For Congress Freshman, First Six Months Teach Patience

Jun 21, 2013

Credit Smithsonian Institution

If there’s one thing Markwayne Mullin has figured out during his first six months in congress, it’s that even after 18-hour days of meetings, hearings and study sessions, he may still feel like he accomplished little.

Host Dick Gordon is following Mullin, a Republican congressman representing eastern Oklahoma, during his freshman term in the U.S. House of Representatives. In this conversation, Mullin talks about visiting tornado-devastated Moore, Okla., about advocating for the Keystone Pipeline XL, which he says creates jobs in his district, and about the things he can’t strike off his check list every day.

"I look back and I think, 'What did I get accomplished today? I didn’t get a single thing checked off my list,'" he says in the interview. "We had to refocus and realize that there is no short-term gains here. Everything is long term."

Hear the full conversation on The Story's website. Also in this show: Carlos Martinez, an immigrant who got a work permit for the first time last year, has finally been able to find a job using his computer engineering degree; Sara Isaacson, an ROTC Cadet dismissed from service because she came out as lesbian, talks about how the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” allowed her to return to service; two months before his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Great March to Freedom in Detroit; and in 1896, Williams Jennings Bryan gave one of the greatest speeches in American politics.