WASHINGTON - Days after being the lone Oklahoma congressman to vote to end the government shutdown, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, has found himself one of only 29 politicians tasked with spearheading a budget compromise.
Cole was named to the Budget Conference Committee Wednesday, which quickly scheduled a breakfast meeting between the committee leaders for the next day.
With only seven House members appointed, the committee will be made up primarily of senators, 22, and will work toward creating a new deal by Dec. 13.
"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," Cole said Friday. "I am pleased to bring the conservative values of Oklahomans to the table as we enter this critical time."
Shutdown check: How did Okla. reps vote? (http://bit.ly/175pFyn)
Cole also emphasized the importance of compromise.
"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," he said. "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."
Cole and his counterparts will have to close a reported $90 million budget gap to reach a deal.