Apparently Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) needs a refresher on how the American government works.
During a heated exchange at a town hall meeting on Tuesday in Jay, Oklahoma, he told angry taxpayers that the idea that they pay his salary is "bullcrap."
“You say you pay for me to do this. Bullcrap. I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got there and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go,” he said in a video that has since gone viral.
Several audience members took issue with his claim, but he continued:
"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.”
Following the public's backlash, a spokesperson for Mullin told the Tulsa World that he didn't mean it quite like it sounded and that he was merely referring to the taxes he paid as a private citizen of the United States and as the owner of several successful plumbing companies. Federal filings show that Mullin made $610,000 in 2015.
“Like all business owners," the spokesperson said, "Congressman Mullin pays his taxes, which contribute to congressional salaries.”
Mullins joined Congress in 2012 and has won his past two elections in Oklahoma's second district with 70 percent of the vote, raising over $600,00 in the 2015-16 election cycle.
However, despite his popularity, he has faced backlash at recent town halls like many other GOP congressmen. In response to the increasingly tense climate between constituents and their representatives, Mullin announced Tuesday night that he was canceling future meetings, which was met with boos from the crowd.
Due to safety concerns, tonight's town hall meeting at Sequoyah HS has been cancelled. We will reschedule for another time for Cherokee Co.— Markwayne Mullin (@RepMullin) April 11, 2017
His announcement was not only poorly met but poorly timed at just hours before the meeting was set to begin, so many people had already begun to arrive. He subsequently hosted several town halls on Wednesday.
So, just so we are all clear (Mullin, pay attention):
Per the United States Constitution, taxpayers fund the U.S. Treasury from which Congress allots salaries to its members. So no, the idea that constituents pay Mullin's salary is not "bullcrap." It's fact.