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Veteran Oklahoma lawmakers look ahead to new Congress

Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 4:05 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Lawmakers in the 117th Congress were sworn in today on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., including Oklahoma Republican Reps. Tom Cole and Frank Lucas.

They say they are looking forward to two more years legislating together.

“I don’t have a closer friend, a better ally and frankly rural Oklahoma doesn’t have a better advocate than Frank Lucas,” said Rep. Tom Cole.

His fellow lawmaker agrees.

“It’s a good group,” Rep. Frank Lucas said. “We can maximize our ability to work on behalf of our constituents and bring that Oklahoma perspective.”

Lucas, a ranking member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, and Cole, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, say they will work to continue to secure funding for military facilities like Fort Sill and Tinker Air Force Base, as well as the National Weather Center in Norman.

“I’m pretty excited for what’s in front of us. I see a lot of talent in our ranks,” said Cole.

After a tumultuous 2020, the lawmakers hope the inner workings of Congress can return to some sense of normalcy in 2021 as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues.

“Legislative work, being a member of Congress, is one of those things whether it’s your constituents or members of Congress, you need human interaction. I need to be able to talk to people, watch their facial expressions,” said Lucas.

Both lawmakers say they are prepared to work across the aisle with the Democrats in the House majority and the Biden Administration.

“We’re going to have to work by something called consensus, That’s the things we can agree on that we can do, and if we can’t agree it’s not going to happen,” Lucas said.

This is Cole’s 10th term and Lucas’ 15th term in Congress. The lawmakers say after they are sworn in they will be ready to roll up their sleeves and go to work for Oklahomans.

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