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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Cole Remarks before 2015 State of the Union Address

January 20, 2015
Speech

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) offered remarks from his Washington, D.C. office before attending President Obama's State of the Union address:

Tonight, we’ll be watching the State of the Union, and there is a great deal of anticipation about what the president might propose to the country. However, unlike past State of the Union addresses the president has actually tipped his hand a lot more than most previous presidents have. 

There are certainly going to be some areas where perhaps the two sides can work together. Trade is probably the foremost amongst them, but all of us would like to see our infrastructure needs met. And I think there is genuine bipartisan consensus that ISIL and some of the problems we are seeing in the Middle East continue to be dangerous for the United States, and I would expect cooperation in those areas. 

However, the president has also floated out some ideas that are clearly nonstarters with this Congress. The first is a massive tax increase, that’s really aimed at redistributing wealth from one group of people to another group of people. Now if the president were making some proposals to fix the Social Security Disability Fund—which is about to go bankrupt—or to fund the transportation fund—which is needed to build roads and infrastructure in the country—or to put us on a long-term path toward fiscal solvency, then I think he would meet with much warmer reception and a much more willing congress to sit down and bargain with him. But if the idea that the next two years is simply going to be about raising taxes so that we can spend more money in Washington, D.C. at the expense our constituents, that’s simply not going to fly. 

So again, as always I look forward hearing from any president of the United States. I expect the president to get a polite reception, but I think Congress is going to be awfully cool to some of his proposals.

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Contact: Sarah Corley (202) 225-6165