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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Tribal Relations

As an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, I am very proud of my heritage and the tremendous accomplishments of tribes in Oklahoma and across our country. The U.S. Constitution and the federal government recognize that Native American tribes are sovereign entities with separate governments and rights that should be honored and respected. Indeed, tribes have a unique relationship with state and local governments, as well as the federal government.

Native Americans are aggressively working toward building Native economies and governments, and I am committed to making sure they have the tools and resources to continue these efforts. Through numerous treaties, as well as legislation, the United States has promised to provide this care, and I will work to make sure these promises are kept. I support efforts to increase business opportunities and economic development in Indian Country. Specifically, I support the use of tax incentives for businesses that locate or expand on former Indian lands or hire Native Americans and their spouses.  

I believe each tribe, with its own government and rights, should be honored and respected. Tribes should work mutually with the states and the federal government to maintain the integrity of their heritage, culture and legal rights. I also believe the federal government must comply with its trust and treaty obligation. That requires Washington to appropriately fund healthcare, education, infrastructure and law enforcement in Indian Country. 

More on Tribal Relations

May 23, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after introducing the Stigler Act Amendment of 2017, along with Congressmen Lucas, Mullin and Russell. This legislation amends the Stigler Act of 1947, which restricts Native American allotted land to only persons of ½ degree of Native American blood heritage.
 
February 14, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 428, the Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act by a vote of 250-171. This legislation will provide a proper gradient boundary surveying method to settle the contested land ownership between the states of Oklahoma and Texas, and the Comanche, Kiowa and Apache tribes.
January 2, 2017 Weekly Columns

This week the 115th Congress will be sworn in and will immediately be faced with a host of challenges and opportunities. I am honored to serve another term as the Representative for the Fourth District of Oklahoma. When I was first elected in 2002, I was proud to serve with a Republican Administration and in the majority party in Congress. Six years later my party was the minority party and the United States had elected a Democratic president. In November 2016, the voters elected a Republican president and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress.

December 20, 2016 Weekly Columns

When the 114th Congress began its session in January of 2015, many Americans had concerns about the direction of our nation, and the job approval of their Congressional leaders was appropriately low. After so many years of onerous executive overreach, House Republicans faced many challenges in the fight to block President Obama’s liberal agenda. There were many times that House Republicans have come close to making common sense conservative progress, only to be shot down by the president’s veto pen.

December 15, 2016 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President-Elect Donald Trump nominated Congressman Ryan Zinke (MT-At Large) to serve as Secretary of the Interior. Congressman Zinke has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2015 and is currently a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.
 
December 8, 2016 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the passage of S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which was passed by a vote of 360-61. This legislation would authorize appropriations for numerous water infrastructure projects, natural resources projects, settlements, and much more. Included as well is the Oklahoma Water Rights Settlement between the city of Oklahoma City, the state of Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation.
 
December 8, 2016 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the passage of the short-term Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (Continuing Resolution), H.R. 2028, which passed by a vote of 326-96 . This legislation prevents a government shutdown and will continue funding federal programs and agencies until April 28, 2017.
 
December 6, 2016 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after he sent a letter to Chairman Fred Upton, Chairman Kevin Brady and Speaker Paul Ryan, urging them to retain the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) in any contemplated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) repeal. These provisions are the bedrock legal authorities for health care services for American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
 
November 7, 2016 Weekly Columns
The life and culture of our nation’s Native American tribes are written in nearly every chapter of America’s story. It is rich with the traditions, languages, changes, notable names, and much more. Although we honor those legacies and traditions this month, we remember the contributions that our Native American ancestors brought before us every day.  
 
September 14, 2016 Press Release
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – U.S. Congressman Tom Cole will be recognized as the Red Earth Ambassador of the Year during an 11:30 am luncheon scheduled Wednesday, October 12 in the Eclipse Room at Oklahoma City’s Remington Park.. The Red Earth Ambassador of the Year award recognizes individuals, not necessarily of Native American descent, who have made significant contributions in presenting a positive image of American Indians.
 

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