An Oklahoma congressman is facing scrutiny after a video posted Monday showed him telling constituents at a town hall that they do not pay his salary.
“You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bull crap. I pay for myself,” Rep. Markwayne Mullin told constituents at a town hall in Jay, Oklahoma. 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.”
“Pays you to go where?” a constituent objected.
“This is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living,” Mullin responded.
“Oh please, then don’t run,” a constituent said.
CNN has reached out to Mullin’s office for additional comment. A spokesperson for Mullin told the Tulsa World the congressman was referring to federal taxes he pays for his privately owned companies, which include a plumbing business and a ranch.
“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,” a spokesperson for Mullin told the publication. “Like all business owners, Congressman Mullin pays his taxes, which contribute to congressional salaries.”
This is yet another episode in a string of contentious GOP town halls that have taken place while Congress has been on recess. When pressed by constituents, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman called for White House press secretary Sean Spicer to resign for saying Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad ‘s actions were worse than Adolf Hitler’s.
On Monday, South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson, who famously shouted “you lie” during President Obama’s 2009 address to Congress, had to wait 30 seconds for crowd chants of “you lie” to die down after Wilson told the crowd he had supported the local solicitor in an effort to make sure that those who commit violence against women are prosecuted. Wilson voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.