NORMAN — U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, will be one of four House Republicans to engage in budget negotiations between the House and Senate with the goal of producing a resolution by Dec. 13, according to a press release issued by Cole’s office on Friday.
Cole was appointed by Speaker John Boehner and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan to serve on a 29-person conference committee, comprised of seven House Members and 22 Senators. If successful, this compromise would be the first time since 2009 that both chambers have agreed on a budget.
“As we begin budget negotiations, I am hopeful that we can find common-sense reforms that improve our economic outlook and provide a better future for our children and grandchildren,” Cole said in the press release. “I am pleased to bring the conservative values of Oklahomans to the table as we enter this critical time.”
Cole will be back in Oklahoma on Monday and has scheduled a number of meetings to address questions about the ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill.
Oklahoma has five military installations, but civilian jobs at Tinker and other bases weren’t the only ways the state was affected. In Norman, the National Oceanic and Atmoospheric Administration space within the National Weather Center was closed during the shutdown. While NWS forecasters remained on duty because their jobs deal with severe weather safety, NOAA public affairs reported that many of its employees were furloughed.
Also affected was the Chickasaw National Recreation Center — one of 401 national parks closed during the shutdown, as was the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum . The museum is dedicated to the memory of those who were killed in the April 19, 1995 bombing. Passports were delayed, and many other federal offices were closed as well.
“The University of Oklahoma does not take a position as an institution on political issues, but speaking as a private citizen and former U.S. Senator, I commend the Congressman from the 4th District, Tom Cole, for his courageous and responsible vote to reopen the government and to continue to pay our national debt,” OU President David Boren said after the end of the shutdown.