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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Defense and National Security

Congress has no greater responsibility than to provide our military with the training and resources it needs to meet the growing security challenges around the world. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I am a champion for a strong national defense and returning fiscal discipline to the Pentagon. I support a strong military and believe one of my greatest responsibilities is to support a force postured to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

A long-term debt reduction plan remains the most divisive and elusive issue before Congress. In the face of unprecedented budgetary and fiscal challenges, I firmly believe that a broader discussion and debate must take place that includes Medicare and Social Security in the conversation. It is imperative that Congress confront the difficult budget decisions now, so that national security programs can continue to be funded at a level that ensures our armed forces are trained and equipped to meet any number of growing national security threats facing the United States.

Supporting our National Guard and Reserves

The National Guard provides a broad range of capabilities and is essential to our war fighting strategy. The Guard participates in exercises with allied forces, serves as the first line of defense for threats to the homeland and responds to disasters. The Reserves provide operational flexibility and strategic depth to combatant commanders as a key part of our national security architecture. As world events require, the Guard and Reserve will have a long and enduring role. I support fairness in pay and benefits for all Guard and Reserve members, their families and retirees as they continue to play an essential role as part of the Total Force.  

Strengthening Fort Sill

Located right in the Fourth District, Fort Sill is the largest field artillery complex in the world. Home to the primary training facility for field artillery Soldiers and Marines, worldwide, the Field Artillery School trains approximately 9,000 students a year in basic combat, one-station unit training and advanced individual training. The Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Branch returned to Fort Sill from Fort Bliss more than 10 years ago and is an integral part of the Fort Sill community. Designated as the Fires Center of Excellence for the Army, soldiers and leaders are trained and educated in Fires readiness and joint operations. I will continue to support efforts to ensure the Fires community has the equipment, tools and infrastructure necessary to develop the right mix of capabilities for the future. During my tenure in Congress, Fort Sill has become the home of air defense artillery. This new mission has brought 2,500 new soldiers to Fort Sill and led to more than a billion dollars in new funding. 

To find more information about Fort Sill please visit sill-www.army.mil.

Strengthening Tinker Air Force Base

Tinker Air Force Base is the home to six major Department of Defense, Air Force and Navy activities with critical national defense missions. With more than 26,000 military and civilian employees, Tinker is the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma and has a $3.6 billion economic impact on the state's economy each year.   

The complex is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of a myriad of Air Force and Navy airborne accessory components. In addition, work at Tinker includes the development, sustainment and testing of operational flight programs, test program sets, test equipment and industrial automation software. 

Recent improvements in manufacturing and quality control have made Tinker a nationwide leader in innovation. Resulting cost savings and increased capacity will allow Tinker to do even more work for the Air Force and other customers. Tinker has been a preeminent lead in its use of LEAN and Six Sigma Process Reform, which has greatly increased the utilization of depot capabilities. Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked with Tinker to ensure it has the resources needed to continually reform and rethink its depot maintenance process and adapt to the changing demands of an aging fleet. To find more information about Tinker AFB, visit tinker.af.mil.

More on Defense and National Security

June 22, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Representatives Tom Cole (OK-04) and Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. Air Force and Boeing announced their respective agreement for the first KC-46 Tanker delivery in October 2018. Altus Air Force Base, in Lucas’ district, will be one of the first military installations to receive a delivery.
 
May 30, 2018 Weekly Columns

With global threats from our near competitors and great-state adversaries, improving our military’s readiness could not come at a more critical time.  Congress is committed to funding improved maintenance, readiness, and personnel accounts while providing key oversight on near and long-term procurement programs to build a modern force.  After years of budgetary dysfunction, we must recapitalize our military and ensure it remains a superior and effective fighting force across all domains anywhere in the world.

May 24, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. It passed in the House by a vote of 351-66 with Cole’s support.

May 8, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Trump announced the termination of the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal.
 
May 7, 2018 Weekly Columns
As Congress reaches the final stretches of its 115th session, the House can reflect on a long list of accomplishments it has achieved since the beginning of the session. Despite the constant discussions that partisan gridlock may be the new norm, it has been quite the opposite. Since the beginning of the 115th Congress, the House has passed 598 bills – 470 of which are sitting in the Senate with no action. That means almost 79% of all legislation passed thus far have yet to see the Senate Floor or the President’s desk.
April 23, 2018 Weekly Columns
For the past seventeen years, the United States has been engaged in several military conflicts, primarily, but not exclusively, in the Middle East. Most recently, the United States worked in concert with British and French military forces, allies and NATO, to strike targets in Syria. This response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons was an appropriate use of force well within the bounds of the authorities granted to the President of the United States in Article II of the Constitution. 
 
April 13, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement in‎ response to the strike by the United States, Great Britian and France against military targets in Syria.
March 26, 2018 Weekly Columns
After passing multiple continuing resolutions throughout the past year, Congress has finally fulfilled its duty to the American people to fully fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2018 Fiscal Year. This is a significant accomplishment in the progress to return to regular order in the appropriations process. For too long, we have kicked the can down the road and failed to keep our government funding up to date. This habit was damaging and costly to federal programs and agencies, and especially to the military.
March 22, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), Chairman of the Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus spending bill by a vote of 256-157 with Cole’s support. This legislation includes all 12 appropriations measures, and funds the federal government, agencies and programs for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 through September 30, 2018.
 
March 19, 2018 Weekly Columns
This past year, the United States has been experiencing a welcome surge in economic growth. The economic successes America is enjoying is surely due to the hard work and ingenuity of the American people, the implementation of the Republican tax reform and President Trump’s initiative to bring American companies back home. In general, free trade contributes to our national prosperity as well. However, having open markets is not an invitation for others to take advantage of us. When bad actors exist, we have every right to use our power to protect our interests.

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