Tom Cole

Tom Cole

OKLAHOMA's 4th DISTRICT

A Common Patriotic Spirit

2015/07/03

This Independence Day, like all others, we are reminded that America’s story is still unlike any other. Each chapter written thus far in our history has revealed a common spirit of patriotism, ingenuity, perseverance and hope. That distinct American spirit is alive and well because of the countless men and women who dreamed of liberty, fought hard to secure it and resolved to preserve it.  

On the Fourth of July, we are grateful to celebrate another year as a nation, and we rightly remember those who, in response to abusive and tyrannical rule, set in motion the great American experiment. After failed efforts to peaceably resolve issues between the colonies and the British king, several brave individuals dared to lead a campaign for independence. The defining moment came on July 4, 1776 with the Declaration of Independence that founded the United States of America.   

However, British oppression did not end simply after the brave declaration penned by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Livingston. Other courageous individuals joined the fight to uphold American independence. During the Revolutionary War, much blood was shed on both sides. But determination and belief in the cause emboldened those brave American patriots to stop at nothing short of victory. Today, we get to enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices through the unique freedoms they envisioned for individuals and the system of government they established. Both have stood the test of time. 

Certainly, our beginnings were not easy, but favor and divine providence shone upon the United States. Two hundred thirty-nine years later, many other nations around the world admire all that we stand for and even seek to emulate it. Unfortunately, on our nation’s most precious day of celebration, we’re also aware that our enemies are numerous and eager to harm both us and our allies. When the terror alert is raised, it’s a sobering reminder that freedom is not free. The fight to preserve our freedoms and defend liberty must remain under our careful watch at all times. For our service members who have pledged their lives and those who lost their lives to protect what our Founders discovered, we are most grateful. 

Our story is still being written, and it will continue to be told. The United States of America was meant to be unique. When our Founders conceived the framework for a new nation 239 years ago, they grasped just how special America could be. Since then and over the course of different generations, 50 distinct yet unified states have joined in agreement. 

On this Independence Day, we give thanks to those who fought to establish our Republic, as well as those who have given their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to preserve it.  

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7TOO to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

7TOO (Lawton) will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into 7TOO at 12pm CT on June 28 to watch the show. 

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7TOO to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

7TOO (Lawton) will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into 7TOO at 12pm CT on June 14 to watch the show. 

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KSWO to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

KSWO will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into KSWO at 1pm CT on June 27 to watch the show. 

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KSWO to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

KSWO will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into KSWO at 1:30pm CT on June 20 to watch the show. 

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OETA to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

OETA will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into OETA's OKLA channel at 9:30am CT on July 30 to watch the show. 

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OETA to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

OETA will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into OETA's OKLA channel at 4pm CT on July 16 to watch the show. 

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OETA to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

OETA will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into OETA's OKLA channel at 7am CT on July 16 to watch the show. 

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OETA to air Cole on Congress

2015/06/30

OETA will air the latest episode of Cole on Congress, featuring Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) with guest Congressman Steve Russell (OK-05). Tune into OETA's MAIN channel at 3:30pm CT on July 5 to watch the show. 

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Grace in the Face of Tragedy

2015/06/29

Often when faced with heartbreaking circumstances or when tested by crisis, Americans come together to lend support and offer sympathy to their fellow Americans. That spirit of unity was recently demonstrated nationwide in the wake and aftermath of the deadly, racially-charged attack on church members at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Since that fateful day that claimed nine innocent lives at the historically black church’s Wednesday night Bible study, our country has come together in shock and extreme sorrow. Most notably, both the church members who survived the massacre and loved ones of those taken have instructed us through their unbelievable example to reject hate with love and forgiveness. This unlikely and unexpected testimony is one that reflects strength in faith.

Undoubtedly, the horrific act was committed in the name of evil by the shooter, and it has certainly served as an unfortunate reminder that we live in a fallen world that will always be tainted by evil. But instead of encouraging greater hate or causing others to lash out in similar acts of violence, the tragedy has stretched and strengthened people of faith and served as a remarkable demonstration of forgiveness. 

The response hasn’t ended with the church members. As images and information has surfaced on the shooter, including his embrace of white supremacism, government officials and business leaders have united in a common rejection of violence, racism and hate. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley asked for the Confederate flag, which flies on the grounds of the State Capitol, to be removed to a museum.  I believe this is an appropriate action. Even General Robert E. Lee himself wrote in a letter not long after the conclusion of the Civil War, “I think it wisest not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the example of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.”  

Predictably, the recent massacre has also reignited the tired old calls to increase regulations on law-abiding gun owners. However, I contend that tighter gun control would not have prevented the evil in the shooter’s soul nor his murderous intentions. Further, as the nation has noticed in other similar tragedies, sometimes the issue has more to do with mental instability, which is something that can be identified and treated. I wish that had been the case in Charleston, but to claim that gun use and ownership should be further limited is a hasty judgment call to make and punishes countless law-abiding citizens in the process. Most Americans understand that guns are tools that must be used responsibly and for self-protection of our own loved ones. Even more importantly, the language of the Second Amendment is clear and unambiguous, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Circumstances like these don’t make sense and can never be explained. But certainly, the congregation and entire community in Charleston have risen to confront hate with love and evil with grace. In the midst of this terrible tragedy, I can’t help but remember a passage in Scripture that seems to reflect the mood and same strength of those hurting in Charleston. In Genesis 50:20, after Joseph was reunited with his brothers who intended only evil for his life, he responded with the same resolution, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.” It is difficult to understand how anything good can come from the unspeakable act of terror committed by a truly evil man. Remarkably, however, those closest to the tragedy itself are the ones who give us a glimmer of hope that it will.

