Oklahoma’s two tribal member congressmen, Markwayne Mullin and Tom Cole, endorsed the Trump administration’s initiative for addressing the growing problem of missing and murdered indigenous people.

“The silent crisis of missing and murdered indigenous persons is wreaking havoc on our families and our communities,” said Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation. “All parties have to work together to fight back against this epidemic of violence and this national strategy is a step in the right direction.”

“For far too long, predators have preyed on Indian Country, especially on Native women and vulnerable children,” said Cole, a Chickasaw citizen. “By improving coordination and strengthening the partnership between federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies, we can indeed make communities safer and bring criminals to justice across Indian Country.”

The initiative places program coordinators in 11 states, including Oklahoma, to oversee investigations of murdered and missing indigenous people.

Middle East: A top level lobbying firm has been hired to fight legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. James Lankford, according to the news site AL-Monitor.

Lankford’s bill would make it easier for victims of terrorism and their families to recover damages from the governing authority of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The bill is backed by an Israeli organization called Shurat HaDin.

AL-Monitor reported the Palestinian Authority, or PA, hired the firm Patton Boggs to lobby against Lankford’s bill and for a House alternative.

The Lankford bill would make the Palestinian Authority subject to U.S. courts if its officials enter the United States or maintains virtually any kind of presence in the U.S., or if it assists Palestinians convicted of killing American citizens.

The bill also pressures the PA to withdraw from United Nations agencies, seek membership in new U.N. agencies or provide funding to any Palestinian convicted of killing a U.S. citizen.

Spencer firing: U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, backed Defense Secretary Mike Esper’s and President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Navy Secretary Richard Spencer last week.

Spencer opposed Trump’s push to reinstate a Navy SEAL acquitted of murdering a civilian but guilty of having his picture taken with the body.

“Both Secretary Esper and President Trump deserve to have a leadership team who has their trust and confidence,” Inhofe told American Military News.

Inhofe has been critical of Spencer’s leadership in general.

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— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World

Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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