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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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Our Rights Must Not Depend on Flawed Government Lists
As Americans, our Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee us certain unalienable rights that are the foundation of a free society. Common sense dictates, however, that individuals who perpetrate acts of terror against their fellow citizens must necessarily forfeit some of those rights.  But we as a society should be very hesitant to encroach on any American’s constitutional rights simply because their name shows up on some list of suspected wrongdoers.   The United States was permanently changed when the terrorist attacks happened on September 11, 2001, and it altered how our government responded to threats against Americans at home or abroad. President Bush established the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that the U.S. is adequately prepared when safeguarding our borders and our citizens. In addition, the FBI and the Justice Department stepped up their security practices, and introduced new ways to screen potential terrorists and thwart potential acts of terror before
Books I'm Reading: July 2016
As an eternal learner, I am constantly reading. I invite you each month to follow along with what I'm currently reading or check back periodically for hand-picked selections of my favorites. Here's what I'm reading this month: On My Desk The Long Game by Senator Mitch McConnell
The Atlantic: Another Step Forward for National Institutes of Health Funding
The Atlantic - Nora Kelly   Following in their Senate colleagues’ footsteps, a House subcommittee signed off on a budget increase for the National Institutes of Health Thursday. The increases for fiscal-year 2017 confirm lawmakers’ public pledges to establish a pattern of improved budgets for the agency, which before last year saw more than a decade of flat funding.   The House figure—$1.25 billion, for a total agency budget of $33.3 billion—is lower than the Senate’s $2 billion allocation, and lawmakers will eventually negotiate a final budget number in the months to come. But Representative Tom Cole, who heads the labor and health and human services subcommittee that proposed the increase, said he’s willing to go higher. “I view the mark we set forth today as a floor, not as a ceiling, for biomedical-research funding, and I’m hopeful this number can increase as the process moves forward,” Cole said.   It wouldn’t be the first time House lawmakers agre
The Hill: GOP backs new fund for public health
The Hill - Sarah Ferris With Congress remains deadlocked over funding to fight the Zika virus, senior GOP leaders are working to head off yet another big public health funding fight.  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and others for weeks behind the scenes have been working on legislation to create an emergency fund for public health crises. They call it “FEMA for public health,” a reference to the Federal Emergency Management Agency that helps communities hurt by disasters. The creation of the reserve fund was unveiled this week in a GOP health spending bill. It would contain $300 million to tackle crises like Zika and Ebola, and would give the administration's top disease control official “immediate access” to the money. Rogers said he’s talked at length over the idea with Tom Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I've talked to him again about this, along with the leader in

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