U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Oklahoma's senior U.S. senator says the Republican Party's takeover of the Senate gives the GOP its best chance to push back against government regulations and ramp up military spending since Democratic President Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

OversightAndReform / Flickr Creative Commons

On Monday Oklahoma U.S. Sen.-elect James Lankford announced four committees he'll join when he moves across the U.S. Capitol from the House to the Senate next month.

Lankford has been appointed to the Senate Committees on Appropriation, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Indian Affairs.

U.S. Army Military Police escort a detainee to his cell in Camp X-Ray at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during in-processing to the temporary detention facility on Jan. 11, 2002.
Photographers Mate 1st Class Shane T. McCoy / U.S. Department of Defense

On Tuesday the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a 525-page report detailing the use of enhanced interrogation techniques against detainees in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This so-called torture report describes the CIA’s extensive waterboarding, rectal feeding, and up to 180 hours of forced sleep deprivation.

Democratic Challenger Matt Silverstein and Republican Senator Jim Inhofe.
Matt Silverstein for U.S. Senate web page; Senator Jim Inhofe, U.S. Congress

Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is a longtime fixture in Oklahoma politics and heavily favored to secure another six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

But Inhofe's 47 years of public service and time on the public payroll are exactly what Democratic nominee Matt Silverstein says is wrong with Washington.

Silverstein is a 34-year-old investment planner from Bixby who's criticizing Inhofe for refusing a public debate. 

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, talks with Chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware)
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee / Facebook

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says the federal government should have no role in the country's local and state police forces.

Homeland Security, Justice, and Defense department senior officials testified Tuesday before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee oversight hearing.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee is pushing to give the president authority to use all necessary force against Islamic state militants in Iraq and Syria.

Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is circulating a draft of a resolution to authorize military force and is seeking bipartisan support as Congress returns to Washington next week.

The resolution also forces the president to submit a strategy to Congress within 60 days on how to defeat the Islamic State group.

americanmajority.org

The dust still hasn't settled on Oklahoma's 2014 political landscape after U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn triggered a landslide within the state Republican Party with his announcement that he planned to forego his final two years in office.

All eyes are focused on whether Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon and first-term U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine decide to enter the race for Coburn's soon-to-be vacant seat.

Senate Democrats might introduce a measure to raise the debt ceiling, even as the debate over a spending bill to restart the federal government drags on.

The Associated Press reports:

It's Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, which puts us five days away from a possible federal-government shutdown that would begin Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a stop-gap spending bill.

So the drama in the Senate over the spending bill leads the day's interesting political items and features Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. At this writing, Cruz was in the last gasps of an anti-Obamacare talkathon. That's where we start:

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is part of a bipartisan group of eight senators announcing a deal that lets students avoid higher interest rates on federal loans.

The bipartisan group of senators on Thursday told reporters they've reached a compromise to lower the rates for students who borrow from the federal government.

The rates would be linked to financial markets, meaning interest rates would climb in coming years — but with a limit on how high the rates could be.

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