JAY, Okla. – An Oklahoma Congressman is facing backlash after he told the audience in a town hall that they do not pay his salary, KFOR-TV reports.
“You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bullcrap. I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got here and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go,” Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin was recorded telling the audience at a town hall in Jay, Okla.
In the video, you can hear several people object to Mullin’s statement.
“I’m just saying this is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living,” he replied.
The video of the exchange is spreading on social media.
A spokesperson for Mullin told the Tulsa World that the congressman was referring to the amount of money he pays in federal taxes for his several companies under the Mullin Plumbing umbrella.
“The congressman is referencing the federal taxes that he and his businesses have paid to the government over the years, prior to his being in office,” said Amy Lawrence. “Like all business owners, Congressman Mullin pays his taxes, which contribute to congressional salaries.”
In another video, Mullin is recorded saying, “I’m paying more taxes inside my company and personally than I’ll ever receive from Congress.”
“Due to safety concerns, tonight’s town hall in Tahlequah was cancelled,” Mullin said. “Over the past few weeks, we have seen an escalation of protesters at congressional town halls across the nation. We have even seen them right here in the Second District. I have continued to hold town halls and answer questions from constituents across the district, including those who have been vocal in their disapproval of my positions.”
“It is my intent to provide a safe environment for all attendees which is why we have established protocols at each of our town halls to ensure each person’s voice can be heard. Despite working with the venue, we could not reach an agreement using our protocols that guaranteed the safety of everyone, so I chose to cancel the town hall after much consideration. As soon as we can secure a new venue and date, we will reschedule the town hall in Tahlequah, OK,” Mullin concluded.
Earlier this month, Indivisible Oklahoma released a video of Mullin calling out a woman who was holding up red and green cards to express her agreement or displeasure with his statements.
Mullin reportedly held a town hall on Wednesday morning in Poteau.