Office of Representative Tom Cole (R-OK-04)
Representative Tom Cole (R-OK-04) released the following statement after President Donald Trump this week sent his budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2020:
“In order for the budget and appropriations process to move along each fiscal year, it is important for the president to provide Congress with a list of funding priorities for consideration,” said Cole. “No matter what party controls the White House and either chamber of Congress, the president’s budget request symbolizes the Administration’s opening position in a much larger and complex negotiation.
“While I don’t support all of the president’s aspirational recommendations for fiscal year 2020, I think he is on the right track to emphasize defense funding and to restrain some domestic spending. The world is a dangerous place, and a strong America is necessary to keep peace and deter aggressive regimes like Russia, China, and Iran from pursuing policies that could lead to costly military confrontations.
“Unfortunately, the president’s suggested domestic cuts to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are short-sighted and counterproductive. As we have done over the last few years, I believe we must continue to prioritize and sustain generous funding for biomedical research and public health—recognizing that the investment will generate tremendous benefits for society, eventually lessen the strain on taxpayer dollars and ultimately improve the quality of life for every American.
“Even though the president’s budget request lays out a path toward balance in 15 years, I am disappointed that it does not more seriously address the real driver of the nation’s rapidly rising debt. Numerous facts, figures, and analyses have for years warned about the unsustainable growth of mandatory programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But to make real progress toward tackling our burden of debt, we must enact reforms to save and sustain these programs serving many vulnerable Americans. A good place to start would be the passage of my bipartisan legislation, H.R. 289, which calls for a bicameral commission tasked with recommending reforms to ensure Social Security is solvent for at least 75 years. Congress would then be required to vote up or down on these recommendations within 60 legislative days. Until congressional leaders and the president work together to address mandatory programs, the nation’s long-term fiscal house will remain in a state of disorder,” concluded Cole.