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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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This Rule Can Put You Out of Business
In a little more than six weeks, a new labor rule governing overtime pay for salaried workers is set to take effect.  Like many of his economic policies, this is another example of the President’s fundamental lack of understanding of the free market and the job killing aspects of overbearing federal regulations.  While he may think this new rule will result in a higher take home pay for middle class workers, it is more likely to force many workers to “punch a clock” and lose the flexibility that a salary provides.   Contrary to what this administration seems to believe, businesses, especially small businesses, are not charities. Entrepreneurs know that keeping up morale among their employees is essential to their success. But they also know that making a profit is as well. No profits mean fewer jobs and lower pay.   Current overtime rules require any salaried employee making less than $23,660 annually, or approximately $11.38 cents per hour based on a 40 hour week, to
Protecting Those Who Have Protected Us
One of our most sacred, if not the most sacred American holiday is Veteran’s Day – the day we honor those who have served to protect our nation, and especially those who have paid the ultimate price to defend and preserve our freedoms. Veteran's Day began as “Armistice Day” in 1919. For decades it has drawn crowds to the many military memorials scattered across our nation. In a time of division and acrimony in our nation’s political discourse, I believe that there is one unifying sentiment that will always endure – the determination to honor and support our the men and women who have fought to defend our country and protect our liberty. Our nation has experienced danger and threats throughout its history. Many wars have been fought, and sadly, many lives have been lost in the defense of freedom. In recent years Americans have witnessed a challenging security environment. At the same time, the federal government has fallen short in keeping its commitments to many of our tw
A Time to be Grateful
The past few weeks have brought profound and monumental change to the United States. While America remains a deeply divided country from a political standpoint, we all have many blessings to reflect upon – individually and collectively.  I know my family and I do.  Thanksgiving is a treasured time to gather with family and friends and to celebrate this time-honored American tradition.   Although the story of Thanksgiving that most Americans allude to involves the first colonists and Native Americans, the designation of celebrating this day as a federal holiday came over a century later. This national holiday received its first federal recognition from George Washington in 1789, as a day for Americans to show gratitude for the era of a new nation. Other presidents such as John Adams and James Madison also participated in proclaiming a “day of thanks.”   Thanksgiving did not become an official holiday until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it in 1863. President Lincoln
A Proud Heritage
The life and culture of our nation’s Native American tribes are written in nearly every chapter of America’s story. It is rich with the traditions, languages, changes, notable names, and much more. Although we honor those legacies and traditions this month, we remember the contributions that our Native American ancestors brought before us every day.     It is an honor and a privilege to be a member of the Chickasaw Nation, and a true blessing to have been surrounded by family members who were active in representing and preserving our heritage. My great, great grandfather served as the Chief Clerk of the Chickasaw Supreme Court, and my great-grandfather was the treasurer of the Chickasaw Nation. My great aunt Te Ata Thompson Fisher was a Native American storyteller and performer who had many opportunities to display her talents across the world, even for the President of the United States and the King and Queen of Great Britain. And I am most proud of my mother, Helen Cole, who

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