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Tom Cole

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The U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district, serving since 2003.
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ENG: Thomas Jeffery Cole (born April 28, 1949) is the U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a Deputy Minority Whip. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) from 2006 to 2008, he was, during his tenure, the fourth-ranking Republican leader in the House. As of 2010, Cole—a member of the Chickasaw Nation—is the only registered Native American in Congress. Early life, education, and educating career Although born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Cole is a fifth-generation Oklahoman, having been raised in Moore, Oklahoma. He graduated from Grinnell College in 1971 with a B.A. in history. His postgraduate degrees include an M.A. from Yale University (1974) and a ...
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Cole Statement on Defense Strategy Announcement

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Obama announced new defense strategy priorities in remarks at the Pentagon: "These changes will make America weaker, not stronger. We are cutting defense spending and the size of our armed forces because the Obama administration is overspending in other areas, not because we have a military that is too large or overfunded. "We still live in a very dangerous world that won't be safer with fewer American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Moreover, the reductions in the size of our ground forces will force the United ...

Congressman Tom Cole Weighs in on Health Care, Troop Surge

Dozens of Oklahomans weighed in on issues from health care to soldiers overseas at a town hall meeting Saturday inChickasha with Representative Tom Cole. Cole gave his views on the current happenings in Washington during a town hall meeting Saturday and said as a former college instructor, he would give the Administration a "D" if he had to grade their progress when it comes to hot topics from the war to health care. Cole said when the House narrowly passed the landmark health care bill last month, health care reform took a giant step backward. "I think what we have is still not acceptable ...

Cole Statement on Keystone Pipeline Announcement

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the White House announced it is rejecting plans to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline: "President Obama's decision to block the Keystone pipeline is indefensible. This is a purely political move that puts the president's campaign ahead of the urgent need to create American jobs. Years of extensive study show that Keystone will be just as environmentally safe as the many other pipelines already crisscrossing the nation. ... Source: cole.house.gov

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Negotiating with Terrorists
It has been a longstanding policy of the United States that we will not negotiate with terrorists and we will not pay ransom money to free hostages. The reasons for this policy are obvious; paying ransoms incentivizes the taking of more hostages. U.S. presidents for decades have recognized this policy and adhered to it - until this president.   As we have learned over the last several weeks, the Obama administration paid Iran $400 million in pallets of foreign currency – supposedly to pay them back for an arms deal in the late 1970’s that the United States had negotiated with the Shah of Iran when they were considered a friendly ally. Not surprisingly, when the Shah was overthrown and the Islamic Revolutionaries took over the country and seized 52 American hostages, that arms deal was negated and diplomatic relations between our two countries were severed.   Unbelievably, we have since learned that the Obama administration has also paid Iran $1.3 billion dollars in 13 separ
Unfinished Business
It’s been a great month in the Fourth District, and I enjoyed updating everyone with the work we’re doing in DC. And now it’s time to continue our work and get back to some unfinished business. As the Members of Congress descend back to Washington, we’re aware that there are things we’ve got to do, and there’s no time to waste in completing our tasks. From battling Zika to funding the government, everyone on both sides of the aisle have got some things to prioritize.   Unfortunately, in the height of the summer heat, Democrats in the Senate left our nation in a health crisis. More than $1.1 billion of funding was pushed from the House to the Senate to kick-start the long fight against Zika. Out of punitive concern over certain segments of a comprehensive funding bill, the Democrats have repeatedly blocked any money going towards Zika. And not only have they blocked Zika funding, they have also blocked funding for our veterans and military projects. This bill is still cr
Protecting All of Our Borders
Every day, our nation faces new threats from enemies at home and abroad, and we rely on our government to identify and deter these threats before they come to fruition. How strongly we respond to these threats is up to our nation’s leaders - particularly our Commander in Chief. The past fifteen years have seen some of the most unbelievable acts of terror, and some of the biggest changes to our country’s national defense and foreign policy in modern history. And in these dangerous times we cannot lead from behind, we cannot turn a blind eye to the realities of the world and we cannot ignore our unique role in securing the peace.   In order to protect our homeland it is necessary that we fight the enemy before they reach our shores. Today, we need to protect every border we have – from our physical borders to our technological borders. And in order to do so, we must be prepared. Our country and its leaders need to take significant steps to ensure that every tool and resource we
Obamacare Is A Money Pit
When Obamacare was created, it was sold to the American people as a new plan to both lower health costs and expand access. Six years later, many Americans have faced and continue to face outrageous premiums and deductibles.  Instead of expanding competition and access, the recent announcement that Aetna would be withdrawing from Obamacare on the heels of United’s announcement that they would also be withdrawing from the exchanges should force us to reevaluate whether, in fact, Obamacare is everything it was promised, particularly from a financial perspective.   In Oklahoma, families have faced massive rate increases, thanks to Obamacare. In 2015, the average premium increase for a policy was 12.2 percent—but that was with 4 carriers in the marketplace.  In 2016, because of the rationing of care, the increased bureaucratic morass and additional mandates, and the outrageous costs, half of the insurers exited the marketplace, leaving two insurers, and Oklahomans with an average 3

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