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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Veterans & Military Retirees

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; 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. For this reason, I have supported reforms through Congress that will modernize the appeals process, bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and give student veterans the largest expansion of GI Bill benefits since the GI Bill was created.

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 a military career spanning 20 or 30 years.

As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I will continue to work with my colleagues to preserve pay, benefits and incentives for the military, retirees and veterans and at the same time address unsustainable government spending.

More on Veterans & Military Retirees

November 8, 2019 Weekly Columns

Each year on the eleventh of November, we rightly pause to honor and remember the bravery and boldness of the men and women who selflessly answered the call of duty and wore one of the many great military uniforms of the United States of America. Without question, we owe a constant debt of gratitude to generations of veterans, including many of our own family members, who made sacrifices to ensure the safety of our homeland and who faithfully fought to promote and preserve America’s precious freedoms. 

September 26, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Tom Cole (OK-04), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) re-introduced the bipartisan Nursing Home Care for Native American Veterans Act.
June 21, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), and Representative Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following statements after Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer announced the newest Towing, Salvage and Rescue ship (T-ATS) would be named Cherokee Nation.
May 13, 2019 Weekly Columns

During Military Appreciation Month, we rightly join in expressing gratitude for our service members, their families and the daily sacrifices they make on our behalf. It is because of their selfless service that Americans wake up every day with the privilege of peace and freedom at home.

November 9, 2018 Weekly Columns

Throughout our history, hundreds of thousands of brave men and women have answered the call to serve in the United States military. For those who volunteer, this choice comes at a cost unlike any other. But it is because of their willing service and sacrifice on our behalf that we get to enjoy the benefits of living in a safe and secure nation. Without question, we owe a constant debt of gratitude to generations of veterans who have faithfully defended our precious freedom. 

May 21, 2018 Weekly Columns
Our nation’s veterans, who serve during times of war and peace, have sacrificed a great deal to keep our nation safe and protect our freedoms. It is our duty in Congress to ensure that veterans receive the care they have earned for their service to our country. Although the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has the responsibility to provide a variety of services for veterans, it is also Congress’ responsibility to oversee the VA and ensure they operate in the most transparent and efficient manner possible. 
 
March 26, 2018 Weekly Columns
After passing multiple continuing resolutions throughout the past year, Congress has finally fulfilled its duty to the American people to fully fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2018 Fiscal Year. This is a significant accomplishment in the progress to return to regular order in the appropriations process. For too long, we have kicked the can down the road and failed to keep our government funding up to date. This habit was damaging and costly to federal programs and agencies, and especially to the military.
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.
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.

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