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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Weekly Columns

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.  They gave a candid and frank assessment of the progress that has been made as well as the challenges that remain in Iraq.

April 8, 2008 Weekly Columns

Last week I had the opportunity to join several of my colleagues in a meeting with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.  During that meeting Chairman Bernanke discussed the importance of the government taking responsible and timely actions to address the problems facing our housing market.  He rightly emphasized that America's families and small businesses are feeling the squeeze of the

April 1, 2008 Weekly Columns

It's that time of year again - time for individuals and families to file their yearly tax returns.  Those who finished their taxes early are ahead of the curve, but those who have not are scrambling to get their taxes ready to file.  Since the submission deadline is just around the corner, last-minute filers need all the help they can get expediting the filing process.  Also this tax season, a

March 24, 2008 Weekly Columns

As we reflect on the past five years since the beginning of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is important to recognize the progress that has been made, as well as the enormous sacrifices that were required to make that progress possible.  While war is never popular or pleasant, we owe our military personnel an enormous debt of gratitude for the remarkable things they have accomplished o

March 17, 2008 Weekly Columns

In August of last year the Protect America Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.  Hailed as a historic bipartisan achievement, the Protect America Act modernized the out-of-date Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  This critical legislation closed a dangerous gap in our country's intelligence capabilities by giving our overseas intelligence officials the law

March 12, 2008 Weekly Columns

Several weeks ago I was proud to be part of a bipartisan majority who – recognizing that our economy was beginning to stall – passed a stimulus package designed to get the country back on track by infusing the economy with money in the form of rebates for individual taxpayers and tax incentives for business investment.   I was deeply dismayed, however, when I saw the proposed budget for fiscal

March 3, 2008 Weekly Columns

"Entitlement reform" has become a popular phrase over the past few years.  As America's baby-boomer population reaches retirement age, the issue has gotten a lot of attention.  There is serious reason to be concerned, considering more individuals are becoming eligible to receive Medicare and Social Security benefits.  With fewer people working and paying into the benefit system, the revenue bas

February 26, 2008 Weekly Columns

Last week I had the opportunity to host two community town hall meetings in the Northern part of the 4th district.  I enjoy these events because it gives me a chance to hold a forum in which citizens can ask me questions and give me their opinions directly.  The two meetings I held in Midwest City and Norman were attended by individuals who asked about legislation and requested federal assistan

February 18, 2008 Weekly Columns

As Spring Break approaches many Oklahomans are preparing to take family vacations, church mission trips or retreat to other sun-filled vacation spots.  Groups are planning their trips outside of the country, but they may not be aware of recent passport changes announced by the Department of State.  It is important that those American citizens traveling out of the United States understand the ne

February 11, 2008 Weekly Columns

In the next few months, soon-to-be high school graduates across the country are going to be weighing their college education options.  One of the most practical deciding factors for most families and students is the cost of tuition at prospective schools.  But the search for an affordable education isn't limited to just high school students.  Adult education programs are being offered by more u