Finishing Our Work

Weekly Column by Congressman Tom Cole

While much has been accomplished this year, there are still several items left to complete. As the current Congress concludes, lawmakers must come together to finish the remaining work.

One of the most fundamental duties of Congress is to fund the federal government, keeping it open and operational. And before the recent start of the fiscal year, I am proud that more than 75 percent of annual funding was responsibly fulfilled by regular order. However, even though much of the federal government was fully funded on time, a significant portion of the government is currently operating under a short-term continuing resolution that will soon expire. To avoid a partial government shutdown, it is critical that lawmakers find bicameral agreement in the negotiations on the remaining appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019.

Every five years, Congress revisits the terms of a comprehensive piece of legislation that is vital to the success of the nation’s agricultural sector. While the official title of the bill has changed over the years, it is generally known as the “Farm Bill” because of its direct impact on the nation’s farmers and ranchers. To maintain healthy crops and produce, farmers and ranchers greatly rely on the crop insurance, conservation and other programs authorized in the Farm Bill. Considering that there are more than 13,000 farms and ranches in the Fourth District of Oklahoma alone, there is no question that the Farm Bill matters to the economy and vitality of rural America.



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