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Rep. Cole on LHHS Appropriations: "We set priorities and made tough choices"

2015-06-25 03:52:29


Rep. Cole discusses TPA and TPP on WTOP Radio

2015-06-24 20:20:15


Rep. Cole on Interior Appropriations: "Helps some constituencies historically overlooked"

2015-06-24 19:34:02


Rep. Cole: "The power here is what bothers me the most"

2015-06-23 03:13:56


Rep. Cole: "Intelligence is as much an art as it is a science"

2015-06-23 03:13:23


Rep. Cole offers amendment to Interior Appropriations for FY16

2015-06-23 02:57:43


Rep. Cole supports Interior Appropriations bill for FY16

2015-06-23 02:57:26


Rep. Cole remarks during Rules consideration of Trade Promotion Authority

2015-06-12 13:49:28


Rep. Cole: "WCF employees are already fully funded"

2015-06-11 18:50:08


Rep. Cole on McGovern amendment: "Offered in good faith"

2015-06-10 02:52:52


Rep. Cole: "Ensure our military have everything they need to be successful"

2015-06-10 02:49:57


Rep. Cole on BLS Jobs Report: "Still have underutilization of the labor force"

2015-06-05 13:30:48


Rep. Cole: "We have unique fiscal challenges that transcend our predecessors"

2015-06-03 15:32:10


Rep. Cole supports Commodity End-User Relief Act in Rules Committee

2015-06-02 23:50:21


Rep. Cole supports THUD & CJS spending bills in Rules Committee

2015-06-02 20:30:03


Rep. Cole: "We all represent men and women in the National Guard"

2015-06-02 19:38:01


Rep. Cole supports Lee Amendment to Defense spending bill

2015-06-02 19:36:33


Rep. Cole: “Waiting around last year was a disincentive to economic growth"

2015-05-20 04:26:42


Rep. Cole: “EPSCoR is a critical program to smaller states”

2015-05-20 03:45:32


Rep. Cole on NDAA: "Defense shouldn't be caught in budget battle"

2015-05-15 22:39:27


Contact Information

2458 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6165
Fax 202-225-3512
cole.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Budget

Appropriations

Rules

Currently serving in his seventh term, Tom Cole was elected to Congress in 2002. Identified by Time Magazine as “one of the sharpest minds in the House,” Cole is an advocate for a strong national defense, a tireless advocate for taxpayers and small businesses, and a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. Cole was named as one of the “Five Freshmen to Watch” by Roll Call at the outset of his congressional career.

Since 2009, Cole has served on the powerfulHouse Appropriations Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education); he is also assigned to the Subcommittees on Defense and Interior.

For the third consecutive Congress, Cole was reappointed to the House Budget Committee in 2015 as one of the three members of the majority party who also sits on the Appropriations Committee. He is currently considered the Senior Appropriator on the panel.

In 2013, Cole was appointed to serve on the House Rules Committee. In addition, Congressman Cole serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference and is a member of the Republican Steering Committee.

In October 2013, he was appointed by Speaker Boehner and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan to serve as one of four House Republicans on a House-Senate joint budget conference committee that negotiated a bipartisan budget deal for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

Tom Cole has a significant background of service to his home state of Oklahoma. He has served as the State Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, District Director to former Congressman Mickey Edwards, a member of the Oklahoma State Senate and as Oklahoma’s Secretary of State. In this capacity he served as former Governor Frank Keating’s chief legislative strategist and liaison to the state’s federal delegation. Keating tapped Cole to lead Oklahoma’s successful effort to secure federal funds to assist in the rebuilding of Oklahoma City in the wake of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19,1995.

Cole is widely regarded as one of the GOP’s top political strategists. He served as Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 1992 cycle. He also served as the Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee during the historic 2000 cycle in which Republicans won the presidency, the Senate and the House for the first time in 48 years. In the 2008 cycle, Cole served as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Cole is a founding partner and past president of CHS & Associates, a nationally recognized political consulting and survey research firm based in Oklahoma City. The firm has been named one of the top 20 in its field and has literally dozens of past and current clients scattered across the country.

A former college instructor in history and politics, Cole holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, an M.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Cole has been a Thomas Watson Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London. He serves on the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, as well as the national board of the Fulbright Association. He is also a member of the Congressional Advisory Board to the Aspen Institute.

Tom Cole is a fifth generation Oklahoman and an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. He is currently one of the only Native Americans serving in Congress. He was awarded the Congressional Leadership award by the National Congress of American Indians in 2007 and 2011 and was inducted in the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2004. Cole’s late mother, Helen, is also a member of the Chickasaw Hall of Fame and served as a state representative, state senator and the Mayor of Moore in her native state of Oklahoma. Cole’s late father, John, served 20 years in the United States Air Force and worked an additional two decades as a civilian federal employee at Tinker Air Force Base.

Tom and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.


Serving With

Jim Bridenstine

OKLAHOMA's 1st DISTRICT

Markwayne Mullin

OKLAHOMA's 2nd DISTRICT

Frank Lucas

OKLAHOMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Steve Russell

OKLAHOMA's 5th DISTRICT

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