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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Cole Responds to Obama's Opposition to Ending Taxpayer Funding of Campaigns

January 25, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) today released the following statement in response to President Obama's Statement of Administration Policy opposing HR 359, Cole's bill to eliminate taxpayer funding of presidential candidates and political conventions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would save $617 million over 10 years:

"The Presidential Election Campaign Fund is the very definition of frivolous Washington spending. We're not talking about investing in our infrastructure or spending money to improve the lives of average Americans-- this program pays for political party conventions and to prop up the candidacies of long shot presidential hopefuls.

"The idea that Americans need this program in order to support candidates is absurd. It's not 1971 anymore. With online communications, it's never been easier to participate in elections. President Obama himself raised a record $745 million without accepting a dime of federal assistance, and I don't believe he would say that makes his administration beholden to special interests or that his administration is hopelessly corrupt as a result of forgoing public financing.

"With a $1.4 trillion deficit, both parties need to work together to reduce the deficit. We've got a lot of tough decisions ahead, and it's not a good sign that the Democrats are squealing about cutting a program only 7 percent of Americans support.

"This bill provides an early test of the president's commitment to reducing the deficit. If the administration won't support the elimination of an outdated program that doesn't benefit a single ordinary American, what cuts will they support?"