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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

September 24, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after Pope Francis addressed the United States Congress during a joint meeting. This is the first papal visit to Congress ever to occur in history.
August 24, 2015 Weekly Columns

Over the last few weeks in town hall meetings and other visits across the Fourth District, I’ve heard my constituents voice their concerns about a variety of issues. But by far, the common issue that troubles the vast majority is the proposed nuclear deal negotiated with Iran by the Obama Administration. Like many of my constituents, I am disturbed by what I’ve heard, seen and learned about the agreement. With a vote expected in Congress next month, I remain strongly opposed to approving the deal. 

July 27, 2015 Weekly Columns

Following two years of negotiations that have included missed and extended deadlines, the P5+1 announced this month that a deal with Iran has been reached regarding its nuclear program. This deal comes at the insistence of the legacy-starved Obama Administration that has already taken dangerous missteps in its foreign policy. I remain very concerned about the concessions made to Iran in the deal and the implications for the safety and security of America and our allies, including our greatest friend in the region: Israel. 

July 14, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the Obama Administration announced that the P5+1 has reached an agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program.
July 14, 2015 News Stories

NewsOK - Chris Casteel

Members of Oklahoma’s all-Republican congressional delegation voiced skepticism and concern Tuesday about the nuclear deal struck by the Obama administration and other countries with Iran.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa

“The president’s deal with Iran failed to meet the only standard that ensures the future safety of America and its allies, which is the complete dismantling of Iran’s capability to build a nuclear bomb.

July 14, 2015 News Stories

Chickasha News - Adam Troxtell

Oklahoma congressional representatives have greeted a new agreement between the U.S. and Iran over its nuclear program with skepticism.

Both Rep. Tom Cole and Sen. James Lankford issued statements, saying they were wary about the deal with Iran that was announced Tuesday and even condemned parts of it. They said Congress should take time reviewing the deal to ensure it is truly in the nation's best interest.

July 6, 2015 News Stories

The Oklahoman - Editorial Board

President Barack Obama said last week, on the day a deadline passed to reach an agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons, that, “I will walk away from the negotiations if in fact it’s a bad deal.” If only he truly meant that.

Instead, Obama has given the impression that he wants to reach a deal — any deal — with Iran, despite the country’s bad acts and its mullahs’ long history of saying one thing and doing another.

June 18, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after he supported legislation related to Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This legislation defines the authority the president is allowed to exercise in trade negotiations and how Congress can rightfully scrutinize any trade deals reached with our partners abroad by having oversight throughout the process and demanding accountability of the president.
May 18, 2015 Weekly Columns

Iran is a rogue state and very unlikely to be a dependable, reliable or honest negotiating partner. Over the last several months, all eyes have focused on the international negotiations to decide the nature of Iran’s nuclear capabilities. At the insistence of the Administration and despite warnings from our allies in the Middle East, these nuclear talks are expected to result in a deal that lifts sanctions and allows Iran to maintain much of its ability to enrich uranium. That means Iran would be only a few short steps away from creating a nuclear weapon whenever it chose to do so. 

April 27, 2015 Weekly Columns

The increasing boldness that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) continues to display makes it abundantly clear that the president has badly underestimated its resolve to wage jihad against our allies in the Middle East and, eventually, the United States. Considering that the terrorist group has already been responsible for killing Americans and attacking a number of our allies, it should be clearly evident that the United States cannot ignore the escalating conflict.