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Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas: Time For Him To Go

Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas (R) has been in Congress far too long.  After nineteen years representing the largest district in Oklahoma, it is time for him to go.  His spending has become out of control and his voting record has become abysmally liberal.  His score on the Heritage Action for America’s legislative scorecard is even worse than last year and few Republicans managed to score lower than Lucas.

As House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Lucas supported the failed farm bill and urged it be passed, despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office projected it to cost $973 billion, which is more than a 50 percent increase from the 2008 bill. And how much of this $973 billion would go towards actual farmers?  Less than twenty percent.  Nearly eighty percent of the failed farm bill’s spending was to go toward the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the nice way of saying welfare and food stamps. 

So why did Lucas support this bill and urge it be passed?  For the same reason he did last time: subsidies.  As Chairman of the Ag Committee Lucas has become the king of farm subsidies.  My post about him more than a year ago outlines this in detail.  The small portion of the failed farm bill that was to go toward actual farmers was mostly farm subsidies and crop insurance subsidies, both of which are riddled with outrageous price forecasts and insurance programs that ship billions overseas to foreign insurance companies. The taxpayer funded crop insurance programs allow farmers to take larger risks when growing crops since they don’t bear the full cost of that risk.  Your tax dollars go to insurance companies in Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Japan to pay for that risk. 

Lucas is beginning to feel the heat for his spending.  At a town hall meeting in Skiatook, OK on Monday this week he was chastised for the bill by some attendees and told, “If you want the conservative Republican vote, you need to come forward with a conservative Republican bill.”  He lashed out at this and said he is being targeted by Heritage Action.  “They are coming after me… They don’t necessarily want a Republican president or a Republican Congress… They made more money when Pelosi was speaker…  It’s a business.”

Heritage Action has been running radio ads targeting Lucas and correctly labeling the farm bill to be a very expensive food stamp bill.  In addition, the Club for Growth Action group has a website targeting Lucas and nine other Representatives for replacement.  The voting record they show for Lucas would make any Democrat proud.

Frank Lucas has been representing Oklahoma in Congress since 1994, when he was part of Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America.  It was an exciting time when the Republicans took control of the House, but Lucas has outstayed his usefulness.  A voting record that could easily be thought to be that of a Democrat when viewed with no identifiers means Lucas is no longer good for Oklahoma, or for the nation. 

One year ago in Oklahoma, incumbent Congressman John Sullivan lost in the Republican primary to tea party-backed Jim Bridenstine (100% score from Heritage Action).  Next year the same fate should befall Frank Lucas.  It is time for him to go.


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