Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after he 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. Cole will be one of four House Republicans to engage in high-level budget negotiations between the House and Senate with the goal of producing a resolution by December 13. If successful, this compromise will 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,” said Cole. “I am pleased to bring the conservative values of Oklahomans to the table as we enter this critical time.

“Americans want solutions that reduce the deficit, overhaul the current tax system, create more jobs, spur economic growth and preserve the full faith and credit of the United States. These are goals shared by my fellow Republicans and my constituents back home. In the coming days, I am ready to work with my Democrat colleagues as we attempt to find common ground for the sake of the entire nation.

“After the pain caused by government shutdown and the uncertainty triggered by the expiring debt ceiling, we know now more than ever that we have to talk to each other. While conference negotiations will be intense and tough, it is critical that we find common ground to avoid any repeats of what we experienced during shutdown,” concluded Cole.