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Cole Urges Swift Action in Electing New House Appropriations Chair

Rep. Tom Cole (Credits: KOKH)

Rep. Tom Cole is eager to move forward with next week’s vote to select the new House Appropriations Committee chair, stressing the urgency due to the already delayed schedule for the upcoming year’s budget planning.

Cole’s contention for the chairmanship might face competition from Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, who has suggested postponing the vote first to address issues within the appropriations process.

Despite Aderholt’s call for a delay, communicated through a letter to colleagues, a source close to the matter has indicated that the vote will proceed as initially planned.

Congressman Tom Cole (Credits: CSIS)

Cole, who currently oversees the Transportation-HUD appropriations, advocates for a swift election, allowing the new chair to expedite the drafting and committee approval of the 12 appropriations bills due this spring and summer.

Cole boasts support from nearly all subcommittee chairs, excluding Aderholt and Rep. Andy Harris, hinting at his strong positioning among the committee’s leadership.

Rep. Andy Harris (Credits: Politico)

His recent support for the $1.2 trillion fiscal 2024 budget package further aligns him with the preferences of the GOP Steering Committee, contrasting Aderholt’s opposition to the same bill. This stance reflects the broader divide within the party regarding the bill, with a slim majority of Republicans voting against it.

In his letter, Aderholt criticized the current state of the appropriations process and positioned himself alongside the conference’s more conservative faction. Meanwhile, Cole appears to share a closer viewpoint with the party’s leadership, emphasizing the critical need for a swift transition to address the impending budgetary tasks.

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