Chris Casteel
Local News Washington Bureau

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where The Oklahoman has had a full-time bureau for more than 70 years. While there, Casteel has covered Oklahoma people and issues in Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and federal agencies and courts in the Washington area. He reported on the Anita Hill hearings, the impeachment and trial of former President Bill Clinton, the federal investigation of former state Sen. Gene Stipe and numerous elections. He has been to 11 national political conventions and five presidential inaugurations.


  • Oklahoma Sen. Inhofe meets with VA nominee

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Feb 10, 2016

    Sen. Jim Inhofe did not get a commitment from Veterans Affairs inspector general nominee Michael Missal in seeking a joint investigation of Oklahoma's VA centers, but Missal gave his word to look into the situation.

  • Oklahoma congressman says President Obama needs funding source for budget proposals

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Feb 9, 2016

    Rep. Tom Cole, an influential voice in spending on health and medical research, said President Barack Obama should come up with a way to pay for his new budget proposals, including one to expand treatment for people addicted to opioids.

  • Oklahoma state senator stumping for Rubio in New Hampshire

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Mon, Feb 8, 2016

    WASHINGTON _ Oklahoma state Sen. David Holt, an Oklahoma City Republican, traveled through snowy New Hampshire on Monday to give Florida Sen. Marco Rubio some last-minute support before Tuesday's presidential primaries. In a telephone interview on Monday afternoon, Holt said he had been to four towns, enough to get a flavor of the "remarkable intimacy" that few states see in presidential campaigning. Holt, who is state chairman of Rubio's campaign, said it wasn't clear whether the senator's stumbles in Saturday's debate _ his repetition of lines attacking Obama, even when it was off topic _ would hurt him at the polls on Tuesday. He said voters may not have considered it as important as the media in the first place.

  • Hillary Clinton criticizes proposed Oklahoma abortion petition

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Feb 8, 2016

    Maya Harris, a senior adviser to tHillary Clinton's presidential campaign, said Clinton “believes Oklahoma women have a constitutional right to safe, legal abortion and to contraception, and they deserve to be able to make their health care decisions without interference from government or extreme special interest groups.”

  • Legal costs are highlight of U.S. Rep. Steve Russell's campaign debt

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Feb 7, 2016

    The legal bills, paid to a Washington, D.C., firm in late December, were part of a campaign finance report that showed U.S. Rep. Steve Russell, R-Choctaw, still struggling to erase the debt from his first U.S. House race two years ago.

  • 3 questions ahead of the eighth Republican debate

    Juliana Keeping,Chris Casteel | Updated: Sat, Feb 6, 2016

    As they take the stage, GOP hopefuls have roughly 72 hours before New Hampshire voters cast ballots in the state's primary. Here's what we're wondering ahead of the showdown.  Is this going to be a circular firing squad? You can think of reasons why each might want to attack any or all opponents. Look for Donald Trump and Ben Carson to attack Iowa winner Ted Cruz; Chris Christie and Jeb Bush to attack moderate-with-momentum Marco Rubio; and John Kasich -- well, shucks, it’s hard to imagine Kasich attacking anyone. The stakes in Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire are incredibly high; some people who have been campaigning for many months won’t be able to continue

  • Enrollment for Affordable Care Act surges in Oklahoma, across nation

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    By the Feb. 1 deadline, 145,329 Oklahomans had signed up for a plan, compared to 126,115 who had coverage in 2015, new Department of Health and Human Services figures show.

  • Is Obama's plan for oil tax over a barrel?

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Feb 4, 2016

    GOP lawmakers from Oklahoma and House Speaker say the proposal is DOA.

  • 4 questions ahead of the Democratic Debate in New Hampshire

    Juliana Keeping,Chris Casteel | Updated: Wed, Feb 3, 2016

    Surprise! MSNBC will host a last-minute primary debate Thursday between a pared-down field of contenders. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go head to head after Monday’s Iowa caucus carnage rendered former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s campaign dead in a snowbank. The MSNBC-hosted debate begins at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time Thursday at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. You can watch MSNBC on channel 42 for Cox subscribers and 215 for AT&T U-verse customers. You can watch the live stream of the debate on NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com. NBC will have real-time analysis and reactions at decision2016.nbcnews.com. The debate will

  • Fortunate future: Fort Sill will see some gains, fewer cuts than other installations

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    Fort Sill, the U.S. Army artillery post in southwest Oklahoma, is expected to trim civilian jobs and some military positions but still have a net gain of more than 400 active-duty military personnel by the end of next year.

