Takeways from time in Oklahoma
This week, lawmakers are returning to Washington, D.C. after spending several weeks in their districts. The extended time during the customary August district work period each year always provides the opportunity to interact directly with constituents and hear firsthand about the issues that matter most to them. I am always thankful for this time to gain that perspective before returning to legislative work.
This August, I traveled to a total of nine counties in the Fourth Congressional District to visit local communities, organizations and small businesses. I also attended various site tours and had coffees and lunches to speak directly with community leaders. I also hosted two telephone town halls, in which I provided an update from Congress and answered numerous questions on a variety of national issues from those on the line.
While meeting with small business owners, members of various chambers of commerce and even employees, the most relayed topic of concern was certainly inflation and the direction of the economy. The 40-year high inflation is directly hitting every American family of every income level. Unfortunately, inflation is not going away soon, but House Republicans are putting an end to Democrats’ out-of-control spending that has led to this economic crisis.
Just like Americans across the country, Fourth District constituents are still facing soaring prices on almost everything, including record-high gas prices. In fact, this August prices at the pump reached the highest seasonal level seen in more than a decade. Oklahoma is an energy-rich state and Oklahomans cannot fathom why President Joe Biden has issued a war on North American energy. Now, the U.S. is instead forced to rely on foreign nations that do not have our best interests in mind as our energy providers when we have the resources right here at home.
I was also glad to meet with leadership from the Fourth District’s Tinker Air Force Base, Fort Sill and many other stakeholders in the defense industry. Indeed, we live in a dangerous world with war continuing in Ukraine, growing aggression from China and North Korea and Afghanistan now retaken by the Taliban. It is critical we support the men and women in our armed forces both to ensure our military is mission focused, and that our active-duty service members, their families and retirees are taken care of. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on its version of the fiscal year 2024 defense appropriations bill that would advance our strategic capabilities, counter our adversaries, promote innovation, optimize the Department of Defense workforce and much more.
Finally, on both telephone town halls held for Fourth District constituents, I had an overwhelming number of questions regarding the crisis at the southern border. Indeed, this historic national security and humanitarian crisis has affected every community across the country as President Biden’s open borders have allowed the flow of deadly drugs and bad actors. America is a nation of laws that must be followed and enforced, and just about every Oklahoman I speak to wants to see fair immigration reforms and strengthened security at the southern border, so the system is fair and just for all and communities are safe.
These critical conversations are what I take back with me to Washington, D.C. and use this feedback to further inform my votes as I continue to represent the Fourth District of Oklahoma. If you have any questions, concerns or need help with a federal agency, I encourage you to reach out by calling my office at (405) 329-6500 or visiting my website to send an email at cole.house.gov/contact.
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