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Foreign Affairs

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, only about one percent of foreign aid is provided as direct budget support to foreign governments. In fact, most 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 disease and poverty, promoting long-term development and building important relationships.

Additionally, through the appropriations process, Congress can help ensure that funding goes to countries to build stability and counter a variety of international threats, such as terrorism, illegal drugs, and infectious disease. 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

July 11, 2014 Press Release
Washington, DC — Today, Reps. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) applauded the passage of their bipartisan resolution supporting the State of Israel’s right to defend itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from Hamas, a terrorist organization. The resolution passed with more than 140 cosponsors.
July 11, 2014 News Stories

Fox News - Chad Pergram

The House of Representatives on Friday approved a non-binding resolution backing Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks. 

The vote comes as Hamas-fired rockets stream into Israel's airspace, though most are being intercepted by Israel's advanced defense system. 

The House adopted the resolution by unanimous consent, and there was no roll call vote. 

July 9, 2014 Press Release
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) introduced a resolution supporting the State of Israel’s right to defend itself against unprovoked rockets attacks from Hamas, a terrorist organization. Their bipartisan resolution reaffirms U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist attacks, condemns the unwarranted attacks and calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket attacks against Israel.
June 2, 2014 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following statement after the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who was captured by the Taliban in 2009. Bergdahl was released by the Taliban on Saturday in exchange for five senior Taliban leaders who were detained by the United States at Guantanamo Bay.
March 30, 2014 News Stories

Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise - Peter Urban

March 17, 2014 Weekly Columns

Over the last several months, the world has watched an unraveling situation between Ukraine, Russia and the peninsula of Crimea. The struggle reached a boiling point last month when protestors overthrew the corrupt leadership of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was collaborating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and intending to force greater ties between the two countries—in direct opposition to the majority of Ukrainians who prefer closer ties to the European Union (EU).

February 24, 2014 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) recently joined five House members in visiting Israel, where the group met with senior Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
September 5, 2013 Press Release
Norman, OK - Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement to express his opposition of any American military intervention in Syria.
June 23, 2008 Weekly Columns
Thomas Paine once said, "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." In the past few months two pieces of legislation have been the source of intense debate from both sides of the political aisle.
April 14, 2008 Weekly Columns
Over seven months ago General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker each delivered first-hand accounts of the status of the mission in Iraq. Last week those men returned to Congress to give another report to the American people.