago when Tom Coburn decided to retire with two years left on his term.

KOSU’s Michael Cross reports this opened a seat, many didn’t expect until 2016.

When Dr. Coburn announced plans to step down from his Senate position, the race to fill it began.

By April, seven Republicans, three Democrats and an Independent filed to run.

The NFL just kicked off its 2014 season, and the $9 billion league is currently facing two powerful opponents: its own image and Congress.

Lawmakers have seized on controversies over domestic violence, child abuse and a team name to attack the NFL's tax exemption. While the individual teams generate billions in profits and pay taxes, the league office is considered a nonprofit and does not pay federal income taxes.

This week's war vote in the U.S. Senate presented each senator with a personal puzzle of competing political considerations.

In deciding whether to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight against the group called the Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL), senators had to judge the issue on its merits, of course and as always.

And, of course and as always, they had to reflect on how their votes might affect them politically.

Congress Approves $16.3 Billion VA Health Care Bill

Jul 31, 2014

With a 91-3 vote in the Senate Thursday, Congress has passed a massive $16.3 billion bill to address problems with health care for veterans and other problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The bill now moves forward to the White House for President Obama's signature. The House voted overwhelmingly to approve the bill on Wednesday.

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