From increasing tension on the Korean Peninsula, to the acts of Russian aggression in the sovereign country of Ukraine, the world has become an increasingly dangerous place for freedom and democracy. While much of the power to conduct foreign affairs is granted to the president by the U.S. Constitution, Congress can and should still shape foreign policy and play a vital role in ensuring the world remains a safe place and that our citizens are protected from harm.
For example, Congress maintains control over the “purse strings” and funds our national defense and foreign assistance. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how foreign assistance is used to support American values all over the world. On average, about one percent of foreign aid is provided as direct budget support (cash) to foreign governments. The remainder of aid is given in the form of expert technical advice, training, equipment, vaccines, food, educational exchanges and applied research. Much of the work done by America and its citizens internationally is crucial to lifting developing countries out of poverty and promoting long-term development.
Additionally, through the appropriations process, Congress can help ensure that funding goes to countries to build stability and counter international threats. Approximately 1.3 percent of the total federal budget is designated for foreign assistance from all federal sources. Aid that promotes global prosperity, democracy and rule of law, economic growth and humanitarian interests reflects American values and global leadership.
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August 6, 2018 Weekly Columns
As the United States continues its historic buildup of its defense capabilities, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has committed to increasing security investments as well. Russia seeks to change the international order by stressing our alliances, undermining national institutions, and supporting conflicts around the world. Its goal is to exert greater influence around the globe and demonstrate Russia is not only a nuclear power, but a Great Power. The NATO alliance shares a common strategic vision on how to counter this threat.
July 30, 2018 Weekly Columns
Despite much controversy and reporting surrounding the U.S. – Russia summit in Helsinki, Finland, America’s foreign policy with Russia under President Trump’s Administration has been stronger than the previous three administrations. But as the United States continues to fight the advances of Russian aggression, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is being strengthened by the joint actions of the U.S. and its allies. President Trump has taken a strong approach to encourage our NATO allies to increase their forces and invest further to build western end strength.
July 17, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement in response to the joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland.
June 19, 2018 Weekly Columns
What seemed to be once impossible, has finally come to fruition. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week. For the first time in history, a U.S. President and a North Korean leader met in an official capacity in an effort to strengthen ties and reach a peace agreement. President Trump has achieved something previous Administrations have not been able to do. Bringing North Korea to the negotiating table is an accomplishment, but it is one that has required extraordinary measures to do so.
March 5, 2018 Weekly Columns
After the recent closing of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, its neighbor, North Korea, continues to pose one of the most persistent U.S. foreign policy challenges which has spanned the past four U.S. administrations. It is the only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century and remains the greatest and most immediate threat in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area. The hope that North Korea will resume and continue talks with South Korea after the Olympics remains a question. Whatever the outcome, confronting the North Korean threat is critical, and the U.S.
October 13, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Trump announced a new strategy on Iran and its nuclear capability.
“I agree with President Trump that Iran is not in compliance with the Obama Administration's Nuclear Deal with Iran and therefore cannot certify that Iran is abiding by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” said Cole.
September 25, 2017 Weekly Columns
In his first appearance to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, President Trump delivered one of his most consequential and effective speeches since he assumed the presidency. The world had been exposed to the firm rhetoric that President Trump has used in the past, and it is partly the reason why he was elected President of the United States. He is not afraid to speak his mind and has always been dedicated to his message to put America first. At the UN, President Trump once again rededicated himself to that message and reaffirmed America’s leadership on the global stage.
August 14, 2017 Weekly Columns
For decades, the United States has grappled with the unpredictable and dangerous regime of the Kim family, from Kim Jong-il to Kim Jong-un. The world has witnessed human rights violations, economic hardships and the volatility of the Kim government. Moreover, for years, the United States and its allies have attempted to keep the North Korean government from procuring a nuclear weapon and the means with which to deliver it.
August 7, 2017 Weekly Columns
In recent years, the geopolitical landscape has dramatically shifted, with past threats reemerging. After nearly a decade shying away from the world stage, hostile regimes feel emboldened and are threatening our safety and way of life. As congressional investigations continue to look into the actions of bad actors around the world, Congress must take action to protect the safety and security of the American people.
July 10, 2017 Weekly Columns
For more than fifty years the United States has had a contentious and adverse relationship with North Korea. Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, we have maintained a military presence in South Korea and have considered South Korea as a strong ally in the region.