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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Foreign Affairs

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.

More on Foreign Affairs

April 22, 2019 Weekly Columns

On April 4, 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed, and the United States entered the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as one of 12 founding member countries. Seven decades later, the transatlantic alliance endures, and it has grown to include 29 countries, pledging still to face aggressors and security threats together.

April 3, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after a joint session of the United States Congress welcomed Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
February 28, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concluded in Hanoi, Vietnam. On behalf of the United States, President Trump did not agree to a proposed deal with the North Korean regime.
September 11, 2018 Press Release

“Seventeen years ago I was in Washington D.C. the day of the 9/11 attack on America. While I was not a member of Congress, I was sitting in the offices of the US Chamber of Commerce looking directly at the White House across Lafayette Square. Gathered with my colleagues and others we turned on our television just in time to see the second plane crash into the twin towers. Minutes later we saw people pour out of the White House, fleeing out of fear that the home of America’s first family would be the next target.

August 20, 2018 Weekly Columns
For decades, the United States has grappled with the often contentious and theocratic regime of Iran. Iran is not a friend to the United States. It is a nation well known for funding, training and harboring terrorists, and often, the United States has been the target of such activity. Under President Trump’s leadership, the U.S. has approached Iran’s inconsistent and unreliable commitment to denuclearization. In fact, since the implementation of the Iran Deal under President Obama, it has been evident that Iran continued to become a nuclear capable state.
 
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.

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