House Transportation and Infrastructure Full Committee member Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 16, 2013,...
Carolyn Kaster

GOP rep asks constituents the wrong question at town-hall event

Why is it so important for members of Congress to hold town-hall events with their constituents? Because you just never know what they’ll end up saying.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) faced off with constituents at a town hall this week, telling the audience that they don’t pay his salary.

“You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bullcrap,” Mullin said at the town hall in Jay, Okla., according to a video of the incident.
A typical member of Congress receives an annual salary of $174,000 a year, financed entirely by taxpayers. As best as I can tell, the far-right Oklahoman does not forgo his compensation.

The Tulsa World, after speaking to the lawmaker’s office, reported that when Mullin said it’s “bullcrap” to believe taxpayers pay him to serve in Congress, what he meant was that he’s “paid more in federal income taxes than he’s received in congressional salary.”

Indeed, the rest of the video shows the congressman saying he’s paid his “own salary” through his taxes, adding, “No one here pays me to go.”

Whether folks in Oklahoma’s 2nd district will find this argument persuasive is unclear. (The fact that Mullin faced angry constituents is itself rather amazing: Oklahoma’s 2nd has a PVI of R+24, making it one of the most Republican congressional districts in the United States.)

And while it seems Markwayne Mullin’s talking points could use some help, he probably shouldn’t turn to his party’s leadership.
House Republicans are on a two-week recess, and while the GOP-controlled Congress hasn’t been able to push through any significant part of President Donald Trump’s agenda, the party has some talking points for its members as they travel their districts.

In a document sent to all House Republicans and obtained by The Huffington Post, the House GOP conference offers some tips on how to frame the past few less-than-spectacular months.
Among the things House Republicans are supposed to emphasize: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation, which the House had literally nothing to do with.

House Republicans, Markwayne Mullin and Oklahoma

GOP rep asks constituents the wrong question at town-hall event