Ads by Google Ads by Google

New U.S. House Appropriations Chairman named

Amata with Chairman Cole
(Source: Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata’s D.C. staff)

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma is the new chairman of the Appropriations Committee, tasked with next year’s appropriations.

“I am delighted to welcome the appointment of my close friend Tom Cole as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, perhaps in some ways the most important committee of Congress for American Samoa,” said Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata.  “As a Native American from Oklahoma, he already has a special understanding of the needs of our people.”

The congresswoman's friendship and working relationship with Chairman Cole goes back well before their service together in Congress to over 35 years ago. He was a member of the Republican National Committee as chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party and the congresswoman was national committeewoman for American Samoa. Even after that, their paths continue to cross when he was executive director of the Republican congressional committee and chief of staff at the RNC before he returned home to win a seat in the House. He succeeded former Congressman J.C. Watts, another commonality with Congresswoman Amata, who worked for Congressman Watts.

“The House of Representatives values experience, seniority, and relationships,” explained the Congresswoman. “It can only be replicated in the fullness of time, as evidenced by Chairman Cole’s over 21 years in Congress.”

In his chairmanship of the also powerful Committee on Rules, through which all proposed legislation must pass before going to the House Floor for a vote, “I can always pick up the phone and get right to Tom, whenever there’s a need,” she said. “I expect to be able to continue to do that in his leadership on Appropriations."

The president can only propose a federal budget. Under the Constitution, all money bills must originate in the House. They have to be approved by Congress through agreement between the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and passage by both bodies before signature by the President.  Only through Congress in this way can money be allocated by the executive branch.