  • Fort Sill to gain positions under Army restructuring

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    WASHINGTON _ Fort Sill, the U.S. Army artillery post in southwest Oklahoma, will once again gain jobs while many other bases are downsizing, according to officials at the post and on Capitol Hill. Over the next two years, restructuring will mean a gain of roughly 400 positions. As of today, the Army expects to cut 290 civilian jobs and 116 military positions at the post. However, there will be a gain of 834 active duty military connected to other missions. Fort Sill officials announced Tuesday that they are using guidance from the Army to plan for the next decade. Training in field artillery and air defense artillery is conducted at the base, and artillery units are stationed there. Sen.

  • Sen. Jim Inhofe blocks nominee to force action at Oklahoma veterans hospitals

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Feb 2, 2016

    Unhappy with problems and a lack of progress at Oklahoma veterans hospitals, Sen. Jim Inhofe on Monday said he is blocking Senate consideration of a key nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Inhofe said he won't allow a vote until the VA makes a commitment to Oklahomans.

  • Former Oklahoma Gov. Keating endorses Jeb Bush for president

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Feb 1, 2016

    Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating was an early backer of former President George W. Bush, brother of Jeb Bush, and also worked at the Justice Department and at Housing and Urban Development under former President George H.W. Bush, Jeb Bush’s father.

  • Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe heads to Iowa to stump for Rubio

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, Jan 31, 2016

    U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was born in Iowa and lived there until his father moved the family briefly to Illinois and then to Oklahoma. He is returning to the state of his birth Monday to urge Iowans to cast their GOP presidential caucus ballot for Sen. Marco Rubio.

  • Inhofe heading to his first home state to help Rubio

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Sun, Jan 31, 2016

    WASHINGTON _ The Inhofe family connection to Iowa goes back more than a century, when members of the clan left Germany and settled in the Cass County towns of Cumberland and Anita. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was born in Iowa and lived there until his father moved the family briefly to Illinois and then to Oklahoma _ Tulsa, to be exact. The 81-year-old Republican has been there ever since. He is returning to the state of his birth on Monday to urge Iowans to cast their GOP presidential caucus ballot for Sen. Marco Rubio, a 44-year-old Cuban American from Miami. "It'll be kind of fun," Inhofe said Sunday, after describing his task for the Cedar Rapids polling place as giving the same speech every few minutes for three hours.

  • Juvenile sentencing decision unlikely to have Oklahoma impact

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccdcbureau@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Jan 31, 2016

    The U.S. Supreme Court last week made retroactive their 2012 decision banning mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder.

  • Bush, Cruz organizations investing dollars ahead of Oklahoma primary

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sun, Jan 31, 2016

    A check of Oklahoma TV station records and FEC reports shows only the Super PACs for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz have put advertising dollars into the Sooner state.

  • Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford wants Andrew Jackson off $20 bill

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Jan 30, 2016

    Oklahoma's freshman U.S. Sen. James Lankford has introduced legislation to take President Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill because of Jackson's Indian removal policy of the early 1800s.

  • 4 questions ahead of the Republican debate

    Juliana Keeping,Chris Casteel | Updated: Thu, Jan 28, 2016

    Another Republican debate is upon us.  You can catch the Fox News and Google-hosted showdown at 8 p.m. CDT. That's channel 44 for Cox cable subscribers or channel 210 for AT&T U-verse customers in the Oklahoma City metro. The debate is also streaming on Fox News Radio (find your station here) and Fox News Mobile. The debate will stream for anyone with an Internet connection at FoxNews.com.

  • History teacher to challenge Cole for 4th Congressional District seat

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jan 25, 2016

    Republican James Taylor, an Oklahoma City middle school history teacher says incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Cole is too liberal for the 4th Congressional District, which includes Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill. Taylor, 57, lives in Norman.





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