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Oklahoma lawmakers' phone lines far less busy on second day of shutdown

Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, says call volume dropped considerably on Wednesday, while Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, said it was “extremely quiet.”
by Chris Casteel Modified: October 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm •  Published: October 3, 2013

/articleid/3889130/1/pictures/2228711">Photo - Rep. Markwayne Mullin <strong> - U.S. House Photo</strong>
Rep. Markwayne Mullin - U.S. House Photo

Sen. Tom Coburn's offices received a normal rate of calls, according to an aide, with the majority expressing opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Coburn, R-Muskogee, who never backed the strategy of trying to defund Obamacare through a must-pass spending bill, said Wednesday that he didn't think House Republicans should relent now. Both sides, he said, need some way to save face.

“My hope would be that common sense and leadership and compromise solves the problem,” Coburn said.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, held a telephone town hall meeting Tuesday night with residents of his district. Out of more than a dozen calls, only one challenged his position that changes should be made to the health care law as a condition for reopening the government.

Many of the rest praised him and expressed concern that Republicans would back down.

“It's really not hard to stay strong,” Bridenstine responded. “It would be surprising to see the Republicans cave on something so simple” — asking Democrats to negotiate.

Heading back to his office Wednesday after a round of votes on a Republican effort to fund some agencies, Mullin said both sides bear some of the blame and that he didn't know which would blink first.

“Both sides can't give anymore because their whole objective is to make the other side look bad,” he said.

by Chris Casteel
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...
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