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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Veterans

Our veterans, who have served during war and peace, have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedoms. They are defenders of democracy and have ensured all Americans can continue to enjoy freedom and peace.   

I remain committed to holding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accountable and ensuring promises made to our veterans are kept. Our service members must have access to safe housing, good jobs and the healthcare they need when they come home. There are still too many instances of our veterans not receiving the care and service they have earned and the VA system not meeting their needs. Veterans deserve to receive their benefits in a timely and consistent manner, and clearing the current backlog will help us reach this goal. I remain concerned as to how the VA healthcare system will reform the delivery of healthcare and do so with the deep fiscal obligations associated with the new healthcare reform. 

As a member of both the House Budget Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I have been working with my colleagues to find a solution that will preserve pay, benefits and incentives for the military, retirees and veterans and at the same time address out-of-control spending. Ongoing proposals to raise TRICARE deductibles, premiums and co-pays for beneficiaries remain a principle concern for military service members, retirees and their families. I fully understand that TRICARE is an earned benefit, and I am opposed to a “tiered” enrollment fee structure or “means-testing” for service members, retirees and their families. I understand that the unique military retirement and healthcare package is the primary incentive for top-quality people to endure the extraordinary demands and sacrifices inherent in military career spanning 20 or 30 years.

More on Veterans

November 13, 2017 Weekly Columns
For nearly a century, our nation has dedicated the eleventh day of the eleventh month as the day to honor and appreciate our veterans. What began as “Armistice Day,” in 1919 to commemorate the soldiers that fought in World War I, has evolved to reflect the multiple battles and wars over the course of American history. But we should give gratitude to our veterans every day. As a nation, we are fortunate to have the world’s strongest and most capable military forces. It is imperative that we remain committed to caring for our men and women in uniform years after their service.
July 27, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018. The bill is a consolidated spending package that combines funding for the Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water and the Legislative Branch Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018. It passed in the House by a vote of 235-192.
 
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.

November 10, 2016 Weekly Columns
May 27, 2016 Weekly Columns

Our veterans, who have served during times of war and peace, have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation. They are defenders of liberty and have ensured all Americans can continue to enjoy freedom and security. Considering the wide extent of selfless service rendered by current and past service members and their families, it was shocking and inexcusable that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald recently chose to make light of excessive waiting periods experienced by veterans in need of care.  

May 9, 2016 Weekly Columns

Throughout the history of the American military, millions of men and women have volunteered to serve a cause greater than themselves, and their families have offered a similar sacrifice to support them. Given their incredible and selfless contributions to preserving and defending the American way of life every single day, it is only right that we dedicate an entire month to honor them and express our sincerest gratitude. 

April 18, 2016 Weekly Columns

Oklahoma is the proud home of numerous military and National Guard installations. We are consistently among the top states in terms of our number of active duty personnel. And our communities that are the home to these men and women in uniform are the envy of every branch of service. That fact was reflected last week when the House Appropriations Committee, of which I am a member, passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MILCON) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017.

February 2, 2016 Press Release
Washington, DC — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today released the following statements about Fort Sill’s announcement regarding the vital role Fort Sill will continue to play as the Army plans for its future force structure.
January 31, 2016 News Stories
For years, District Judge Lori Walkley has worked with others on a program helping veterans before their issues become legal problems. Cleveland County is running a kind of veterans court in the drug court with some help from grant money, but Walkley said it needs to be a stand-alone program.
January 21, 2016 News Stories

Duncan Banner - Andrew Morphew

Two local Duncan High School seniors were nominated by Congressman Tom Cole for entry into military schools.

Senior Blake Graham and senior Jonathan McGill were selected as part of 14 students, who went through the nomination program per Cole.

Duncan High School Principal Justin Smith had nothing but praise for both students.

“Both of those students are great students and exemplary kids that represent Duncan High School and very proud of them,” Smith said.

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